What is Ocular Hypertension?

Ocular Hypertension means the pressure in your eye (or your intraocular pressure) is higher than considered normal. This term is used to distinguish people who need to be watched more closely than the general population, as increased pressure can lead to damaging the structure of your eyes and serious conditions that cause vision loss. Ocular Hypertension by itself is not considered a disease and is not sight threatening. However, if the pressure within the eye builds to the point where it damages the optic nerve, eyesight can be permanently damaged.

What causes Ocular Hypertension?

Ocular Hypertension is caused by an excessive buildup of fluid inside the eye. This fluid, or aqueous humor, nourishes the cornea, iris, and lens and maintains intraocular pressure. The typical eye produces fluid, which circulates and then drains out of the eye. If the drainage system becomes clogged or if too much fluid is produced, the pressure inside the eye can build up. The reasons for this are not fully understood.

Symptoms of Ocular Hypertension

Ocular Hypertension has no noticeable signs or symptoms

Ocular hypertension can occur in people of all ages, but it occurs more frequently in African Americans, those over age 40 and those with family histories of ocular hypertension and/or glaucoma. It is also more common in those who are very nearsighted or who have diabetes. There is an increased risk of glaucoma for patients with Ocular Hypertension, so regular comprehensive eye examinations are essential to your overall eye health.

How is Ocular Hypertension treated?

There is no cure for Ocular Hypertension; however, regular eye examinations, as well as careful monitoring and treatment, such as eye drops or laser, can decrease the risk of damage to your eyes.