Ocular hypertension

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

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. A doctor of optometry can check the pressure in the eyes with an instrument called a tonometer. A doctor of optometry can also examine the inner structures of the eyes to assess 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 eye 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.

Causes & risk factors

  • Increased fluid (aqueous) production in the eye.
  • Inadequate aqueous drainage.
  • Certain medications like steroids can increase risk.
  • Eye Trauma.
  • Risk factors—race, age and family history.


Ocular hypertension has no noticeable signs or symptoms. If the pressure is too high there may be pain on eye movement or touch.


Diagnosis is usually done by a doctor of optometry who will measure your eye pressure and compare it to normal.


  • Rx eye drops to reduce pressure.
  • Some doctors can monitor and take action if other signs of developing glaucoma.
  • Glaucoma Surgery eye drops are ineffective in reducing eye pressure.


Schedule routine comprehensive eye exams.

Find a Doctor of Optometry
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