The front part of our eyes contains fluid. When these fluids do not drain from your eyes as they should, pressure can build up in the eyes. Therefore, ocular hypertension results from having a higher-than-normal pressure inside your eyes. Ocular hypertension usually results in eye conditions, such as glaucoma. This is why having regular eye examinations are crucial.
Table of Contents
This post will look at ocular hypertension, what it means, what causes it, how you can treat it, and ocular hypertension natural remedies.
What is Ocular Hypertension?
Ocular hypertension occurs when the pressure inside your eyes, known as the intraocular pressure, becomes too elevated, and there are no signs of glaucomatous damage. Ocular hypertension can affect one or both eyes.
The intraocular pressure is normal if it is between 11 and 21 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
A person most likely has intraocular hypertension when:
- The pressure of the intraocular consistently elevates above 21 millimeters of mercury
- There is no visible presence of clinical signs of glaucoma, such as reduced field of vision or optic nerve damage
Because ocular hypertension can damage the optic nerve, having elevated pressure within your eyes can increase your chance of developing glaucoma. However, not everyone suffering from ocular hypertension ends up having glaucoma or ending up blind.
Meaning of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a medical and optical condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged. As this damage continues over time, it can lead to loss of vision. While the cause of glaucoma is relatively mysterious, people with the condition have high eye pressure. In fact, introducing treatments that reduce intraocular pressure can help prevent the progression of glaucoma.
Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some people are more prone to the condition. You may be susceptible to glaucoma if you:
- Are over 40 years old and are Hispanic or Black
- Are above 60 years old
- Have one or more family members with a history of the condition
Cause of Ocular Hypertension
There is a fluid known as the aqueous humor in the front of your eye. This fluid helps nourish the eye’s tissues and helps your eye maintain its shape. Because your eyes constantly produce aqueous humor, the fluid must drain out of the eyes. This occurs at an area of the eye known as the drainage angle. This drainage system helps maintain eye pressure by avoiding the buildup of aqueous humor. However, when the aqueous humor cannot drain properly, it starts accumulating in the eye, increasing the eye’s pressure and ultimately resulting in ocular hypertension.
Risk Factors for Ocular Hypertension
Anyone is prone to having ocular hypertension. However, you are at an increased risk of the condition if you:
- have some eye conditions, such as pigment dispersion syndrome, nearsightedness, and pseudoexfoliation syndrome
- have taken long-term steroid medications
- have had an eye injury or surgery in the past
- are Hispanic or Black
- are above 40 years old
- have a family history of ocular hypertension
- have diabetes or a high blood pressure
Signs and Symptoms of Ocular Hypertension
Most people with ocular hypertension do not exhibit any symptoms. Because of this, seeking regular eye examination with an ophthalmologist is essential in ruling out any destruction of the optic nerve due to high pressure.
When Should You Seek Medical Care for Ocular Hypertension?
It is highly crucial to regularly have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist for primary open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Regular eye examinations are particularly critical for those at high risks, such as elderly and black persons.
- Screening should occur at least every three to five years for those aged 40 years and younger without any noticeable symptoms.
- Screening should be more often for people older than 40, and they are black.
- For those with multiple risk factors for glaucoma, monitoring/evaluation should occur more frequently.
Your first visit to the ophthalmologist is crucial for evaluating ocular hypertension to identify glaucoma or other ocular diseases that could be causing secondary glaucoma (or intraocular pressure).
In your visit, the eye doctor will ask you questions regarding the following:
- Past ocular history
- Previous eye surgery, eye disease, or eye/head trauma
- Multicolored halos
- Redness or eye pain
- Past illnesses or surgeries
- Strong risk factors for damage of the optic nerve as a result of glaucoma
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Family history of glaucoma
- African American descent
- Advanced age, especially people above 50 years old
- History of elevated intraocular pressure
- Current medications (Some medications are indirectly responsible for changes in intraocular pressure)
- Possible risk factors for damage of the optic nerve as a result of glaucoma
- Vasospasm (a constriction or spasm of the blood vessels)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Migraine headache
- Heart disease
- Other possible risk factors
- History of anxiety or stress
- Alcohol use
Questions You Can Ask the Doctor about Ocular Hypertension
- How often should I undergo follow-up examinations of my eyes?
- Is treatment necessary?
- Do I have normal peripheral vision?
- Does my examination reveal any optic nerve abnormality?
- Do my eyes exhibit any sign of internal damage resulting from injury?
- Is my eye pressure elevated?
Can One Prevent Ocular Hypertension?
It is hard to prevent ocular hypertension, but you can control its progression to glaucoma with regular eye checkups and examinations.
Depending on the level of intraocular pressure control and the amount of optic nerve damage, people with ocular hypertension may need observations and examinations every two months or yearly. The examinations may come sooner if there is no proper control of the pressure.
People with elevated intraocular pressure with normal visual field testing results and normal-looking optic nerves should be concerned about the chance of developing glaucoma. The same applies to people with normal intraocular pressure but suspicious-looking visual field testing results and optic nerves. These people are at an elevated risk for glaucoma and should give themselves up for close observation.
