What Causes High Eye Pressure?

High Eye Pressure

High eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP), can be caused by various factors, and it is a significant risk factor for the development and progression of glaucoma. The eye continuously produces and drains a fluid called aqueous humor, and the balance between production and drainage helps maintain normal eye pressure. When this balance is disrupted, elevated eye pressure can occur. Here are common causes of high eye pressure:

  • Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma:
    • This is the most common form of glaucoma and occurs when the drainage angle of the eye becomes less efficient over time, leading to a gradual increase in eye pressure.
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma:
    • In this type of glaucoma, the drainage angle becomes blocked, preventing the outflow of aqueous humor and causing a sudden increase in eye pressure.
  • Ocular Hypertension:
    • Ocular hypertension refers to consistently elevated eye pressure without any signs of optic nerve damage or glaucoma. It is considered a risk factor for the development of glaucoma.
  • Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome:
    • This condition is characterized by the accumulation of flaky, white material on various eye structures, including the drainage system. It can lead to increased eye pressure and an increased risk of glaucoma.
  • Trauma to the Eye:
    • Injury or trauma to the eye, such as a blow to the eye or certain surgical procedures, can disrupt the normal drainage mechanisms and result in elevated eye pressure.
  • Eye Tumors:
    • Tumors within the eye, especially those that affect the drainage pathways, can lead to increased eye pressure.
  • Inflammatory Eye Conditions:
    • Certain inflammatory conditions, such as uveitis, can cause swelling and scarring of the eye’s drainage structures, leading to elevated eye pressure.
  • Certain Medications:
    • The prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, whether in the form of eye drops, pills, or injections, can increase eye pressure.
  • Vascular Disorders:
    • Diseases affecting blood vessels in the eye, such as central retinal vein occlusion, can disrupt the normal blood flow and drainage, resulting in elevated eye pressure.
  • Genetics:
    • There may be a genetic predisposition to elevated eye pressure and glaucoma. If there is a family history of glaucoma, individuals may have an increased risk.
  • Systemic Health Conditions:
    • Certain systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can affect the blood vessels and drainage system in the eyes.

It’s important to note that elevated eye pressure itself may not cause noticeable symptoms. Regular eye exams, especially for individuals at risk, are essential for the early detection of increased eye pressure and the development of glaucoma. Early intervention and management are crucial to prevent vision loss associated with glaucoma. If you have concerns about your eye health or risk factors for glaucoma, consult with an eye care professional for appropriate evaluation and guidance.

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