A rise in intraocular pressure, on its own, does not affect your vision. Then why is it that when a person is diagnosed with ocular hypertension, they are told to be wary of certain factors? Let us take a better look into this ‘pressure of the eye’.
Ocular hypertension (OHT), in simple words, means the pressure in the eye. By itself, it’s not a factor to worry about. However, people suffering from it are advised to be wary of being on the onset of glaucoma. As such, a generalized term is ‘glaucoma suspect’. They are the ones who are suspected (by the ophthalmologist) to have or develop glaucoma.
Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the situation of elevated pressure in the eyes. Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from a pressure of 10 – 21 mm hg. A person is diagnosed with OHT if his pressure exceeds 21 mm hg. The following is the definition:
“Ocular hypertension is an increase in the pressure in your eyes that is above the range considered normal with no detectable changes in vision or damage to the structure of your eyes.”
OHT can be transferred genetically. People suffering from acute near-sightedness are observed to develop this condition and people suffering from diabetes are relatively more prone to develop this medical condition. Surveys and research also suggests that this eye condition is very common among African-Americans. As such they are generally advised to be cautious about it, as it does transfer genetically. Elevated IOP can also occur due to inadequate drainage or excessive aqueous fluid production. Steroids and other similar medications can increase the IOP levels. Trauma has also shown tendencies to lead to a lofty IOP level.
This problem does not have any external symptoms. However, a person suffering from cataract can graduate to OHT if not treated. Some people also start seeing blind spots. Chronic headaches, blurred vision, severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting can be warning signs as well. Regular checkups with your ophthalmologist is the best option to prevent it. If you are 40 years or younger, you can perform your screenings every 3 – 5 years. For ones who are above the age of 40 or of African-American origin, screenings should be more often (like every 2 years). People who have other risk factors for glaucoma, screenings should be conducted at smaller intervals (like every year).
People suffering from glaucoma can lose their vision. Don’t you think it would be simpler to prevent OHT in the first place, and make sure you ‘see’ life better? Make adequate visits to your ophthalmologist or optometrist, share your ocular history in detail and make sure that nothing is omitted from the discussion. Previous ocular surgeries or treatments would play a very important role in your current ocular health. Make sure your ophthalmologist is aware of it (if any). All in all, be completely open to your ophthalmologist about your medications, lifestyles, work conditions, habits, etc. Prevention is better than cure, and much easier too!!