What is Normal Intraocular Pressure?

Intraocular pressure typically ranges from 5 to 21 mmHg, with an average around 15 mmHg. This pressure can fluctuate throughout the day due to various personal factors.

The Link Between Ocular Hypertension and Glaucoma

While ocular hypertension, a condition where intraocular pressure exceeds 21 mmHg, can increase the risk of glaucoma, it does not inevitably lead to this eye condition. The key determinant is whether there is damage to the optic nerve.

Individuals with ocular hypertension are often considered at risk for glaucoma and are advised to have regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist.

Recognising Symptoms and Causes

Symptom Recognition

In many cases, there are no noticeable symptoms of ocular hypertension. It is often identified through an increase in intraocular pressure beyond 21 mmHg during routine eye checks.

Common Causes and Risk Factors

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Age over 40
  • Thinner central corneas
  • High blood pressure
  • African-American or Hispanic heritage
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Severe myopia (short-sightedness)

Potential Complications of Ocular Hypertension (OHT)

Ocular hypertension is a significant risk factor for the development of glaucoma.

Diagnostic Procedures

  • Measurement of ocular pressure and examination of the optic disc by an ophthalmologist.
  • Computerized testing of the visual field.
  • Assessment of the retinal nerve fiber layer thickness around the optic disc using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).

Treatment Approach for Ocular Hypertension (OHT)

Ophthalmologists typically monitor patients regularly. In cases of extremely high pressure or elevated risk, immediate treatment may be initiated to prevent the onset of glaucoma.

Prevention and Regular Monitoring

Frequent check-ups with an ophthalmologist are crucial for assessing the risk of glaucoma and managing ocular hypertension effectively.