In the healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous (pronounced AY-kwee-us) humor circulates inside the front portion of your eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, your eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount of this fluid flows out of your eye.
The fluid flows out through a very tiny drain called the trabecular meshwork, a complex network of cells and tissue in an area called the drainage angle. If the aqueous humor does not flow through the trabecular meshwork properly, fluid pressure in the eye builds up, causing ocular hypertension. Ocular hypertension may also result if the eye produces too much aqueous humor.
Injury to the eye can cause ocular hypertension, as can certain eye diseases. Certain medications (such as steroids) are also a potential cause for ocular hypertension.
While anyone can develop ocular hypertension, the following people are at greatest risk for this condition:
- People with a family history of ocular hypertension or glaucoma
- People with diabetes
- People over age 40
- People of African-American descent
- People who are very myopic (nearsighted)
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