Corneal thickness as measured by pachimetry is important in eye care for several reasons. Pachimetry can tell the doctor if the cornea is swollen. Medical conditions such as Fuch's Dystrophy can increase fluid in the cornea and cause an increase in its overall thickness. Even wearing contact lenses can sometimes cause significant corneal swelling. These may be difficult to see under a microscope. However, pachimetry will show a definite increase in thickness.
Corneal thickness is very important in refractive surgery procedures such as LASIK. Knowledge of the thickness of the cornea is important for determining whether a person is a candidate for laser vision correction. Because part of the procedure involves removing any tissue that will leave the corneal thinner, it's important to know exactly how much will remain. Some people may have a much thinner cornea than normal. It doesn't cause any problems or illness, but it can mean tragic loss of vision if the refractive procedure is performed on someone whose cornea is very thin.
Pachimetry has also become important in the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease in which eye pressure (intraocular pressure) can increase. Increased eye pressure can cause loss of nerve fibers in the retina which can lead to blindness or decreased vision. Most methods involve a method of measuring eye pressure in which the instrument touches the cornea. The researchers found that the thickness of the cornea can vary slightly in the population. Corneal thickness can affect the reading of the actual amount of pressure in the eye. In addition, the identification of central corneal thickness as an independent indicator of glaucoma risk by the Ocular Hypertensive Treatment Study (OHTS) has made corneal pachimetry an important part of glaucoma testing.
(source : www.id.diphealth.com)