Do you have high eye pressure? 6 common causes and fixes

High eye pressure happens due to various reasons. It is one of the important parameters that your eye doctor checks for during your eye checkup. This indicates any issues such as optic nerve damage or anything else that interferes with the healthy functioning of your eyes.

Your eye pressure keeps changing throughout the day and may differ from person to person. In healthy eyes, the fluid that keeps your eyes inflated drains freely.

A higher-than-normal pressure in eyes is termed ocular hypertension. Normal pressure in eyes lies in the range of 10 to 21 mmHg. Anything greater than 21 mmHg is ocular hypertension.

Signs of high eye pressure
  1. Your eye pressure is greater than 21 mmHg in one or both eyes when your eye doctor checks during two or more visits.
  2. No visible signs of eye issues.
  3. Normal appearance of the optic nerve.
  4. No signs of glaucoma on visual field testing.

Youngsters have more exposure to high pressure over a time period.

Causes of high eye pressure

This condition usually stems from an imbalance in the production and drainage of eye fluids. There is production of fluids, but a faulty drainage channel leads to fluid buildup within your eyeball. So, this exerts pressure on your eyes going above 21 mmHg. 

The most common causes include:

Migraines & tension headaches: They cause high eye pressure, and tension headaches occur commonly among 80 % of people. Migraine headaches are severe in nature and accompanied by visual irregularities such as zig-zag lines or colourful lines.  

Graves disease: It occurs due to an overactive thyroid gland in which the tissues, muscles and fat behind the eyes expand. Hence, the expansion of tissues behind the eyes causes pressure on the eyes. Here, the eyeball expands out of the socket.

Sinus infections: Here, you’ll feel pressure in the upper part of your face behind the eyes and around your cheekbones due to sinus inflammation.

Toothache: A toothache may impact the surrounding nerves, causing the pressure to travel up to your eyes. 

Optic Neuritis: It happens when your optic nerve has inflammation and is swollen. Eye pain and brief vision loss are common side effects.

Facial injuries: Any injuries happening to your eyes can cause eye pressure and pain, even from an eye socket fracture.

Diagnosis of high eye pressure

This condition is usually diagnosed by 

  • Endoscopy
  • MRI scans
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scans
  • Blood tests
  • Radioactive iodine uptake
Treatment of high eye pressure

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the pressure.

  • For sinusitis, doctors prescribe antibiotics if it’s of bacteria origin. Virus-origin infections require saline solutions.
  • For headaches, over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin may be enough
  • If you have Graves’ condition, you may be given medication that blocks your thyroid gland’s ability to produce hormones
  • If you have optic neuritis, your doctor may prescribe steroids to bring down the swelling of the optic nerve
  • If the underlying cause is with your jaw alignment, your dentist will do a procedure to correct it

Hence, high eye pressure is a condition common to everyone but varies in degree as per the underlying cause. 

If you have issues with high eye pressure, please consult our expert doctors at Sharat Maxivision Eye Hospital. We’re always there to help you.