Increased eye pressure

Increased eye pressure means that the arterial pressure inside the eye is higher than normal.

If no appropriate therapy is carried out, consequences are possible:

However, some people may have increased intraocular pressure without developing damage to the eye or vision.
Scientists believe that increased eye pressure increases the likelihood of primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, by 10 to 15 times.

Measurement of eye pressure
Arterial eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
The optimal values are between a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 21 mmHg.
An eye pressure of 22 mmHg or more is considered elevated.
If the value is high, but the person does not suffer from glaucoma, it is only called ocular hypertension.


What are the causes of increased eye pressure?

  1. Excessive fluid production. The colorless fluid (aqueous humor) is formed by the ciliary body, a structure behind the iris in the eye.
    The fluid flows through the pupil and fills the anterior chamber of the eye, i.e. the space between the iris and the cornea.
    If the ciliary body produces too much fluid, the pressure in the eye increases, resulting in ocular hypertension.
  2. Insufficient drainage. If the fluid is released from the eye too slowly, the normal balance between production and drainage is disturbed and leads to an increase in intraocular pressure.
  3. Some medications can have the side effect of ocular hypertension in some people.
    Corticosteroids are medications used to treat asthma and other conditions. Scientific studies have shown an increase in the risk of ocular hypertension.
    Cortisone-containing eye drops that are used after laser surgery in the LASIK procedure or other refractory operations can lead to an increase in eye pressure in people predisposed to it.
    If cortisone preparations are prescribed for any reason, one should consult the ophthalmologist to determine with what frequency the eye pressure should be measured.
  4. Eye traumas. An injury can alter the balance of water production and drainage from the eye, thus leading to ocular hypertension.
    Sometimes this can happen months or years after an injury.
    During an eye exam, one should talk to the doctor about recent or more recent traumas.
  5. Children may have congenital changes in the eye, leading to increased eye pressure, a swollen and darker eye. This disorder is called buphthalmos.
  6. Other eye diseases. Ocular hypertension is associated with a number of other eye diseases, including pseudoexfoliation syndrome.

Risk factors for increased eye pressure:

Some possible causes of ocular hypertension include:

  • hypertension,
  • stress and anxiety,
  • some medications,
  • a diet with too much salt, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, red meat, alcohol and sugar,
  • eye injury,
  • smoking,
  • diabetes,
  • other eye diseases,
  • pregnancy,
  • Heart disease
  • overweight and obesity,
  • physical activity.

How to recognize increased eye pressure?

One cannot simply assume ocular hypertension, because there is none:

During a complete eye exam, the ophthalmologist measures intraocular pressure (IOP) and compares it to normal values.

Variations in pressure during the day
Eye pressure depends on:

  1. time of day,
  2. the head posture compared to the body (it is higher in the supine position than in standing or sitting).

The daily change in intraocular pressure depends on personal factors, but a healthy eye can vary between 2 and 6 mmHg.

The differences are greater with ocular hypertension or glaucoma.
The values of eye pressure are:

  • higher in the morning (between 8 and 11 am), especially right after walking;
  • During the day they sink and reach their minimum level at night (between midnight and 2 am).

However, this is only true for 80% of people, others may have higher values in the evening hours or reach two peaks a day.
If the control values are low in the evening, it is sufficient to measure the values in the morning.

Symptoms of increased eye pressure

As a rule, this disorder is asymptomatic (there are no symptoms), but in advanced stages, the following symptoms are possible:

  • Halos
  • blurred vision,
  • pain,
  • heavy eyes,
  • Headache
  • limitation of the field of vision,
  • intraocular pressure is increased and continues to increase.

Diagnosis and examination of eye pressure

An ophthalmologist performs tests to measure intraocular pressure and rule out primary or secondary open-angle glaucoma.

The ophthalmologist must examine the front part of the eyes:

  • Cornea
  • anterior chamber
  • Iris
  • Lens

To do this, he uses a special microscope, also known as a slit lamp.

How is eye pressure measured?

Tonometry is a method used to measure intraocular pressure.

