What Is Intraocular Pressure & What Does It Mean?

Nov 17, 2022 | Optometry

What Is Intraocular Pressure & What Does It Mean?

The eye may seem like a simple organ because it only allows us to see, but many different interior parts work together to achieve that function. If any part of your eye is out of sync, it can create some issues. One factor you must keep an eye on is your eye’s intraocular pressure. Continue reading to learn what exactly intraocular pressure is and what it means.

Intraocular Pressure

Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the fluid pressure within your eye. Eyes are somewhat malleable, which helps when you blink, sleep, and relieve an itch. The IOP is the force that the fluid applies within your eye to maintain its shape. That pressure should be constant, but the fluid constantly changes throughout the day as it moves and replenishes. A good IOP range is between 10 and 21 mm Hg; anything higher can damage your eyes.

What Does It Mean?

This pressure helps keep your eye intact and functioning properly. Sometimes, the pressure can get out of hand. An IOP of around 27 mm Hg or higher typically leads to optic nerve damage, but some people experience higher pressures without any complications. This condition is called ocular hypertension.

A lower ocular pressure—ocular hypotony—can also be dangerous. A lower IOP increases the risk of conditions like cataracts and corneal swelling. It’s important to keep your IOP within a specific range, and regular checkups can help ensure that this is the case. Your ophthalmologist will most likely test your intraocular pressure with the Tono-Pen, which measures IOP more conveniently than the traditional Goldmann device. Individual Tono-Pen tip covers keep all ocular contact sanitary.

Preventative Measures and Treatments

An ophthalmologist can measure your IOP and determine the cause of abnormalities. They can also help with treatments to get you back to an appropriate IOP range. A high IOP is typically caused by the inability of the eye to drain fluid, which can lead to glaucoma. Doctors can prescribe different medications to lower your IOP but may also resort to laser treatments or surgery if necessary.

Conditions like this can be hereditary, so consult with your family to see if it is common for them. If it is, try to control your blood pressure, stay physically active, and avoid smoking. These changes can promote a healthy body and keep IOP issues at bay.

Each component of the eye is important, but intraocular pressure is one of the most impactful. Now that you know what it means, you can take steps to prevent this pressure from building or seek help from your eye doctor. Here at Automated Ophthalmics, we have all the ophthalmic supplies that eye doctors and surgeons could ever need to diagnose and treat these pressure buildups in your eyes properly!