• Ocular Hypertension Diagnosis and Treatment

    Reviewed By J Kevin McKinney MD
    Mar. 09, 2021

    Your ophthalmologist will measure the pressure in your eye. During this test, your eye is numbed with eyedrops. Your doctor uses an instrument called a tonometer to measure how your cornea resists slight pressure. This helps determine your eye pressure.

    Your ophthalmologist will also check for glaucoma. They will examine your optic nerve for signs of damage, and check your side (peripheral) vision.

    How is ocular hypertension treated?

    It is important to lower high eye pressure it before it causes vision loss or damage to the optic nerve.

    If your eye pressure is only slightly elevated, your ophthalmologist may decide not to start treatment right away. He or she will monitor pressure with regular testing instead.

    However, your ophthalmologist may decide that you need eye-drop medicine to lower your intraocular pressure. They will schedule a visit within several weeks of starting the medicine to see how it is working.

    Sometimes, your ophthalmologist may prescribe more than one medicine. It is important that you follow the directions exactly for the drops to work. Sometimes, laser or surgery is used to lower eye pressure.

    Treatment decreases your risk of glaucoma, but it does not eliminate the risk. Some patients with ocular hypertension may go on to develop glaucoma. If that happens, your ophthalmologist will talk with you about treatment options.

    If you have any questions, be sure to ask them. Your ophthalmologist is committed to protecting your sight.