Intraocular Pressure: Does it Measure Up?

M. Roy Wilson* , Kuldev Singh
University of Colorado Denver, 1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1400, Denver, CO 80204, USA

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© Wilson and Singh; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Colorado Denver, 1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1400, Denver, CO 80204, USA; Fax: 303-315-2877; E-mail:


The relationship between intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma is complex and not fully understood. We question the validity of several claims relating to the IOP-glaucoma relationship: (1) that 12 mm Hg is an important target in IOP control; (2) that IOP variability is an important risk factor for glaucoma progression; and (3) that every millimeter of mercury of IOP lowering reduces the risk of glaucoma progression by some specific percentage amount. Further, IOP is generally accepted to be an important – if not most important – risk factor for glaucoma development and progression. Using measures of treatment effect – absolute risk reduction, relative risk, and relative risk reduction – we compare the strength of IOP as a risk factor to the strength of a cardiac risk factor in cardiovascular disease.