Ocular hypertension means the pressure in your eyes – your intraocular pressure (IOP) – is higher than normal. Left neglected, high eye pressure can cause glaucoma and permanent vision loss in some individuals.
Ocular Hypertension Definition
Nevertheless, some individuals can have ocular hypertension without establishing any damage to their eyes or vision, as identified by a thorough eye examination and visual field screening.
- Scientists have approximated that ocular hypertension is 10 to 15 times most likely to take place than main open-angle glaucoma, the most common kind of glaucoma.
- According to the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, 4.5 to 9.4 percent of Americans age 40 or older have ocular hypertension, which increases their risk of developing sight-threatening glaucoma.
The term ocular hypertension usually refers to any circumstance where the pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure, is higher than regular. Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Regular eye pressure ranges from 10-21 mm Hg. Ocular hypertension is an eye pressure of higher than 21 mm Hg.
How Do You Know You Have Ocular Hypertension?
You can’t inform on your own that you have ocular hypertension, because there are no outward signs such as eye pain or red eyes. During a comprehensive eye examination, your eye care practitioner will measure your IOP and compare it with regular levels.
An eye pressure reading of 21 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or higher normally signifies ocular hypertension.
If you picture your eye as a globe pumped up by pressure, you can better understand why ocular hypertension should be monitored. Pressure that is too expensive or that continues to increase exerts a force within your eye’s interior that can damage the eye’s delicate optic nerve, causing glaucoma.
What Causes High Eye Pressure?
Elements that cause or are connected with ocular hypertension are virtually the like the causes of glaucoma. These consist of:
- Excessive aqueous production. The aqueous (or liquid humor) is a clear fluid that is produced in the eye by the ciliary body, a structure located behind the iris. The aqueous circulations through the student and fills the anterior chamber of the eye, which is the area between the iris and the cornea.
The liquid drains from the eye through a structure called the trabecular meshwork, in the periphery of the anterior chamber, where the cornea and iris fulfill. If the ciliary body produces excessive aqueous, the pressure in the eye increases, causing ocular hypertension.
- Insufficient liquid drainage. If the liquid drains pipes too gradually from the eye, interfering with the regular balance of production and drainage of the eye’s clear fluid, this too will cause high eye pressure.
- Certain medications can have the side effect of causing ocular hypertension in specific individuals. Steroid medicines used to treat asthma and other conditions have been shown to increase the risk for ocular hypertension.
Even steroid eye drops used after LASIK and other refractive surgery can cause high eye pressure in susceptible individuals. If you have been recommended steroid medications for any factor, seek advice from your optometrist to see how often you ought to have your IOP inspected.
- Eye injury. An injury to the eye can affect the balance of aqueous production and drain from the eye, possibly resulting in ocular hypertension.
Sometimes this can happen months or years after the injury. During your routine eye tests, be sure to mention to your doctor if you have actually experienced any eye trauma recently or in the past.
- Other eye conditions. Ocular hypertension has actually been connected with a variety of other eye conditions, including pseudoexfoliation syndrome, pigment dispersion syndrome and corneal arcus.
If you have any of these conditions, your eye doctor might recommend that you have more frequent eye exams and eye pressure measurements.
Also, race, age and family history contribute in your risk for ocular hypertension and glaucoma. Though anyone can establish high eye pressure, African-Americans, people over age 40, and people with a family history of ocular hypertension or glaucoma are at higher risk.
Individuals with thinner-than-normal central corneal density measurements likewise may be at higher risk of ocular hypertension and glaucoma, according to researchers.
Ocular Hypertension Treatment
If your optometrist discovers you have ocular hypertension, she or he might prescribe eye drops to reduce your eye pressure.
Since these medications can have side effects, some eye doctors opt to monitor your IOP and act just if you reveal other signs of developing glaucoma.
In many cases (or if eye drops are ineffective in reducing your IOP), your optometrist might recommend other glaucoma treatment measures, consisting of glaucoma surgery, to treat high eye pressure.
At a minimum, since of the increased risk for glaucoma with ocular hypertension, you need to have your IOP measured at advised periods to monitor the condition.