How is ocular hypertension treated?
It is not appropriate to treat all cases of ocular hypertension, but if the risk of the development of glaucoma is considered to be significant, the ophthalmologist may decide treatment is appropriate. If this is the case, the most usual type of treatment to be prescribed is eye drops that control the pressure within the eye (these are the same drugs that are used to control glaucoma) by either reducing the amount of watery fluid (aqueous) being produced by the eye (the ciliary body) or increasing the rate of drainage.
There have been major advances in these forms of treatments in recent years and eye drops are now more effective and have fewer side effects than those that were previously available.
What if my ocular hypertension cannot be fully controlled?
Ocular hypertension itself does not damage the vision, but if it develops into glaucoma then there is a very small risk to sight.
More than 90% of people diagnosed with glaucoma today will retain useful sight for life and if you have been diagnosed with ocular hypertension and have received the appropriate level of monitoring then any glaucoma will have been detected at a very early stage when little damage to the field of vision will have occurred.
At the point at which ocular hypertension has developed into glaucoma, the consideration of risk and benefit of treatment changes, and there are a number of treatment options available which would not normally be suggested for a person with ocular hypertension unless the level of the intraocular pressure were very high.
It would therefore still be reasonable to expect to retain useful sight for life, although the treatment and monitoring regime will inevitably change.