You should measure both eyes at least 2 to 3 times.
Since intraocular pressure varies from hour to hour in each person, measurements can be taken at different times of the day (for example, morning and evening).
A pressure difference of 3 mmHg or more between the two eyes may indicate glaucoma.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is likely when intraocular pressure increases constantly.

Analysis of the optic nerve
Each optic nerve must be examined to see if there is any damage or abnormalities.
The examination is carried out with the pupil widened in order to better assess the optic nerves. The images of the fundus and optic disc (the anterior surface of the optic nerve) are kept to have a comparison in the future.

Pachimetry is an examination that measures corneal thickness using an ultrasound probe to determine the accuracy of intraocular pressure data.
A patient with a thin cornea may have false low pressure, while a thick cornea may have false high pressure data.

What to do? Therapy for increased eye pressure

The aim of the treatment is to reduce the pressure before it leads to vision loss.
Therapy is initiated when it is believed that the patient has an increased risk of developing glaucoma and when there are signs of optic nerve damage.
When the ophthalmologist decides to undergo therapy depends on the situation.
You can treat with medication or keep the patient under observation.

Some ophthalmologists always treat eye pressure with local medication if it exceeds 21 mmHg.
Some do not perform therapy as long as there is no noticeable damage to the optic nerve.

When is increased eye pressure cause for concern?

Most eye specialists recommend therapy if the eye pressure is constantly above 28-30 mmHg, because then there is an increased risk of optic nerve damage.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has established guidelines to help ophthalmologists evaluate the potential benefits of treating eye pressure.

The patient should immediately visit the emergency room if the following symptoms occur, which may indicate an acute attack of glaucoma:

  • Eyestrain
  • reddened eyes,
  • Headache
  • Vomiting.

Natural remedies and nutrition for increased eye pressure

A correct diet is the most effective way to treat diseases naturally, the best results show the following diets:

The blood type diet discourages:

  • cereals (especially if they contain gluten, such as wheat, spelt, barley, etc.),
  • Sweet
  • Rusks and pastries.

Depending on the blood type, certain foods are allowed to avoid others.

The vegan diet/raw food advocated by naturopaths and hygienists is based on fruits and raw vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables such as lettuce and chard.

Both diets recommend:

  1. Pulses
  2. Nuts and seeds (without exaggeration).

According to the blood group diet and hygienism, the following foods should be avoided:

  • Fried
  • smoked food,
  • Pork
  • Pizza
  • Dietary supplement
  • Meals
  • Chewing gum.

The cells produce free radicals as a byproduct of their normal cell activity.
Stress and environmental toxins such as tobacco smoke and radiation are other factors that lead to the generation of free radicals.

According to their structure, free radicals are unstable molecules that lack an electron (this is an element that forms the molecule).
To regain equilibrium, they try to take electrons from other molecules.
The problem is that other molecules, in order to function properly, cannot give up electrons. In this way, free radicals can damage the cells in which they are located.
The consequence is a possible development of various diseases, including:

  • Cancer
  • premature ageing,
  • formation of cataracts,
  • obesity,
  • mood swings,
  • Disturbances of memory.

Free radicals can cause damage to the nerve cell processes of the retina.

Antioxidants stabilize free radicals by making them less reactive and thus no longer able to cause disease.

Antioxidants that should be included in the diet are:

  • Vitamins A, C and E;
  • selenium,
  • Polyphenols, are found in many foods, including:
    – red wine, – pomegranate, – acai berries, – blueberries, – dark chocolate,

    – black and green tea.

  • anthocyanins (in blueberries),
  • lycopene (in tomato products),
  • lutein (in dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage),
  • Lignans (in linseed, linseed oil and some cereal grains).

Capsaicin, an active ingredient found in chilli, has been shown to dilate blood vessels and lower arterial blood pressure. The consumption of chili has led to an improvement in cardiac circulation in men.

When insulin levels in the blood increase, internal eye pressure also increases.
To keep insulin under control, eat less sugar and carbohydrates and follow a diabetes diet.
Regular physical exercise improves blood circulation and lowers insulin levels in the blood.

Read more: