• Can tight-fitting goggles raise eye pressure and cause glaucoma or other damage?


    I get IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal treatment near my face. As a precaution, I wear a pair of small goggles very tightly over my eyes and then over those I wear a much larger pair of protective goggles very tightly over the first pair of goggles. I wear these two pairs of goggles simultaneously and so tightly that it can be painful and make it kind of difficult to blink. The internet tells me that this can create big increases in the pressure in the eye (IOP). I will not do this again, however, what is your best guess as to whether any permanent damage has been done to my eye health? Will such elevated pressures in my eyes for such extended periods of time (four hours) likely cause me to get glaucoma or any other permanent eye damage or disease?


    The firm rim surrounding your eye, known as the bony orbital margin, helps protect the eye from damage and external pressure. When choosing eyewear of any kind, ideally the design allows for pressure to be applied to the bony margin and not the eye itself. If you are not sure your eyewear was fitting properly and could have caused damage during your treatment, bring the eyewear to an ophthalmologist for an evaluation of the fit and for a comprehensive eye exam that will assess your overall eye health.

    Even if you have no immediate issues or concerns, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a baseline evaluation at age 40 because it may detect eye diseases common in adults aged 40 and older, especially those diseases that have no symptoms early on. An evaluation at this age creates greater opportunity for early treatment and preservation of vision.

    For individuals at any age with symptoms of or at risk for eye disease, such as those with a family history of eye disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, the Academy recommends that individuals see their ophthalmologist to determine how frequently their eyes should be examined.