Intraocular pressure

Intraocular pressure (IOP) or ophthalmotonus is an important diagnostic criterion for the normal functioning of the eye. Inside it is a liquid that exerts the necessary pressure on the walls of the eyeball. This helps to maintain the shape of the eye, protect it from deformation. Also, this criterion ensures optimal blood circulation in the tissues of the eyeball. An increase in ophthalmotonus leads to a deterioration of vision and the development of various diseases.It is difficult to determine by external signs the change in eye pressure at the initial stages. This can only be done by an ophthalmologist using special equipment. Usually a person goes to a doctor when pathological changes have already occurred in the structures of the eyeball, and this has led to a persistent decrease in vision. In this article, we will look at why IOP changes when a doctor needs help, and how to keep your eyes healthy.

Why does eye pressure increase

Ophthalmotonus is not a constant. Its indicators depend on the time of day, age, and general well-being of a person. Also, eye pressure tends to increase with age. Therefore, after 40 years, you need to visit an ophthalmologist every year. But age-related changes are not the only reason why the pressure in the eyeball may change. Its increase may lead to:

  • persistent arterial or intracranial hypertension;
  • inflammatory eye diseases;
  • cardiovascular pathologies that lead to fluid retention in the body;
  • taking some medications;
  • constant strain and/or overwork of the eyes;
  • problems with blood vessels;
  • traumatic brain injuries;
  • congenital anatomical features of the eye structure;
  • menopause;
  • hereditary pathologies of the organs of vision.

An increase in intraocular pressure is observed in people who professionally play some types of wind instruments. Frequent consumption of strong tea or coffee can often cause high eye pressure, as caffeine affects the condition of blood vessels. Weightlifters and people suffering from chronic stress are also at risk.

What is the danger of increased intraocular pressure

A change in ophthalmotonus in one direction or another is a dangerous symptom that can cause vision loss.

With an increase in pressure, capillaries are squeezed, which leads to injury to some areas of the eyeball. Compression of the optic nerves causes deterioration of metabolic processes, as a result, the organ of vision does not receive the necessary nutrients. This leads to persistent and sometimes irreversible loss of vision due to atrophy of the eye. Often, high IOP becomes the cause of glaucoma.

No less dangerous is the decrease in ophthalmotonus. If compression of blood vessels is observed at high pressure, then at low pressure, the vitreous body is disrupted. This leads to a decrease and deformation of the eyeball, loss of vision. When signs of atrophy are detected, it is difficult to restore vision.

Sometimes a change in eye pressure is a symptom of other pathological changes in the body. For example, an increased IOP indicates problems with the cardiovascular system, and a low one indicates malfunctions in the liver.

Monitoring of eye pressure allows you to detect deviations from the norm in time. Timely and competent treatment helps to prevent the onset of negative consequences.

The norm of eye pressure

IOP is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The norm is pressure within the range of 10 to 20 mmHg. The average value among young people is from 15 to 16 mmHg. At the same time, small fluctuations are possible during the day. After 50 years, the pressure increases due to age-related changes in the body. Therefore, in old age, an indicator of up to 25 mmHg is considered normal.

In the morning, the highest indicators are observed, and in the evening the pressure decreases. Usually, the daily fluctuations do not exceed several units. In glaucoma, IOP fluctuations during the day are more significant, and amount to 5 or more mmHg.

The indicators of eye pressure are affected by hormonal changes — pregnancy, menstruation, menopause.

What is the norm of IOP should children have

In children, normal pressure indicators inside the eye are slightly lower than in adults. In newborns, it is about 9-11 mmHg. The older the child, the higher the intraocular pressure becomes. By the age of 4-5, the normal indicator is 13-14 mmHg. In adolescents, the norm is equal to adult indicators.

Persistent high blood pressure in children under 3 years of age leads to the development of hydrophthalmos or dropsy of the eye. In medicine, this pathology is called “congenital glaucoma”.

Note! In some people, a slight deviation from the norm is not a pathology, and does not have a negative effect on the structures of the organ of vision. But such patients are at risk, and are subject to regular examination by a doctor.

