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Debunking the Mystery: Pressure Behind Eyes Explained

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People may often experience pressure behind eyes, which may not always rise due to eye problems.

The pressure and pain behind eyes may also rise due to problems in other parts of the head.

The most common cause of pressure behind the eyes is Glaucoma symptoms.

On the other hand, sinus problems, migraines, Graves’ Disease, and tooth pain are some of the major causes of this condition.

Since the severity of these situations can result in serious pain, people often look for treatments.

This article will discuss the causes of pressure behind eyes and how to treat it.

Understanding Pressure Behind Eyes

Pressure behind the eyes is a serious condition since it may often cause discomfort and indicate a more serious problem.

When a person experiences this condition, the most common thought is whether there is a problem with the eyes.

The pressure behind the eyes often leads to a feeling of heaviness or fullness behind the eyes.

This feeling can also result in severe headaches and affect a person’s day-to-day tasks.

The pressure behind the eyes may cause bulging eyes, loss of vision, and facial swelling.

To explore more about eye pressure, read What is Eye Pressure? Discover Everything You Need to Know About.

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  • Causes of Pressure Behind the Eyes

    There are several causes that can result in pressure behind the eyes. These causes might include optical, health, and environmental factors.

    The optical factors usually include conditions like Glaucoma, Optic Neuritis, Retinal Vein Occlusion, and Graves’ Disease.

    The health factors include Hypertension, Diabetes, and Migraine in individuals.

    A person may experience it due to environmental factors like Sinusitis and higher altitude.

    This section will discuss these causes of pressure behind the eyes in detail.

    Optical Factors

    According to a study, Glaucoma causes high pressure in the eyes, which causes damage to the optic nerve.

    Glaucoma is a common problem that often creates pressure behind one’s eyes, causing headaches.

    A person who has Optic Neuritis experiences an inflammation of their optic nerve, which creates pressure in the eyes.

    According to a study, individuals with Retinal Vein Occlusion can also experience pressure behind the eyes.

    A person with Graves’ disease may also experience pressure behind the eyes due to the swelling of the muscles in and around their eyes.

    If you want to know more about the connection between Glaucoma and headaches, read Does Glaucoma Cause Headaches? Debunking the Facts.

    Retinal Vein Occlusion: Retinal Vein Occlusion is a condition in which there is a blockage in the vein responsible for carrying blood away from the retina. It creates pressure behind one eye and can even lead to loss of vision in that eye.
    Graves’ Disease: Graves’ Disease is also called the Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), in which the muscles in and around the eyes start swelling. This swelling creates pressure behind the eyes and can cause eye protrusion.

    Health Factors

    can high blood pressure cause erectile dysfunctionSource: ImageReady
    High Blood Pressure

    Research states that a person’s blood pressure is correlated to their Intraocular Pressure (IOP) or the pressure of their eyes.

    When a person has Hypertension (high blood pressure), their IOP rises, which can cause pressure behind the eyes.

    Another study states that patients with Diabetes are more likely to experience pressure behind their eyes.

    Diabetes increases the IOP in an individual, which leads to the pressure behind their eyes.

    Migraine or acute headaches also create pressure and pain behind the eyes in an individual.  

    Environmental Factors

    According to a study, a person with Sinusitis or sinus infection often experiences changes in optic nerves.

    This might happen when bacteria or viruses get behind one’s eyes, ears, or nose.

    Sinus infection increases the pressure in the upper parts of one’s face, which creates pressure pain behind the eyes.

    Additionally, when a person moves to a higher altitude, they may feel pressure behind the eyes.

    This happens because moving to a higher altitude increases a person’s Intraocular Pressure.

    Tips to Relieve Pressure Behind the Eyes

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    Use eyedrop

    The best way to relieve pressure behind the eyes is to determine the underlying cause of it.

    Doctors usually suggest eye exercises to reduce the strain on one’s eyes as a form of natural treatment.

    Sometimes, they might suggest medicines like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, or Acetaminophen.

    These medicines can help people deal with the conditions that cause headaches, leading to pressure behind the eyes.

    In some cases, they might suggest Antibiotics to treat Sinus infection, which might reduce eye pressure.

    In order to relieve sinus pressure behind eyes, doctors might sometimes suggest sinus surgery.

    As a form of treatment for Glaucoma, they might prescribe eye drops to lower their IOP.

    If you constantly face pressure behind the eyes, it is best to consult your doctor immediately.

    If you are feeling pressure behind eyes, it can indicate serious underlying problems. It is best to consult a medical expert immediately to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.


    Individuals may often experience pressure behind eyes due to optical, health, and environmental factors.

    The optical factors usually include conditions like Glaucoma, Optic Neuritis, Retinal Vein Occlusion, and Graves’ Disease.

    Health factors like diabetes, migraine, and high blood pressure may also increase eye pressure.

    Sinus infections and high altitudes are some environmental factors leading to this condition.

    However, doctors might often suggest treatments based on one’s underlying cause.

    Doctors may suggest antibiotics and sinus surgery to treat pressure behind the eyes due to Sinusitis.

    Medicines like Ibuprofen and Aspirin can help treat headache conditions, which increase the IOP of a person.

    However, it is always best to consult a doctor to get the most suitable treatment for this condition.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What does pressure behind the eye feel like?

    If a person is experiencing pressure behind the eyes, they may feel fullness or discomfort in their eyes. It may result in mild to severe headaches and sometimes cause vision problems.

    What causes pressure behind the eye?

    A person may experience pressure behind the eye due to optical problems like Glaucoma,  Optic Neuritis, Retinal Vein Occlusion, and Graves’ Disease. In some cases, migraines, Sinusitis, Diabetes, Hypertension, and high altitude may also create pressure behind the eyes.

    Can pressure behind eyes be a brain tumor?

    Yes, one may experience pressure behind the eyes due to a brain tumor. If the tumor creates pressure on the optic nerve, it can increase the pressure in the eyes, leading to discomfort.

    How to relieve pressure behind eyes?

    Doctors usually suggest eye drops and eye exercises to relieve the pressure behind the eyes. In some cases, medicines that relieve headaches may also prove to be helpful. Doctors may also prescribe sinus surgery or Antibiotics for the infection to treat pressure behind the eyes.

    Can you experience pressure behind eyes when wearing contacts?

    Yes, you can experience pressure behind your eyes when wearing contacts. If you are wearing contact lenses for a long time, it can strain your eyes, creating pressure.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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