Ophthalmic advices:Intraocular pressure

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The intraocular pressure is the pressure exerted by fluid within the eye, may be related to the glaucoma. The eye has a liquid content that exerts a force against the wall of the eye and maintains the ocular structure and tone. The balance between production and reabsorption of ocular fluid determines the level of pressure. High intraocular pressure does not mean that the eye has glaucoma but it is the main risk factor for the progression of damage in the optic nerve.

It is very important to measure the pressure in an eye examination, the most common way of doing so is by tonometry. Applanation tonometry is a device depresses cornea and the resistance exerted by the eye pressure determined in units of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). For taking the measure fluorescein and anesthetic level of the cornea is placed. The operation is simple and convenient. The ocular pressure normally varies between 12 and 22 mm Hg, and more than 22 mm Hg pressure is considered high.

The high eye pressure, above 21 mm Hg, the eye does not mean you have glaucoma but it is the main risk factor. There are few reliable figures below which there is no danger of glaucoma appears. Even some patients can have figures intraocular pressure within normal parameters and still glaucoma. It is important to control for changes that would indicate the onset of a glaucoma. Half of patients with glaucoma have high eye pressure when examined first. Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma allows the best results.


The cause of eye pressure is the presence of liquid inside. In the back of the eye in contact with the retina is a gelatinous fluid (vitreous). In the front of the eye, between the cornea and the lens is a liquid (aqueous humor) that is constantly changing. The aqueous humor is renewed with continuous production and resorption while maintaining balanced pressure. Intraocular pressure may rise if excess production occurs or decreases reabsorption.


Discomfort not presented ocular pressure, appear only if they relate to glaucoma in advanced stages. Glaucoma develops without discomfort and illness slowly progresses until the damage is severe and irreversible. It is a silent disease. Half of the patients with glaucoma do not know they have it. The damage to the optic nerve caused by glaucoma causes decreased field of vision from the periphery to the center. The vision is found only in a shrinking middle, as if it were a vision in a tunnel. You can experience loss of vision and in severe cases even blindness. The quality of life of patients may be affected by the reduced visual field causing such an unsafe walk with increased risk of falls. If diagnosis and treatment are made on time can avoid the major limitations and can maintain vision.


The diagnosis is made on a complete eye examination, which is important in measuring intraocular pressure by applanation tonometry. Early diagnosis of glaucoma is essential to prevent its progress and it is important to measure the intraocular pressure control and monitoring.


The treatment of glaucoma is aimed at lowering eye pressure individually to stop the progression of the disease and help protect vision. The pressure treatment is indicated when it is suspected or diagnosed with glaucoma. The treatment must be considered in each patient and given time, using drugs in drops, laser or glaucoma surgery and sometimes in conjunction with the cataract surgery.

  • Medical treatment includes different drops to decrease the production of fluid or facilitate its reabsorption. The drops must be applied so as the pattern indicated maintained all the time. Improper application can reduce the effects of treatment.
  • The surgical treatment of glaucoma surgery, which facilitates drainage and removal of the liquid. Sometimes it is necessary to maintain a treatment with drops.

The response to treatment depends on the degree, type and duration of changes in glaucoma. Glaucoma is a chronic disease and has to monitor for life. The pressure must be assessed according to each eye every time.