Eija Hyytiäinen made her international début at the 1984 Winter Olympics, where she won her only international tournament medal, a bronze in the relay, but she was not very successful in individual events. Hyytiäinen missed the 1985 World Championships, but was sixth in the relay and 12th in the 10 km at the 1987 World Championships. This 12th place would remain her best individual place at a major international championship. Hyytiäinen also competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics, but with little success and made her last international appearance at the 1989 World Championships, where she was 13th in the 10 km. By profession Hyytiäinen was an agricultural worker and in 1989 she married another cross-country skier Kari Ristanen, who also won a relay bronze at the 1984 Winter Olympics and a relay silver at the 1989 World Championships.