Understanding Ocular Hypertension

In normal settings, normal eye pressure has historically been considered a measurement of less than 21 mm Hg. An increase in eye pressure is referred to as ocular hypertension and can result to permanent vision loss if left untreated. Based on the recent Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, 4.5 to 9.4 percent of Americans age 40 and above have ocular hypertension to a certain degree.

comprehensive eye examsWhat causes ocular hypertension?
In a nutshell, the following factors influence the occurrence of ocular hypertension:

  • Too much aqueous production. The aqueous is a thin, transparent fluid produced by ciliary bodies, a structure found just behind the iris. It has multiple functions but it primarily balances the fluid pressure within the eyes and nourishes certain structures in the eyes.
  • Problems with aqueous drainage. The aqueous normally drains out of the eye via the trabecular meshworks and Schlemm’s canal. However, problems with these channels may lead to higher than normal levels of aqueous resulting to ocular hypertension.
  • Eye trauma or injury. Any form of trauma or injury to the eyes can possibly disrupt normal flow of aqueous production and lead to ocular hypertension. It’s not uncommon for ocular hypertension to occur years after injury.
  • Certain medications can increase eye pressure. Steroid eye drops are an excellent example.
  • Existing health conditions can have ocular hypertension as a symptom. These include corneal arcus and pigment dispersion syndrome.

The problem with ocular hypertension is that there could be no visible, outward signs that you have the condition. Often, a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to determine if you have ocular hypertension.

Call us at 330-305-2200 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today!

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