Nov 20, 2021
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Eye pressure

Eye pressure

Most of us more or less accurately call the working numbers of our blood pressure, but they have no idea about the value of the intraocular pressure.

And it would be worth asking! After all, the first can exceed the norm for 6-8 hours a day during excitement or during physical activity, and the second should not jump under any circumstances. If it has increased even for a minute, it is already a diagnosis – glaucoma.


Do you watch TV shows all day? Have you mastered the computer and write letters to relatives? Keep in mind: Email is not the same as transferring your thoughts onto paper by hand.

Scientists examined two groups of elderly people who performed the same amount of visual work. The first were armed with ballpoint pens and paper, and the second were put at computers. And what turned out to be? Those who worked the old-fashioned way had 8% higher efficiency, and visual fatigue and intraocular pressure (IOP) were 11-18% lower than those who used technological advances …

Each of the eyes has a perfectly transparent lens – a crystalline lens. It consists of biological tissue, which must feed on something, but it is impossible to penetrate it with vessels, like a heart or a liver: then it will lose its transparency! Therefore, nature went to the trick: she arranged inside the eye something like two pools – the so-called eye chambers. The anterior one is located between the cornea and the iris, and the posterior one is between the iris and the lens. These chambers are filled with liquid, which circulates continuously, washing the lens and delivering to it everything necessary for its life. Waste products are removed from the eye chambers through the system of tubules and veins and enter the bloodstream. The eye chambers are very narrow, they only hold 2 ml of liquid, so the amount of moisture that washes the eye from the inside must remain unchanged. This is necessary to maintain a stable IOP within the physiologically acceptable range – from 9 to 22 mm Hg.

If moisture begins to stagnate in the eye, and the pressure rises, we are talking about glaucoma! And her jokes are bad. This disease occupies one of the first places among the causes of blindness and visual disability. If someone in your family has had such a diagnosis, there is a high probability of continuing the family tradition. Patients with diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis, as well as all those who sit at the screen for a long time, are also at risk. All of them must undergo a preventive examination by an ophthalmologist 2-3 times a year with the obligatory measurement of intraocular pressure.


Oculists denote the pressure level in Latin letters: A – normal, B – moderately high (up to 33 mm Hg), C – high (more than 33 mm Hg).

If the intraocular moisture does not flow out actively enough, the situation is about the same as in a clogged shell. In this case, the diagnosis sounds like this: “open-angle form of glaucoma.” The tubules seem to be open for outflow, but not completely – something is still hindering him.

This type of eye ailment is called silent glaucoma, because it progresses slowly and imperceptibly: 70% of those who develop this disease do not suspect anything for a long time. Only sometimes in the morning the vision gets a little blurred, but once you wash, dress, move a little, and the fog dissipates. Sometimes, when looking at a lamp or lantern, iridescent circles blur before the eyes. But as soon as you look away, they disappear.

* Pay attention to these alarms! These are early symptoms of developing glaucoma and a reason to immediately consult an ophthalmologist. Do not wait when, gradually narrowing your peripheral vision, silent glaucoma makes you look at the world through a keyhole, and then closes this tiny hole forever. In this case, there will be no way back to good vision!


If the outflow of intraocular fluid is completely blocked, it is a closed-angle form of glaucoma.

She declares herself with an attack of sharp pain in the eyes, spreading to the forehead and temple. Sometimes even the heart and stomach begin to ache, nausea and vomiting appear. Such an attack resembles food poisoning, but its characteristic feature is a sharp decrease in vision: everything is covered with a thick fog. At the same time, the eye hardens, the sclera turns red, the cornea becomes dull, and the pupil dilates and turns slightly green. Because of this unusual shade, the disease got its name in the time of Hippocrates: “glaucoma” in Greek means “green water”.

The attack may be mild, and the pain is quite bearable, dull. But each such episode leaves indelible marks in the tissues of the eye – new adhesions appear, which increasingly impede the outflow of fluid. Each time it flows out worse and worse, intraocular pressure increases, and as a result, the cells of the retina and the optic nerve gradually fail. The pressure inside the eye can still be normalized with the help of drugs, but pathological changes in the rods, cones and fibers of the optic nerve are irreversible. Like brain cells – neurons, they die once and for all and are no longer restored. This must not be allowed!


• Rainbow circles when looking at a lamp, lantern, moon?

• Fog or haze in one or both eyes upon awakening (and some time later the clarity of vision is restored)?

• Feeling of heaviness and fullness in the eyeball?

If you find that you have at least one of these symptoms, tell your optometrist and ask him to measure your intraocular pressure.


• Use eye drops prescribed by your optometrist. If they are short-acting (like pilocarpine), repeat the procedure 3-4 times every 15-20 minutes, and then every hour. If long-term (such as timolol or betaxolol), keep in mind that they can only be used once at the very beginning of the attack.

• Drink a strong cup of green tea to flush excess moisture from the eyeball. The same effect is possessed by infusions of diuretic herbs – bear ears, kidney tea, lingonberry leaf, field horsetail, currant and mint leaves. You can take any diuretic that is in the medicine cabinet (furosemide, veroshpiron, triampur).

• Take a solution of magnesium sulfate, which removes excess fluid from the eyeballs (a tablespoon of pharmacy magnesium sulfate in half a glass of water).

• Take a hot foot bath for 20-30 minutes to drain the blood from the head and eyes and reduce the secretion of intraocular fluid. After that, go to bed with a high headboard and put mustard plasters on the back of your head and neck for 10 minutes.

• If, as a result of the measures taken, the pain has subsided, immediately after the attack, see an ophthalmologist. No improvement? Call an ambulance!

Marina Momot

Photo: Adobe stock

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