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"What causes pressure behind the eyes and vision problems?"


Why would a middle aged woman feel the sensation of pressure building behind her eyes? This is happening to my mom, and she also as vision problems including difficulty focusing her eyes and blurriness. She is nearsighted but she doesn't have any other vision problems.


A pressure feeling behind the eyes is a symptom with many possible causes. Some of these need quicker attention than others and thus, it would be best if you mother saw a physician sooner than later. Since her symptoms do not fit into one particular category, it is probably okay for her to see a primary care physician first with the possible need for an ophthalmology referral.

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A pressure sensation behind both eyes can be caused by a tension headache. These headaches are very common. They start at the back of the neck and move towards the front on both sides. If severe, they can result in blurry vision. Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the pressure within the eye is elevated resulting in blurry vision that can progress to total vision loss. Although the sensation of pressure behind the eyes is not typical, it can cause eye pain. Hyperthyroidism is a condition of increased thyroid hormone. Graves disease (the most common cause of hyperthyroidism) causes they eyes to protrude out (like a constant stare). This can also cause a pressure like sensation. There are many other causes of this problem that are more rare such as a brain tumor. Therefore, I suggest that your mother schedule an appointment with her primary care physician. He or she can take a more detailed history of her symptoms and perform a detailed eye exam. This way, your mother can get to the bottom of these issues. Good luck.

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