12 Ocular Hypertension Natural remedies
Glaucoma is the most significant cause of blindness in people above 60 years old, and glaucoma is often a result of ocular hypertension. However, you can manage ocular hypertension and treat it to prevent vision loss in the long run. Ocular hypertension natural remedies can help with your overall visual health, and they aid in managing or preventing glaucoma when used with other medical treatments your ophthalmologist has provided. The following include some of the most common ocular hypertension natural remedies:
1. Adjust Your Diet
Because ocular hypertension is common in people with diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure, controlling these risk factors is crucial – and you can do this simply with some diet changes. Patients with ocular hypertension should avoid salt intake, reduce sugar intake, and consume a healthy diet, such as fish, lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, and grains.
Exercise can further help reduce the risk factors that come with ocular hypertension. Therefore, you should exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, three to five times per week. However, it is also crucial that you avoid such exercises that require your head to be downward because this position can increase pressure.
Relaxation Exercises to Manage Ocular Hypertension
Here are some techniques you can employ if you want to reduce eye pressure:
- First, blink every three to four seconds, especially when staring at a screen.
- Cover an eyelid with the palm of your hand and blink frequently. Make sure that your hand is not adding more pressure to the eye.
- Use your eyes to trace an imaginary figure eight. Just imagine that the number is directly in front of you and move your eyes in a figure-eight pattern.
- Focus on both near and faraway objects. For example, place your thumb about ten inches away from your face and focus your attention on it for 10 seconds.
- Switch your attention to something that is far away for 10 seconds. Then repeat the process by returning to the near object first.
Practicing these relaxation techniques and eye exercises will help you manage your ocular hypertension better.
3. Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are often available in processed foods, preventing omega-3s from working correctly. This prevention can be problematic because omega-3s can help in improving ocular hypertension. Besides processed food, trans fats are also available in ground beef, microwavable foods, and ice cream.
4. Eat Foods High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants can fight off free radical damage and oxidative stress that can trigger internal damage, especially to your vision. Excellent sources of antioxidants include pomegranates, grape seed extract, and colored berries.
5. Use Medical Marijuana (Where it is Legal)
Medically-graded and prescribed marijuana can help treat ocular hypertension, and the marijuana does not result in psychotropic effects, as opposed to raw marijuana.
6. Keep Hydrated
Staying adequately hydrated can help reduce the pressure in the eye throughout the day. However, avoid drinking large amounts of water at once because that may increase pressure. Instead, take frequent sips rather than voluminous gulps.
7. Reduce Stress
Stress can raise your ocular pressure as much as it can raise your blood pressure. Therefore, reducing stress is an excellent remedy for decreasing ocular pressure.
8. Limit the Consumption of Caffeine
Coffee can raise blood pressure because it is a stimulant. Therefore, decreasing the rate at which you take caffeinated foods and beverages can go a long way in reducing ocular pressure.
9. Lower Insulin Level
If your insulin level is high, the pressure within your eye also increases. At this point, your body becomes resistant to insulin. This condition is common among people suffering from obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Therefore, you should avoid sugar and grains along with potatoes, bread, pasta, and rice.
10. Identify and Avoid Food Allergens
You may be at risk of having ocular hypertension or glaucoma if you have food allergies. Consult your ophthalmologist or eye physician to recommend supplement foods against ones that cause allergic reactions. Generally, corn, wheat, dairy, and soy can cause allergies.
11. Avoid Saturated Fats
Foods that contain high saturated fats should be on the list of the things you should avoid. These foods do not only increase your risk of developing glaucoma from your ocular hypertension, but they also increase a person’s weight, which may lead to obesity, which is one of the causes of ocular hypertension. Foods with saturated fat include fatty cuts of red meats, such as lamb, pork, or beef. You should also limit your excessive use of butter, shortening, or lard. You can use olive oil for cooking in place of these fats.
12. Find Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates can raise the insulin level of the body, but that does not mean that you should totally stop taking carbohydrates, for you need them to function properly. So, all you have to ensure is that you consume carbohydrates that are complex. The more complex the carbohydrate is, the less the chance of your insulin level to increase. Foods like vegetables and beans have a rich amount of complex carbohydrates. You can supplement these for simple carbohydrates available in foods like:
- Simple sugars
- Baked goods
The ocular hypertension natural remedies provided above are some of the things you need for maintaining healthy eyesight. The eye is a crucial part of a person’s existence. Indeed, it is the most important organ of the body, so keeping it healthy and safe is what everyone should do. You must take all precautionary measures that will help you lead a better and healthy life.
Because ocular hypertension does not usually have any visible symptoms, you may not know that you have it. So, you should get routine eye examinations to help identify the condition early for the ocular hypertension natural remedies to work more effectively.
What are the Best Supplements to Overcome Ocular Hypertension?
Leafy Vegetables, Carotenoids, Vitamin A and C, Omega Fatty Acid rich supplements like Salmon fish, Tuna fish, Red berries, Kiwi, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Spinach, Orange, Grapes, etc., are some of the best supplements that help overcome Ocular Hypertension.
What are the Symptoms of Ocular Hypertension?
Pain in and around the eyes, Nausea, Vomiting, etc., are a few common symptoms of Ocular Hypertension.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.