What is it?

If you have ocular hypertension, the pressure inside your eyes, known as intraocular pressure (IOP) is above normal. High pressure in your eyes, if untreated, may lead to the onset of glaucoma or vision loss later in life.

Your eye pressure is measured in terms of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). In a normal eye, the pressure should be between 10 mm Hg and 21 mm Hg. If you have ocular hypertension, your eye pressure is anything over 21 mm Hg.

How does it happen?

There are quite a few different causes of ocular hypertension. These include the following:

  • Aqueous Production or Drainage: Your eye produces a clear liquid called aqueous. If your eye produces too much or this or it drains too slowly, your eye pressure may increase.
  • Eye conditions: Ocular hypertension tends to occur in eyes with existing conditions.
  • Eye trauma: Any injury or trauma to the eye can potentially throw it off balance and cause ocular hypertension.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as prescription eye drops or asthma medication, can lead to ocular hypertension.

What are the symptoms?

If you have ocular hypertension, you will not experience any symptoms or notice any signs of the condition.

What are my risk factors?

Genetics play a large role in the development and onset of ocular hypertension. If ocular hypertension and/or glaucoma run in your family, you may be at risk. Additionally, the following groups of people are at the highest risk of ocular hypertension:

  • People with diabetes
  • Anyone over the age of 40
  • African Americans
  • Anyone with myopia (nearsightedness)

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Your eye doctor can diagnose ocular hypertension during a routine eye exam. If you have a family history of the condition or a higher risk, it is important to schedule regular eye exams.

Ocular hypertension cannot be cured, but it is possible to lower eye pressure using prescription eye drops (only in some cases).

How can I prevent it from happening?

There is no way to prevent the condition from happening. However, with regular exams and treatment, you can lessen your risk of developing glaucoma or losing your sight.

If you think you may be at risk for developing ocular hypertension, contact us today.

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