As you may already know, Glaucoma is a complex eye condition – or more accurately a group of eye conditions – that can lead to permanent vision loss. What you may not know is that glaucoma typically stems from High Eye Pressure and resulting damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying visual signals to the brain.
Ocular Hypertension: High Eye Pressure without Optic Nerve Damage
Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and normal eye pressure falls between 12 and 21 mm Hg. Anything above 21 is considered high (ocular hypertension), increasing your risk for developing glaucoma. However, not all instances of high eye pressure result in glaucoma and vision loss. Currently, 4-7% of the United States population over the age of 40 is suffering from ocular hypertension – increased intraocular eye pressure (IOP) without optic nerve damage.
While these individuals may not have optic nerve damage or glaucoma right now, that doesn’t mean they cannot develop these issues down the road. Ocular hypertension is one of the leading risk factors of glaucoma. Up to 10 million Americans are estimated to suffer from high eye pressure, making them glaucoma suspects, and roughly 1% of these individuals will develop glaucoma.
It is important for people with ocular hypertension to receive regular examinations and visual field tests to check for signs of the onset of glaucoma. If not caught early and treated properly, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness. The good news: glaucoma can be managed and vision loss slowed or halted if detected early. In fact, treatment successfully preserves vision 95% of the time or more, especially when the condition is caught early.
Checking for High Eye Pressure
The Anne Arundel Eye Center, located in Annapolis, Maryland, is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles and staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
Dr. Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. They can help you too.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Boles, Dr. Kathryn Gurganus Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. You can also follow AAEC on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube for more eye care advice and information.
And don’t forget to take a look at our previous blog posts while you’re at it!