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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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what is an acceptable level of eye pressure re glaucoma

Resolved Question:

what is an acceptable level of eye pressure re glaucoma?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 5 years ago.

Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Doctor DanB : That is a good question.  First, the question of what is a normal pressure depends on whether there is anything wrong or suspected to be wrong with the eye.  If you were to take, let’s say, 10,000 people who we knew had nothing wrong with their eyes and measured their eye pressures, you would get a bell-curve of distribution of their eye pressures, with 95% of the pressures falling between 6 and 21 mmHg.  So generally, we think of anyone having a pressure of over 21 to have an abnormal pressure. I think the caveat that comes into play is what makes an eye abnormal?  When an eye doctor suspects that an eye might have glaucoma (which is usually based on the way an optic nerve looks to the eye doctor), then that range of 6-21 is thrown out the window.  The reason for this is that everyone’s eyes are different and everyone’s optic nerves (what gets damaged in glaucoma) have a different “thermostat” for lack of a better word.  Your eye may tolerate a pressure of 25 your entire life and never show signs of glaucoma, but my eye may have advanced glaucoma damage even though the pressure has been only 15 for my entire life.  What is too high for your eye is the pressure at which the optic nerve begins to be damaged. You might be asking yourself whether your current eye pressures are too high and I would say that it depends on whether your visual field tests show a worsening peripheral visual field loss or if scans of your optic nerve show worsening damage.  This is the only true way to know whether these pressures are too high.  If you are doing the visual field test and optic nerve scans at regular intervals (usually once/year for each test) and there is worsening on either one or both of these tests, then I would say that your current pressures are too high for you and you should be on additional treatment to lower the pressure even more.  If the test results of those two tests are not worsening, then these pressures are likely just fine for your glaucoma. It is also important to know that the eye pressure can fluctuate from day to day and from hour to hour so the pressure that is measured on one day at one specific time is not necessarily how your pressure generally runs.  Multiple pressure measurements taken over time give a more reliable picture of where the eye pressure really is.
Doctor DanB : Does this information help address your concerns? Does this make sense? Do you have any other concerns that I haven't addressed? I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the ACCEPT button for this encounter; this allows part of the funds that you have deposited to the website to be released for my efforts to assist you. This does not end our conversation, however-we can continue to discuss any of your concerns without further charges until you are satisfied. Any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. Thanks for your inquiry! My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.

yes I am satisfied with reply, field test was satisfactory. pressure reading 14 on left 17 on right eye, these have been constant over a number of years. thank you

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