What causes ocular hypertension?
The fluid at the front of the eye is called aqueous humour, which supplies nutrients as well as taking away any waste. Eye pressure (intraocular pressure) is controlled by a balance between the amount of this fluid produced, and its drainage out of the eye.
Most cases of ocular hypertension are caused by a restriction or blockage in the drainage channels. So the fluid continues to replenish but is unable to properly drain away, causing the pressure to build up within the eye.
Risk factors of ocular hypertension
Anyone can develop ocular hypertension, but there are several factors that could increase the risk of getting the condition:
- A family history of ocular hypertension or glaucoma
- Age – chances are greater as we get older
- Ethnicity – you’re more likely to develop this condition if you are from African-Caribbean descent
- Very high myopia (short-sightedness)
- Certain medications have side effects that raise eye pressure in some people
- Eye injuries, even years after they happen, can affect your intraocular pressure
What help is available?
Unfortunately, ocular hypertension cannot be prevented, but it can be treated. The most common treatment is the use of eye drops to help reduce eye pressure.
For the vast majority of people, ocular hypertension will not cause any problems, but around 10% will develop glaucoma over time. For those with a higher chance of developing glaucoma, daily eye drops can be prescribed to reduce the eye pressure and halve the risk of glaucoma occurring.
It’s important that you have regular eye tests so that we can monitor your eye pressure and spot the signs of glaucoma starting to develop. Treatment for glaucoma is most effective when it is caught early.
Did you know an eye test could save your life?
For some of our customers, an appointment with Specsavers has not only saved their vision but in some cases it has saved their lives.
We’re working with the National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI) to defend the nation against avoidable sight loss, and support those with eyesight difficulties.