The intraocular pressure
The intraocular pressure has a significant effect on the blood flow to the optic disc. Depending on age, the internal pressure of the eye fluctuates. While it normally lies between 10mmHg and 20mmHg (mmHg = millimeter mercury column, physical pressure in medical diagnostics), pressures above 20mmHg are usually too high.
What damages the optic disc?
Increased intraocular pressure prevents even blood flow to the optic disc. Its extremely fine nerve fibres are compressed and die. As an affected patient, you experience a gradual deterioration of your vision. Your field of vision is gradually reduced. If the visual impairments are noticeable, glaucoma is often already well advanced. The nerve cells of the optic disc are already damaged and can no longer recover. If the intraocular pressure is continuously monitored, further damage can be medically counteracted.
Can you perceive intraocular pressure?
Glaucoma is generally diagnosed very late because you as a patient, are usually not aware of the increased pressure in your eye. The recommended preventive examinations for aged people and those with a family history often take place irregularly, if at all. In the meantime, glaucoma can progress invisibly and unnoticed. In a case of diagnosed glaucoma, the examinations in the doctor's office give only a snapshot. However, the intraocular pressure can fluctuate during the day, that’s why elevated pressure values are often only detected by chance. Because the nerve damage is irreversible, the frequent monitoring and self-measurement of the intraocular pressure by the patient is desirable.