Ocular hypertension or Intraocular pressure (IOP) is a condition in which your eye pressure gets higher than the average level. If left untreated, IOP can lead to glaucoma and permanent loss of vision. 3 to 6 million Americans are at risk of suffering from glaucoma due to high Eye pressure. Therefore you need to be well-informed about its causes, diagnosis and treatment.
Possible Causes of Ocular Hypertension
The steroid used in certain eye drops, asthma medicines, and medication for other chronic conditions can accelerate your eye pressure.
- Risk Factors
The risk factors for getting glaucoma because of ocular hypertension include:-
- Being more than 40 years of age
- Being from Hispanic or African American race
- Suffering from diabetes or hypertension or both
- Family history of intraocular pressure
- Inadequate Aqueous Production or Drainage
Aqueous is a clear fluid that is produced by the ciliary body in your eyes. Faster production of aqueous or its slow draining from eyes triggers IOP.
- Eye Trauma
Eye trauma can disturb the production of aqueous, which can lead to ocular hypertension. Be sure to mention if you had an eye injury or trauma in the past when you go for an eye test.
Ocular Hypertension Symptoms
Unfortunately, there are no recognizable symptoms of high eye pressure. You can be attentive if you identify with any of the risk factors or causes mentioned above. But only a diagnostic eye check-up can detect high eye pressure.
Schedule an appointment at InSight Vision Center for a comprehensive eye exam.
Eye Pressure Test & Diagnosis
The following types of diagnosis can be performed during your eye check-up to detect whether your eye pressure is normal or high:-
- Visual Field Testing
It is a risk assessment test that examines your peripheral vision through an automated visual field machine. Your case is considered high-risk if any vision defects are detected. This test is repeated every two months for high-risk patients.
- Optic Nerve Check
Photographs of the front surface of your optic nerve are taken to assess any damage. These photographs can be taken periodically for comparison and future reference.
In this test, your coronial thickness is checked via ultrasound. If your cornea is too thin, it can provide false low IOP reading. In contrast, a thicker cornea will give false high IOP reading.
- Visual Acuity
It’s a manual test of your vision by making you read an eye chart that is put at a certain distance. If needed, you are provided with vision-correcting glasses.
It is a test performed to check the openness of drainage angle of your eyes with the help of special contact lenses. Shallow or closed drainage angles can accelerate eye pressure.
In tonometry, your eye pressure is measured from inside the eyes to check if it is coming in the range of normal intraocular pressure or not.
- Front of the Eyes
All the front parts of the eyes, including the anterior chamber, cornea, lens and iris are tested using a microscope.
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
In OCT, light waves are used to take cross-section pictures of your retina to check for any abnormality.
Ocular Hypertension Treatment
- Closely Monitoring Intraocular Pressure
The eye doctors won’t start your medication at the first sign of high eye pressure. They will monitor it at regular intervals. You are at increased risk of developing glaucoma only if you frequently cross the normal eye pressure range by age.
- Eye Drops
Eye drops are the most common form of IOP treatment. Your doctor might call you for regular check-ups to see if the eye drops are working without any side effects.
If eye drops are not effective in treating your ocular hypertension, the doctor might prescribe surgery. But it is a risky treatment option. Thus your doctor will try all the alternate medicines before opting for laser or surgical solutions.
You can’t do much to prevent ocular hypertension. But you can indeed prevent it from progressing into glaucoma by going for regular eye check-ups. Book your slot at InSight Vision Center for a thorough eye check-up to detect all underlying eye health issues, including high eye pressure.