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Have nevus on eye. How common is to have intraocular pressure and still never contract glaucoma?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3094 Questions
Greetings. I want to further understand the concept of intraocular pressure. I am 57 and have been monitoring my eye pressure for about 6 years. I understand that the usual standard is for eye pressure to be under 21. However mine always moves between 21 and 23. Thankfully I have no problems in this regard. But historically has the 21 number always been the upper limit for intraocular pressure, and how common is it for people to have my level of pressure and still NEVER contract glaucoma? I have heard of people with normal pressure contracting it, so I suppose it is possible for people with higher pressure never to contract it. But how is this possible, and how common is it as in my case?
I also have a nevus at the back of my left eye and is normal.
Posted Thu, 23 May 2013 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

As you rightly said, this pressure normally should be less than 21mmHg. At 23, it indicates a mild increase, which must not however be taken lightly. A few things must also be considered as we look into these variations.

Some daily, physiologic and seasonal changes could cause changes in intraocular pressure. This is an important consideration in your case, especially considering the factors you present with no other symptoms.

It s important to ascertain the accuracy of measurement, and also whether measurements are taken using same instrument. Vitamins on their own would actually hardly explain raised intraocular pressures. A1c levels are within normal limits, further excluding possibility of diabetic eye disease.

I suggest you book an appointment with your opthalmologist, with clear explanations of these variations. A proper clinical evaluation and standardizing methods of correctly taking your intraocular pressure could be appropriate in ensuring permanent true values of the intra ocular pressure.

Based on clinical findings and these serial measures, a medical decision could then be made.

Thanks and hope this helps as I wish you the best of health.

Dr Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have nevus on eye. How common is to have intraocular pressure and still never contract glaucoma? 3 hours later
Thank you. In fact I received my intraocular pressure measurement yesterday at the ophthalmologist's office. He has found the same basic measurement for about 5 years. He also always checks my optic nerve which is fine. So therefore I am highly curious as to the frequency of normal eye pressure at 22 or 23. Has the limit of 21 always been standard in eye medicine? Is it common to have higher than 21 and yet not to have glaucoma?
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 5 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

If that s the case, I do not think, you need to be that worried. It is important to know that before cut offs are given for particular units of measure, all these finding are usually based on population studies and not actually on individuals. It is therefore usually an average. It is therefore not unusual to have some slightly extending values at the extremes.

It’s good that clinically you are ok, but I would suggest you keep up to your follow up programme and recommendations. Report immediately any unusual eye issues if you do notice any for evaluation.

For now, I suggest you be calm and respect your normal routine clinic visits.

Thanks and best regards. Ready for any further questions if need be. Be good.

Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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