Ocular hypertension

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Ocular hypertension
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 H40.0
ICD-9 365.04
DiseasesDB 5226
eMedicine oph/578
MeSH D009798

Ocular hypertension is a clinical term describing the presence of elevated intraocular pressure in the absence of optic nerve damage or visual field loss.[1][2]

For most individuals, the normal range of introcular pressure is between 10 mmHg and 21 mmHg.[3][4] Elevated intraocular pressure is an important risk factor for glaucoma. The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, a large, multicentered, randomized clinical trial, determined that topical ocular hypotensive medication delays or prevents the onset of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma.[5] Accordingly, most individuals with consistently elevated intraocular pressures of greater than 21mmHg, particularly if they have other risk factors, are treated in an effort to prevent vision loss from glaucoma.


The pressure within the eye is maintained by the balance between the fluid that enters the eye through the ciliary body and the fluid that exits the eye through the trabecular meshwork.


Ocular hypertension is treated with either medications or laser. Medications that lower intraocular pressure work by decreasing aqueous humor production and/or increasing aqueous humor outflow. Laser trabeculoplasty works by increasing outflow. Elevated intraocular pressure, whether from ocular hypertension or glaucoma, is not considered a valid indication for the medical use of marijuana due to a lack of efficacy.[6]


  1. ^ American Academy of Ophthalmology[dead link]
  2. ^ American Optometric Association - Ocular Hypertension
  3. ^ webMD - Tonometry
  4. ^ eMedicine - Glaucoma Overview
  5. ^ Kass, M.A. (2002). "The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study.". Arch Ophthalmol 120 (6): 701–713. 
  6. ^ Jampel, H (2010). "American Glaucoma Society Position Statement: Marijuana and the treatment of glaucoma". J Glaucoma 19 (2): 75. 

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