How do you find a glaucoma specialist who will pay attention to your eye pressure date and charts from your home tonometer?
From what FitEyes members report, that's not easy to find. As a rule, glaucoma specialists do not look at home IOP data in any detail at this point in time.
What seems to work well is when you give a one or two sentence oral summary to your glaucoma specialist. For example, you could say that since your last visit, your IOP has been staying between X and Y each day.
Here's one way to think about it. A doctor may tell you to exercise or to eat a better diet. Rarely, if ever, will they want to review the details of your exercise routine or your food diary. They are satisfied with a high level summary. You can consult with a personal trainer who will be interested in the details of each and every workout. You can consult with a nutritionist who will be interested in the details of your daily food diary.
My analogy is not perfect, and the reality is far from ideal. A personal trainer's entire job is oriented around the details of your exercise routine. They should (and often do) pay attention not only to each and every exercise in each session, but they look at the technique you use to perform that movement.
A nutritionist should be interested in not only the outline of your diet, but also in the exact foods, the quantities, and even the method of preparation. Every detail counts.
When it comes to glaucoma, we know that IOP is the most important medically treatable risk factor. A glaucoma specialist has one metric that reigns supreme over all others - intraocular pressure!
Therefore, in an ideal world, a glaucoma specialist would pay attention to our IOP data similarly to the way a personal trainer pays attention to a client's workouts or a nutritionist pays attention to a client's foods. No detail would be missed.
The ideal world in IOP management does not exist today. We patients are pushing the profession forward by embracing self-tonometry. I think FitEyes could fulfill the role of a personal trainer or nutritionist in the analogies above. We'll need to expand our staff and services to fully accomplish that, and we'll need donations and other support. But FitEyes could create a system consisting of a community, technology, and experts who can provide personal consultations. Then the results from that could be shared with the glaucoma specialist.
However, there's another aspect to this. Self-tonometry's most powerful application in my opinion is not just monitoring. It is lifestyle medicine -- empowering us and helping us solve health challenges without drugs and surgery as much as possible. Drugs and surgery are powerful tools, but lifestyle medicine can be even more powerful and it should be employed as early as possible and to the full extent possible. If drugs and surgery are still needed, that's OK, but lifestyle medicine continues to be important even then.
For any aspect of lifestyle medicine, the ultimate responsibility is with the patient. We are the ones who have to do our exercise, select our food, etc.
I have found the most useful aspect of self-tonometry is its ability to inform my lifestyle choices. The more I get into the details of my IOP, the more I can optimize my lifestyle (including exercise, meditation, supplements, sleep schedule, etc.) to help me manage my IOP. My health is ultimately my responsibility. So it hasn't bothered me a great deal that the glaucoma specialist doesn't look at the details of my IOP. I do look at those details, and I put them to good use.
Please take a look at the answers here to see the difference between simply monitoring and some of the other ways we can empower ourselves via self-tonometry:
What Are Examples of the Different Approaches to Home Eye Pressure Monitoring? | Ask FitEyes