You are probably aware of the seriousness of glaucoma, but did you know that it is possible to have an elevated level of pressure in the eye without any symptoms? Ocular hypertension refers to the increase in pressure in an eye that is above normal, yet not high enough to cause detectable damage. This means that people with hypertension do not have glaucoma, but they are at higher risk for developing this degenerative disease. According to the American Optometric Association, ocular hypertension is most common in African Americans, people over the age of 40, and those with family histories of glaucoma and/or ocular hypertension.
In addition, people who have diabetes or are extremely nearsighted are at increased risk, as well. Although there are no outward signs of hypertension, eye doctors can check the pressure in patients’ eyes with a tonometry test. It is important to visit your optometrist regularly so he or she can continue to monitor the pressure in your eye and recommend treatment when necessary. In many cases, being vigilant can prevent you from developing a far more serious condition, like glaucoma.