Ocular Hypertension: Causes And Treatments

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Eye Health For All Eye health is about more than the ability to see. It is also about maintaining a healthy pressure inside your eye. It's about making sure issues like ocular cancer are detected early so they can be treated. You rely on your eyes almost every minute of every day, so of course you want to take eye health seriously — every aspect of it. You can learn more about the breadth of eye care and the work of optometrists on this blog. Reading here is not a replacement for seeing your optometrist, but it can be a good way to boost your knowledge.



Ocular hypertension refers to high intraocular pressure behind your eyes. If not recognized and treated by your ophthalmology specialist, ocular hypertension may lead to glaucoma and eventual vision loss. Your ophthalmologist will determine if you are in immediate danger of developing glaucoma based upon your comprehensive eye examination. Here are some causes and treatments of ocular hypertension. 

Causes Of Ocular Hypertension

Certain medications can cause high eye pressure. They include corticosteroid medications used in the treatment of asthma, severe allergic reactions, pulmonary disease, and inflammatory conditions of the joints. Both oral corticosteroids and steroid eye drops can cause ocular hypertension in certain people.

Other medications that may cause ocular hypertension include those used in the management of Parkinson's disease, depression, anxiety, and allergies. Another cause of ocular hypertension is the production of too much eye fluid, known as aqueous humor.

When your eye produces too much aqueous humor, effective drainage may be impaired, and because of this, pressure may build up behind your eye. Eye injuries can also raise your risk for high eye pressure, even eye injuries that occurred years earlier. If you have a history of eye injuries, let your ophthalmology specialist know while he or she is examining your eyes.

Treatments For Ocular Hypertension

Your eye doctor will develop your treatment plan based on the underlying cause of your ocular hypertension. One of the most common treatments for high eye pressure is beta-blocker eye drops. They are used to treat glaucoma, but they are effective in lowering eye pressure regardless of the cause.

Other eye medications used to treat ocular hypertension include prostaglandins, alpha-adrenergic agonist drops, and miotic medications. While miotic eye drops are effective in treating eye pressure problems, they constrict your pupil, which may cause blurred vision for a little while after instilling them.

If your ocular hypertension is medication-induced, lowering the dosage or discontinuing the medication may help decrease your eye pressure. Never stop taking your medications until the prescribing physician has cleared you to do so.  

If you develop blurred vision, problems seeing out of the sides of your eyes, or eye pain, make an appointment with your eye doctor. After an eye examination and visual field test, the physician will determine if you have ocular hypertension. If so, an effective treatment plan will be developed based on the cause. For example, if you produce too much aqueous fluid, your doctor may put tiny tubes in your eyes to drain it.

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