Ocular Hypertension: The 3 Most Common Causes Of Increased Eye Pressure

Posted on

It is estimated that up to 9 percent of older Americans have ocular hypertension, leaving them at risk for glaucoma and vision loss. Unfortunately, most people with ocular hypertension don't have any symptoms. The condition is usually diagnosed at a routine eye examination with a test called an eye pressure test. During the test, an eye care practitioner directs a puff of air directly at the eye in order to measure the eye's internal pressure. High pressure readings are indicative of ocular hypertension. 

There are several things that can cause ocular hypertension. Following are three of the most common causes of the condition. 


Your eye contains a clear fluid that is continually produced by the ciliary body, which is located just behind the iris of your eye. Excess fluid drains from the eye through another structure located next to the cornea. An increase in the amount of fluid in the eye can cause intense pressure within the eye. Fluid buildup can occur for a couple of different reasons. If the ciliary body produces too much fluid or if the fluid is unable to drain properly, pressure continues to build within the eye until the issue is dealt with. The main treatment for ocular hypertension is eye drops. Rarely, surgery may be an option.


Certain medications, especially steroids, can cause ocular hypertension. It has been found that steroids can cause changes in the structural trabecular, the structure responsible for fluid drainage. Medications may also affect the way that fluid drains, resulting in an increase of eye pressure. Fortunately, ocular hypertension caused by medications usually goes away after the medications are stopped. However, if the optic nerve suffered irreversible damage due to the high pressure, some vision loss may continue. 


Ocular hypertension may occur after trauma and open-globe eye injuries. Such injuries can damage the drainage structure in the eye as well as other vital eye structures, including the lens, cornea and iris. Inflammation in these structures can disrupt or block fluid drainage, resulting in increased pressure. Hypertension caused by trauma is usually treated with surgery that's performed to reconfigure or reconstruct the eye structures. 

Since ocular hypertension does not usually cause any symptoms, it's vital that you have your eyes checked regularly. If you are under the age of 40, you should have your eye pressure checked every three to five years. If you are over the age of 40 or at an increased risk for ocular hypertension, you should have your pressure checked more often. To find out more about the eyes, contact a business like Atlantic Eye Consultant PC - Delianides Aris P MD.