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My eye has pressure!?

October 22, 2017



Everyone understands what blood pressure is and why it is important. But less people understand eye pressure. It’s what your optometrist or eye surgeon measures with that machine that blows air into your unsuspecting and subsequently surprised eye. Unless you choose to dodge like Jennifer Aniston did as Rachel in the TV series Friends :)

The eye has a pressure because essentially it is like soccer ball filled with fluid. Depending on the amount of fluid and the rigidity of the outer wall, each eye will have a different eye pressure. The normal range is quite wide - 10 to 21 mmHg or millimeters of Mercury.

Here’s the point of eye pressure. Too low or too high is no good for your eye. Really high or really low can make you go blind. The tissue typically damaged is the optic nerve, which is like your tv cable.

Usually your eye pressure is measured as part of the screening for a disease called glaucoma. Glaucoma is a progressive loss of your optic nerve tissue which eventually causes blindness. Having a higher eye pressure makes you more at risk of having glaucoma. But here’s the catch- you can have glaucoma even with a normal or low eye pressure. It’s like you can have heart disease even if your blood pressure is normal or low - it’s just less likely.

So now you know why your optometrist or eye surgeon is always wanting to blow that puff of air into your eye. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind 😜 


* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. 

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