How to measure eye pressure

IOP is checked at an ophthalmologist’s appointment with a comprehensive vision check. After 40 years, an eye pressure test is mandatory. The following measurement methods are most common:

  • Pneumotonometry is a non-contact method of measurement using an air tonometer.
  • Electronography is the most modern method. It allows not only to find out the IOP, but also to determine the coefficient of outflow of intraocular fluid. The process takes 3-4 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia.

There are also contact tonometers for measuring IOP. At the same time, a touch to the cornea of the eye is required to obtain indicators. To obtain indicative indicators, palpation through closed eyelids is often used.

For people who are recommended to conduct a study of IOP in dynamics, special devices for home use have been developed. These are tonometers that measure pressure through the eyelids. With this method, anesthesia is not needed, since there is no direct contact with the eye.

Increased intraocular pressure: symptoms in adults and children

Many people perceive the symptoms of increased intraocular pressure as normal fatigue or fatigue. For a long time, a person does not consult a doctor until the pressure leads to pathological changes in the structure of the organ of vision. The following signs should alert:

  • Frequent pain in the eyes.
  • Decreased visual acuity.
  • Pain in the eyebrow area.
  • Feeling tired.
  • The appearance of flies, multicolored circles when looking at a lantern or lamp.
  • Lacrimation for no reason.
  • Dryness, the feeling of a foreign object in the eye.
  • Frequent change of glasses due to a sharp decrease in visual acuity.

When the increased pressure becomes persistent, it begins to negatively affect the structures of the organ of vision and the entire body. In this case, a person begins to worry about frequent headaches, nausea, dizziness. Often the first sign is a deterioration of lateral vision. When IOP changes, the eyes get tired faster, even with small loads. Here we can already talk about the development of glaucoma.

With any discomfort in the eyes, you need to visit an ophthalmologist. Only he will be able to pinpoint the cause and prescribe the necessary treatment. Independent attempts to eliminate pain and inflammation will only lead to a loss of time.

If the eye pressure is higher than normal: what to do

Therapy depends on what changes have occurred in the eyeball and how much it has suffered from increased pressure. If a person went to the doctor in time, when the pathological process did not affect the visual function, then special eye drops are used. They help the outflow of fluid, help reduce pressure on the optic nerves and blood vessels.

In this case, the doctor selects the drops individually. During treatment, IOP is monitored, visual acuity is checked. If the hypotensive effect is insufficient, then the remedy is replaced with another.

The following recommendations for restoring IOP are also recommended:

  • exercises for the eyes;
  • wearing glasses with special lenses;
  • reduce the time spent at the computer, TV.;
  • taking a vitamin complex.

If the cause is an infection or an inflammatory process, then antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. In the presence of arterial or cranial hypertension, the treatment of the underlying disease is carried out.

A positive result is observed with physiotherapy methods. ultraphonophoresis, vacuum massage, color pulse therapy have proven themselves well. These methods not only normalize intraocular pressure, but also help to preserve vision.

If conservative therapy does not help, as well as with the development of glaucoma, laser minimally invasive intervention is used.

Prevention of increased intraocular pressure

With small IOP deviations, a positive result can be obtained if the following recommendations are followed:

  • Enriching the diet with foods that are rich in omega-3, vitamins A, C and E.
  • Purchase a high-quality high-quality pillow that provides a raised head position during sleep.
  • Do regular exercises for the eyes.
  • Use safety glasses while working behind a computer or tablet monitor.
  • Properly organize the workload on the eyes. Take breaks every half hour.
  • Avoid excessive heavy sports.
  • Replace caffeinated drinks with herbal preparations with blueberries.
  • Don’t be nervous. To do this, learn to cope with stressful factors with the help of relaxation and sports.

Check your eyesight annually with an ophthalmologist. This is especially necessary to do in adulthood. Small changes in intraocular pressure occur imperceptibly, but they negatively affect the state of the visual apparatus. If you want to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear until old age, do not neglect ophthalmological examinations.

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