What Causes Ocular Hypertension?

Ocular hypertension is a condition where the interior pressure of your eye is higher than what is considered normal. While some people who suffer from the affliction show no outward signs and maintain their vision, some people develop glaucoma and risk losing their vision. Knowing and understanding the causes of ocular hypertension may help you preserve your vision.


Source: monkeybusinessimages via iStock

Source: monkeybusinessimages via iStock


Causes of Ocular Hypertension

There are several factors that cause high eye pressure or contribute to the condition and they are closely related to the causes of glaucoma. The main cause of ocular hypertension is an imbalance of the clear fluid (aqueous humor) that flows through your pupil to the front chamber of your eye, between the colored portion (iris) of your eye and the cornea. When too much aqueous humor is produced, or the fluid is not able to drain as it should, the result is ocular hypertension. Other factors that may contribute are:


  • – Steroid medications taken orally or by eye drops may increase your eye pressure. If you have to take steroid medications, speak to your doctor about having your intraocular pressure (IOP) tested. Although steroids are most common to affect eye pressure, ask your physician or pharmacist if a higher IOP has been reported with any new medications.
  • – Eye injury or trauma such as an infection can increase the production of fluid or impair the drainage for you eye. If you have suffered either, the ocular hypertension may not be found immediately; it can appear months and even years later. Be sure your ophthalmologist is aware of any injury or trauma to your eyes.
  • – Cataract surgery and other eye diseases may cause increased pressure in your eyes. It is vital to have regularly scheduled with your eye care professional to monitor any conditions you may have.


Because ocular hypertension can lead to glaucoma, Optos would like to stress the importance of regular, comprehensive eye exams including optomap® to maintain your vision. While treatment is not always necessary, if it is required, early detection will provide you with the best possible outcome for your sight. Learn more about optomap and protecting your vision.