Pressure Behind the Eye, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

The pressure behind the eye does not mean a problem inside the eyes; it starts with the head’s part. It is an uncomfortable and worrisome situation. Eye pressure is also called headache behind eye. These problems ate associated with many eye conditions that cause eye pain and vision problems. Eye pain generally feels like a stabbing, burning, and stinging sensation and pressure inside the eye does not cause a feeling of pressure.

Causes of Pressure behind the eye

There are some causes of pressure behind the eye in which following are included such as

  • Sinus problems
  • Graves’ disease
  • Headaches
  • Damage to the optic nerve
  • Tooth pain


A sinus infection happens when your sinus cavity infected due to bacteria and viruses. Due to these bacteria and viruses, pressure behind nose, eyes, and cheeks create swell up your nose to fill with mucus.

In the sinusitis symptoms following are included such as

  • Pain behind the nose eyes and cheeks
  • Headache
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Abnormal Mucus
  • Fatigue and Fever


There are two types of headaches that associate with the pressure behind the eyes: tension and cluster. Usually, it associates with mild to moderate pain. In tension headache type, you feel a tight band around your head, which is a common type of headache. Cluster headache is a painful and severe type of headache that remains for months or years. In its symptoms, aching head pain, feeling of tightness, and pressure across the forehead, tenderness, and neck muscles are included.

Graves’s Disease

Graves’s disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs due to the overproduction of thyroid hormones called hyperthyroidism. Thyroid hormones affect the wide range of body systems that influence on overall health and wellbeing. Usually, in Graves’s disease, your eye muscles affect and get worse whey they move their eyes. Besides, Eye pain, bulging eyes, puffy eyelids, red eyes, and vision loser are the common symptoms of this disorder. Moreover, 30 % of people suffer a condition in this disease called Graves’ ophthalmopathy. In this condition, inflammation causes the tissues and muscles around the eyes.

Optic nerve

Some autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis cause swelling and inflammation in the optic nerve. This condition causes long term damage, and vision loss ad leads to the deterioration of the body’s nervous system. The common symptoms of the optic nerve are pain, visual field loss, vision loss in one eye, flashing lights, and loss of color vision. The proper treatment of this causes demands proper treatment. For that purpose, some tests are recommended, such as MRI, blood tests, optical coherence tomography, and visually evoked responses.

Tooth Pain

The throbbing pain of a toothache can affect your eyes because, in this, your jaw alignment gets tense the face’s muscles. Due to the stretching of muscles, headache, and feeling of pain and pressure behind the eyes are included. Your eyes swell, pink or red, and painful.

Diagnosis for Pressure Behind the Eye

The doctor can make a diagnosis to treat the issues of pressure behind the eyes. For that purpose, specialist is referred such as

  1. ENT doctor who treats sinus and allergy problems
  2. The neurologist who specializes in the brain and nervous system
  3. The ophthalmologist who specializes in the eyes.

They analyze your symptoms, and then some tests are recommended such as


the doctor applies a medicine for numbness inside the nose and inserts a thin and lighted scope in it. The camera at the scope makes you able to look at any swelling in sinuses.


it is a computer and radio waves test that analyzes your brain’s functionality.

CT Scan: X-rays tests are also used to see the exact issue of the brain and other organs.


High-frequency waves can provide the result of thyroid activity in the body.

Blood test

Blood tests are done to check the thyroid hormone level

Radioactive iodine Uptake

The small amount of radioactive iodine and scans the thyroid with a special camera clear how much iodine thyroid catches.

Treatment for Pressure Behind the Eye

As we have seen that there are multiple reasons for pressure behind the eye, and each underlying cause demands different treatment. Sinus infection causes due to bacterial infection, and most antibiotics are used to treat it.

Besides, some medications like steroid shots, decongestants are also used to treat sinusitis.  Moreover, a water and salt solution are used to treat the viral infection, which called the saline solution. Decongestants and pain relievers help to get rid of discomfort.

Headache treatment: You can use a counter pain reliever like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. Moreover, some headache medicines are used to combine with caffeine and sedative. Some strong pain relievers such as narcotics are used for a muscle relaxant, and Imitrex and Zoning help prevent headaches.

Treatment for Graves’ Disease: The treatment of Graves’ disease is to inhibit the production of thyroid hormones and minimize the effect of hormones on the body. In common treatment, radioactive iodine therapy, beta-blockers, anti-thyroid medications, and surgery are included.

Some artificial tears ad lubricating gels are taken to block the ability hormones ability. Besides, sometimes radioactive iodine treatment or surgery is recommended to remove the thyroid gland. Corticosteroids are used to reduce the swelling and double vision.

Treatment for optic neuritis: Steroid medications are used to treat the optic neuritis, and some interferon beta- 1a drugs are used to prevent the nerve damage. In some cases, steroid therapy fails, and severe loss continues, plasma exchange therapy helps to get rid of it.

Bottom Line

The pressure behind the eye is a common problem nowadays, and there are many reasons that we mentioned above. To stay healthy, you always need to monitor your optic nerve’s health and other structures of the eye.

The treatment depends on the condition, which causes the pressure behind the eye. You must follow the doctor’s instructions carefully. Some eye drops could be used to reduce the redness, but if you are feeling constant pressure, then you must consult with the doctor so that he can recommend according to prescription drops.


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