Ocular hypertension occurs when the pressure in your eyes is above the range considered normal with no detectable changes in vision or damage to the structure of your eyes. The term is used to distinguish people with elevated pressure from those with glaucoma, a serious eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
Ocular hypertension can occur in people of all ages, but it occurs more frequently in African Americans, people over age 40 and people with family histories of ocular hypertension and/or glaucoma. It is also more common in people who are very nearsighted or who have diabetes.
Ocular hypertension has no noticeable signs or symptoms. Your doctor of optometry can check the pressure in your eyes with an instrument called a tonometer. Your optometrist can also examine the inner structures of your eyes to assess your overall eye health.
Not all people with ocular hypertension will develop glaucoma. However, people with ocular hypertension have an increased risk of glaucoma. Therefore, if you have ocular hypertension, it is essential to have regular comprehensive optometric examinations.
There is no cure for ocular hypertension. However, with careful monitoring and treatment, when necessary, you can decrease the risk of damage to your eyes.