Ocular hypertension, or high eye pressure, has many causes, including excessive aqueous production, inadequate aqueous drainage, certain medications, eye trauma and other eye conditions, according to All About Vision. If left untreated, high eye pressure can cause glaucoma and permanent vision loss in some individuals.
Excessive aqueous production, one of the causes of high eye pressure, occurs when the ciliary body, a structure located behind the iris, produces too much aqueous humor, a clear fluid that is produced in the eye. When this happens, the pressure in the eye increases, causing ocular hypertension.
With inadequate aqueous drainage, the aqueous drains too slowly from the eye, disrupting the normal drainage of the eye's clear fluid, which also causes high eye pressure.
Certain medications, such as steroid medicines used to treat asthma and other conditions, increase the risk for ocular hypertension. Even steroid eye drops used after LASIK surgery and other refractive surgery cause high eye pressure in some individuals.
Any traumatic injury to the eye can affect the balance of aqueous production and drainage from the eye, possibly leading to ocular hypertension. Sometimes this hypertension occurs months or years after the injury, so during routine eye exams, patients should mention to their doctor any eye trauma experienced either recently or in the past.
Finally, ocular hypertension is associated with a number of other eye conditions, including pseudoexfoliation syndrome, pigment dispersion syndrome and corneal arcus. If a patient has any of these eye conditions, it is recommended he has frequent eye exams and eye pressure measurements.