Ocular hypertension

Ocular hypertension symptoms and diagnosis

Ocular hypertension doesn’t actually have any symptoms¹, so you may not realise you have the condition for a while. However, if it develops into glaucoma, you may notice symptoms such as blurred vision, loss of vision around the edges of your visual field, or eye pain.⁴

Regular eye tests can help detect issues like ocular hypertension. During your eye exam, the optometrist can measure the pressure in your eyes, either by blowing a small puff of air into your eye⁶, or by using a small probe that will touch your eye. These instruments are called tonometers. They press against your eyeball to see how well your cornea pushes back.⁶ We may also shine a bright light called a slit lamp into your eye to help us look at the back of your eye or take a picture or OCT scan of it.²

If you’re at risk of developing glaucoma, your optometrist may check your peripheral vision by showing you dots of light around the edges of your visual field and asking you to press a button when you can see them.³

Ocular hypertension treatment

You shouldn’t ignore ocular hypertension, because it can develop into glaucoma, which is more serious.¹ However, only about 1 in 10 people with ocular hypertension actually go on to develop glaucoma.

If you’ve been diagnosed with ocular hypertension, your optometrist will check your eyes regularly to make sure you’re not developing glaucoma. This means that if you do start to develop glaucoma, they can spot it early and treat it more effectively.

If the pressure in your eyes is very high, or if you’re at high risk of developing glaucoma, you may be prescribed eye drops by a specialist to help lower the pressure in your eyes.¹ They may also refer you for laser surgery to improve the drainage in your eyes.