Eye Pressure Treatment: Everything You Need to Know About

Dinesh Patel
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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eye pressure treatment

Ocular Hypertension describes any condition in which the pressure inside the eye is higher than average. Eye pressure is also known as intraocular pressure.

It is speculated that Ocular Hypertension is not a disease in and of itself, but it can lead to Glaucoma.

According to National Eye Institute, between 3 and 6 million people in the US have elevated eye pressure. These people also are at an increased risk for developing open-angle Glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a severe disease that causes vision loss and, if untreated, can lead to blindness.

This condition is treatable but needs to be monitored. It is essential to get routine eye exams by a doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Fact
The pressure in the eyes is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from 12 to 21 mm Hg.

Treatment of High Eye Pressure

If left untreated high eye pressure can be a cause of Glaucoma. It can further lead to vision loss.

Current treatment guidelines from the American Academy of Ophthalmology do not specify a preferred procedure or medication for treating Glaucoma.

Ocular Hypertension is treated by lowering eye pressure.

Your doctor can prescribe eye drops, oral medications, laser therapy, or surgery. Your eye pressure treatment may even include a combination of these.

Eyedrops

Using Eye DropsSource: Elena_Golf_from_Getty_Images
Eye Drops

Prescription eye drops are generally the first step in treating eye pressure.

Some may reduce eye pressure by improving fluid drainage from the eye.

Others reduce the amount of fluid produced by your eye. You may be given more than one eye drop depending on how low your eye pressure needs to be.

Here is some eye drops your doctor may recommend for treating increased eye pressure:

Warning
Always follow your doctor’s prescription when undergoing treatment. To avoid the side effects of the medicine, do not self-medicate.

Prostaglandins

These increase the outflow of fluid from your eye, which aids in the reduction of eye pressure. 

Medicines like Latanoprost, Travoprost, Tafluprost, and Bimatoprost belong to this category.

Prostaglandins can cause side effects such as 

  • Mild reddening
  • Stinging
  • Darkening of the iris
  • Darkening of the pigment of the eyelashes and eyelid skin
  • Blurred vision 

They are generally prescribed for once-a-day use.

Beta-blockers

This group of eye drops helps to lower pressure by reducing fluid production in the eye. 

Timolol and Betaxolol are two such beta blockers your doctor may recommend.

Possible side effects of beta blockers are

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Impotence
  • Fatigue. 

Depending on your condition, you may have to use them once or twice daily.

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors

These eye pressure medicines reduce the amount of fluid produced in the eye. 

Some examples of Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are Dorzolamide and Brinzolamide

Some side effects of these medicines are frequent urination, metallic taste, and tingling in the fingers and toes. 

These medicines are generally recommended twice a day but can go up to three times. Check with your doctor for the correct dose and duration.

Rho kinase inhibitor

This medicine lowers eye pressure by suppressing the rho kinase enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the fluid increase. 

Netarsudil is an approved Rho kinase inhibitor. Possible side effects include eye redness and eye discomfort.

Miotic or cholinergic agents

These increase the outflow of fluid from your eye. Your doctor may recommend a cholinergic agent such as Pilocarpine.

Side effects of these agents include headache, eye ache, smaller pupils, possible blurred or dim vision, and nearsightedness. 

This class of medicine is usually prescribed to be used up to four times a day

Due to the risk of potential side effects and the need for frequent daily use, these medicines are not prescribed very often anymore.

Combination medicines

Your doctor may also use combinations of the above-mentioned eye drops for pressure treatment. Some examples of these combination eye drops are 

  • Dorzolamide and Timolol 
  • Latanoprost and Timolol 
  • Brimonidine and Timolol
  • Brinzolamide and Brimonidine
  • Netarsudil and Latanoprost

Your eye doctor will most likely schedule a follow-up appointment.

Furthermore, due to the increased risk of Glaucoma, check with your eye doctor every 1 to 2 years for an eye exam.

If your intraocular pressure is only elevated, your eye doctor may want to keep an eye on it without prescription eye drops. 

If it remains elevated or rises, they may prescribe prescription eye drops.

Checkout:
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Oral medications

Sometimes, using an eye drop alone is not enough to treat eye pressure. 

Your doctor may recommend oral medicine for eye pressure treatment based on the severity and health.

These medicines are usually Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors in a tablet form.  

Possible side effects of these medicines can include frequent urination, tingling in the fingers and toes, depression, upset stomach, and kidney stones.

Also read: Foods rich in magnesium, seeds, and nuts can also help lower eye pressure. To know all the foods that you can include in your diet, read, Foods to Reduce Eye Pressure: Optimize Your Eye Health.

Laser therapy

If you cannot tolerate eye drops, your doctor may recommend other eye pressure treatments, such as Laser therapy.

Also known as laser trabeculoplasty, doctors may recommend it in cases where the eye pressure medication has not shown any improvement.

Your doctor may even recommend laser therapy before using any eye drops for treating intraocular Hypertension. 

A small laser improves the tissue drainage where the cornea and the iris meet. 

Laser therapy can reduce eye pressure, but the duration of the lowered eye pressure may depend on your age, severity, and other medical conditions that may be present.

It may take a few weeks for the therapy results to become apparent. Many cases even require continued medicines the therapy.

Here are a few different surgeries that can help you reduce eye pressure:

laser eye surgerySource: bojanstory_from_Getty_Images
Laser eye surgery

Filtering surgery

It is a conventional surgery for treating eye pressure.

It lowers the intraocular pressure by creating an alternate path to drain aqueous humor from the eyes.

Many of these procedures involve lifting and replacing the conjunctiva, or transparent membranes on the eye’s surface. 

They act as a “filter,” or cover, over the new draining opening in the eye. 

This protects the eye and slows the outflow increase, which helps stabilize eye pressure.

Drainage implants

If the surgery has failed, your doctor may recommend drainage implants.

Implants like tubes, shunts, and other devices are placed in your eye to create a new drainage channel.

An implant device typically consists of a thin tube or solid filament connected to a small plastic “plate.”

The implant looks like a solid or flexible needle with a shallow dish at one end.

Possible side effects of this surgery include

  • Infection
  • Failure of the tube shunts
  • Other rare complications like intraocular bleeding and double vision

Additionally, suppose your eye pressure begins to rise, or other changes occur in your eye. In that case, you may need to undergo additional procedures.

Conclusion

Ocular Hypertension can cause optic nerve damage. As a result, people with high eye pressure may develop Glaucoma.

Because ocular Hypertension rarely causes symptoms, you may be unaware you have it.

Consult a doctor if you have symptoms. Getting timely eye pressure treatment can help you avoid vision loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best medicine for eye pressure?

Your doctor may recommend medicines like Bimatoprost and Latanoprost for treating high eye pressure. There are other medications available such as Betaxolol and Brinzolamide.

How can eye pressure be reduced?

Your eye doctor may recommend eye drops to lower eye pressure. There are various surgical options as well. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes to help fight the condition.

What is the best treatment for high eye pressure?

Depending on your condition, your doctor will recommend the best treatment. Doctors might recommend prescription eye drops or surgical procedures for treating your eye pressure.

Citations:
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