Q&A: What is corneal hysteresis?

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Thomas A. Wong, OD, FNAP, and his co-authors Elise Regina, OD, and Kelly Armstrong, OD, discuss corneal hysteresis: part one.

Ahead of his technology article in the July 2022 issue of Optometry Times®, Thomas A. Wong, OD, FNAP, associate clinical professor of SUNY Optometry, and his co-authors Elise Regina, OD, and Kelly Armstrong, OD, both members of the SUNY Optometry class of 2022, discuss corneal hysteresis.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity:

What is corneal hysteresis?

Elise Regina, OD:

So corneal hysteresis is measuring the visco elasticity of the corneal tissue. Why we're talking about the cornea with glaucoma, so we can't directly measure anything in the back of the eye near the optic nerve, which is what we're concerned about with glaucoma. But there is a lot of hypothesis around the corneal tissue biomechanics being related to the lamina cribrosa, as well as the peripapillary sclera.

Related: Corneal hysteresis and biomechanics growing in diagnostic importance

So, if someone has a low corneal hysteresis, they may be a little more, there might be a higher chance that they're lamina cribrosa can't withstand high IOP fluctuations, or anything like that, so there might be a higher risk of optic nerve damage in people with lower corneal hysteresis and there might be a higher risk of glaucoma progression in people that are already diagnosed.