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Why the Doctor Checks Your Eye Pressure

A variety of factors are examined to get a clear picture of your overall vision health during an eye exam. Understanding why the doctor checks your eye pressure is one more way to see why regular exams matter!

What is eye pressure?

Before we look at why it matters, let’s view what it is. Eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure, refers to the fluid pressure in your eye.

In a nutshell, healthy eye pressure helps preserve your vision and prevent vision loss. Normal eye pressure is typically measured around 10 to 20 mmHG (millimeters of mercury).

Generally, eye pressure above 21 mmHG could lead to optic nerve damage, which could lead to permanent vision loss.

Why eye pressure matters

Asking why the doctor checks your eye pressure helps us understand why it matters. In healthy eyes, fluid moves continuously throughout the eye.

This fluid helps lubricate the muscles and fibers of our focusing lens. It helps maintain the shape of the cornea as well as clears away waste. The fluid also supplies oxygen and nutrients to the back of our cornea too.

Old eye fluid naturally drains as new eye fluid is produced. If the fluid isn’t draining properly, eye pressure tends to increase.

High eye pressure could be a sign of ocular hypertension or glaucoma, for example. Both conditions could lead to vision loss if left untreated.

On the other hand, low eye pressure could indicate cataracts, macula damage or swelling in the cornea. Either way, early detection is key to maintaining healthy vision.


From asking why the doctor checks your eye pressure to reading the Snellen chart, comprehensive eye exams are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your vision! If it is time for your annual eye appointment, contact your local Mississippi Eye Care clinic and book it today. Keep your eye on our blogs for more vision and eye health news!