Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension is a condition where the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eyes is higher than normal. A normal pressure reading falls between 10 mm Hg and 21 mm Hg. Anything greater than 21 mm Hg is considered hypertensive. The increased pressure is caused by a problem in the drainage of fluid produced in the eye.

Symptoms of Ocular Hypertension

Patients with ocular hypertension typically exhibit no changes to their vision or damage within the eyes. No symptoms of glaucoma are present, and the optic nerve is unharmed. It is important to follow up with regular examinations, since those with ocular hypertension are more likely to develop glaucoma.

Risk Factors for Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension may strike at any age, but it is most common in people older than 40. Other individuals at higher risk for this condition include those with the following:

  • Inadequate flow of fluid in the eye
  • Eye injury
  • Complication of medication
  • Family history of hypertension or glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • African-American
  • Nearsightedness

Diagnosis of Ocular Hypertension

A diagnosis of ocular hypertension is made after the eye pressure is measured using a tonometer. In addition, visual acuity and peripheral vision tests will be performed to rule out glaucoma as the cause of high eye pressure.

Treatment of Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension requires regular monitoring of intraocular pressure during regularly scheduled appointments. Medication and laser treatments have been used as methods to increase outflow.

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