"A pachymetry is a simple, quick, and painless examination used to measure the thickness of the cornea"

It has different applications in daily clinical practice, such a complimentary examination in glaucoma, to determine potential refractive surgery or even to diagnose certain diseases of the cornea. 

Within the scope of glaucoma, we should be aware that the thickness of the cornea is related to the measurement of intraocular pressure, in that corneas that are thicker or less thick than average may give flawed readings on pressure measurement devices which should be corrected.

Concerning refractive surgery, a pachymetry is one of the most important examinations for determining whether a person should undergo laser treatment for their myopia, hypermetropia or astigmatism, since the surgery modifies the shape of the cornea, extracting a certain amount of tissue which will directly affect the thickness of the cornea. Therefore, the cornea should be thick enough to correct a given number of dioptres. 

It is also a diagnostic tool for some pathologies that cause a thinning of the cornea as per the case with keratoconus or even those that cause thickness as per the case with corneal oedema.

Doctor Andrés Picó, ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Center