What Is Ocular Hypertension?

Eye pressure is expressed in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), the same unit of measurement used in weather barometers. While normal eye pressure has historically been considered a measurement of less than 21 mm Hg, this normal “normal” upper limit may vary in different populations.

Ocular hypertension is not the same as glaucoma, which is a disease of the eye often caused by high intraocular pressure. In people with ocular hypertension, the optic nerve appears normal and no signs of glaucoma are found during visual field testing, which tests side (peripheral) vision. However, people with ocular hypertension are considered “glaucoma suspects,” meaning they should be monitored closely by an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) to make sure that they do not develop glaucoma.

Intraocular pressure rises slowly with increasing age, just as glaucoma becomes more common as you get older. READ MORE

I have this. High eye pressure. Who ever heard of such a thing? I found this out last October, when I went to a local optometrist at JC Penny’s, to get some new glasses. For the record, my vision is mostly fine, my main problem has always been that I’m rather sensitive to light. On an average sunny day, I need to be wearing sunglasses, or else I can’t see properly. I also have to be on guard when driving at night, as sometimes the light from other cars’ headlights can be distracting to me, whether it’s ahead of me, coming from cars in the opposite lane, or right behind me, being reflected in my rear-view mirror. Plus I work in front of a computer all day long (& then spend most of my private time on my computer at home). So I wear glasses that have a slight vision prescription, but are mostly for protection against light and glare. I use transition lenses, the ones that are clear indoors and turn dark when I go outdoors.

So, anyway, I needed a new pair, and JC Pennys had a sale going on, so I went there. I’d needed a new pair for years, but kept putting it off because I’m also very sensitive about my eyes. I hate eye exams, especially when they’re flashing lights in my eyes, or having to dilate them with drops and blast that puff of air in them, etc. The last one I’d had about 5 years prior was brutal for me. By the time it was done, you’d think my mother had died, because of all the tears pouring down my eyes. Even just thinking about it now makes my eyes begin to water. And I can’t even imagine ever wearing contact lenses, having to put someone directly on my eyes every day. Frak that.

Well, the doctor told me that my eyes were mostly fine, although he did recommend that I get yearly eye exams from now on, saying that I’m getting to the age where that could start to change. But then near the end he gets more serious, saying that it looks like my eye pressure is high, and that I might want to consider going to an Ophthalmologist to get that checked out. I didn’t ask too many questions at the time, because I was getting nervous, with my worst case scenario brain already working in overdrive. I’m thinking I’m going to go blind, which is like one of my biggest nightmares (other than being buried alive, or become a paraplegic). So I just got my new glasses and left.

Finally, around the end of Dec. I went to an ophthalmologist, telling myself that I shouldn’t avoid this, because if someone is wrong, then the sooner it’s diagnosed, the better the odds are that they’ll be able to treat it, so don’t wait until it’s too late. So I found a place that’s right near my house, and I got checked out. But they had me come back three more times, for my tests. And I hate that. Again, it’s a matter of sticking my head in machines, while they flash lights in my eyes, and that’s after they put 3 different types of drops in each eye, its just very unpleasant. The last time they finally put me on medication. I’ve got prescription eye drops, which I have to put in my eyes every night before I go to sleep. This is for 3 months, and then I need to go back to the doctor to get tested again and see if it’s helped.

For someone like me, this is the worst type of treatment, having to do this. I’m hoping I’ll eventually get used to it, but today marks 3 weeks since I started, and it hasn’t happened yet. I just can’t get used to putting the nozzle that close to my eyes to get the drops in, but I have to, because the amount they gave me is really small. And it’s supposed to last a month, so I don’t want it to run out before it’s time for a refill, I figure it will work best if I don’t skip any days, but the truth is that most if the time when I try to put the drops in I miss the first time, and have to try again. So that’s a waste. Oh well, just gotta deal with it. But it sucks. I mean, I already have to deal with having Tinnitus, and now this too?!? I’m afraid to wonder what’s next?


  1. Noooooooo! I’m sorry J.R. Having just been through the eye exam process myself and the stress/unnerving feeling of it all I get where you are coming from. It’s hellish.

    My best to you.


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