Sometimes our patients will say, “I feel like there’s pressure in my eyes or pressure behind my eyes.” Have you ever felt like this?
Many patients have, and we can help.
Ocular hypertension– What you need to know
Do you know that approximately 4.5% to 9.4% of Americans (age 40 or older) experience ocular hypertension?
Ocular hypertension refers to the situation when a person feels pressure inside the eye. This intraocular pressure is higher than normal when patients describe pressure behind or inside of the eye.
If this condition is left untreated, the high eye pressure can cause glaucoma, as well as permanent vision loss. On the other hand, some patients may feel ocular hypertension without damaging their eyes or vision.
A comprehensive eye exam or a visual field test can determine your ocular pressure. There are no outward signs or symptoms that will indicate ocular hypertension. You must see your doctor.
? Why do patients feel pressure inside of the eyes?
Pressure inside of the eyes is part of a disease process called glaucoma. Glaucoma is when the pressure builds up in the eye and that causes gradual decline in the patient’s vision.
When patients have pressure in their eyes, it’s very rare that it would actually be pressure inside the eye. More typically that has to do with pressure around the eyes.
Let us explain.
The eyes are surrounded by a bony structure called the orbit, and surrounding the orbit is the sinuses. You have sinuses below your eyes and above your eyes. So when people feel pressure in their eyes, it is typically pressure in the sinuses surrounding the eyes.
? What causes eye pressure? What are the risks for elevated eye pressure?
The following list consists of factors that cause or are associated with ocular hypertension– they are virtually the same as the causes of glaucoma, as well.
- Excessive aqueous production: This is the clear fluid produced in the eye. With too much fluid production, a patient will feel pressure in the eye.
- Inadequate aqueous drainage: If the fluid drains slowly from the eye, this can cause increased eye pressure.
- Eye trauma
- Certain medications: Ocular hypertension is a side effect of certain medications (i.e. steroid eye drops, etc).
- Other eye conditions
- Race, age, and family history
? What should you do when you’re feeling pressure behind the eyes?
- An easy way to look into this problem is to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
- Another way is to take a decongestant. If you have pressure in your eyes and you want to determine if it’s pressure around your eyes in your sinuses, a decongestant is a good way to resolve sinus pressure.
What should you do next? Seek treatment from qualified doctors.
! How to treat pressure inside or behind the eyes
In most cases it’s one or two eye drops a day to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension. If eye drops are ineffective, we may recommend glaucoma surgery to treat high eye pressure.
If you are experiencing high pressure behind or inside your eyes, call Woolfson Eye Institute to schedule your appointment.