High intraocular pressure, or ocular hypertension, is when the pressure in your eye is higher than normal. While this isn’t an eye disease in itself, it can lead to glaucoma and permanent vision impairment.
Because ocular hypertension doesn’t usually have any side effects or symptoms, it’s important to see your eye doctor regularly. They will measure your eye pressure and check for other eye diseases.
If you do have high intraocular pressure (IOP), it’s important that you take action. Here are eight tips to help you regulate eye pressure.
1. Modify Your Diet
People who have diabetes or high blood pressure often become resistant to insulin, which causes the body to produce more of it. High insulin levels are linked to increased eye pressure. To manage your insulin levels, avoid certain foods like sugar, bread and pasta. Eat more “whole” foods like fruits and vegetables.
2. Get More Physical Activity
Most healthy people should be getting 30 minutes of exercise a day. Regular workouts help lower the body’s insulin levels, protecting your eyes from high IOP. Talk to your doctor about a safe exercise program you can start with, as some exercises are not recommended for people with glaucoma.
3. Take a Multivitamin
It’s possible that taking a multivitamin can help manage your eye pressure. For example, some evidence suggests that Vitamin B may reduce the risk of some types of glaucoma. Ideally, you should be getting these nutrients from the foods you eat, but your eye doctor may also recommend a multivitamin.
4. Drink Less Coffee
Studies show that caffeine can increase eye pressure for a short duration of time. This is why it’s recommended to limit or avoid caffeinated beverages and sodas. You don’t have to take out caffeine completely, but you should restrict yourself to just 2-3 cups of coffee a day.
5. Take Your Medications
If your eye doctor prescribed medications, be sure to take them on time. Glaucoma is usually treated with prescription eye drops or oral medications. If these do not work, your ophthalmologist may recommend laser surgery.
6. Stay Hydrated
Sip on water throughout the day to regulate eye pressure. However, be careful not to drink too quickly as this can raise IOP. Instead, take small sips of water throughout the day. This will also keep your eyes moist!
7. Sleep With Your Head Elevated
Use a wedge pillow to keep your head elevated while you sleep. Raising your head about 20 degrees has been shown to reduce intraocular eye pressure compared to sleeping on your back. And who knows – the rest of your body might feel better, too!
8. See Your Eye Doctor Regularly
Schedule regular eye exams with your ophthalmologist. During your eye exam, your eye doctor will test your IOP. People with glaucoma sometimes need to see their eye doctor several times a year to make sure their eye pressure is at a safe level.
If you were diagnosed with high intraocular pressure, it’s important to regulate your eye pressure and schedule regular eye exams with your ophthalmologist. This will help slow or prevent vision loss from glaucoma.