Ocular hypertension (OHT) is the name given to a healthy eye, with normal function, which has a consistently higher intraocular pressure (IOP) than the upper limit of normal. Mr Vik Sharma explains the importance of ocular hypertension and monitoring your eye pressure through eye checks.
What can cause ocular hypertension?
This eye condition can be related to genetics and can run in families. Persistent high IOP can cause glaucoma as well, so monitoring eye pressure is important. Other causes of high IOP include drugs (steroid use for example), or secondary causes such as inflammation within the eye.
What is considered normal eye pressure?
Eye pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), and normal eye pressure (IOP) is within the range of 10-21 mm Hg. People with above average eye pressure can be at risk from developing glaucoma.
What does it feel like to have ocular hypertension?
Having ocular hypertension is completely asymptomatic and no discomfort is usually felt. Hence, having regular eye health checks is really important as eye pressure can be monitored.
How is ocular hypertension treated?
Some people with ocular hypertension will only require observation only to ensure no damage is caused, or if they have a very high IOP (above 30 mm Hg). Eyedrops are often prescribed to help lower eye pressure. However, an alternative and safe treatment option is selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) which lowers eye pressure without the need to use eyedrops.
The laser has less side effects than most eyedrops and there is no downtime or immediate aftercare needed after SLT. SLT works by focusing the laser on the drainage tissue in the eyes, which results in improved drainage which over time reduces the IOP.
Am I at risk from ocular hypertension?
People with a family history of glaucoma or inflammatory diseases in the eye may be at risk from ocular hypertension. In addition, people on steroids should have regular IOP checks to ensure their eye pressure is not over the normal range.
If you would like to have an eye health check, make an appointment with a specialist.