5 Reasons for a Headache Behind Your Eyes
Any type of headache is excruciating, but a headache behind your eyes feels like a unique form of torture. After all, you rely heavily on your eyesight to get around, so every glance and blink can cause new waves of pain, completely derailing your day.
Unfortunately, eyeball-pulsing headaches do occur, and there is no single cause. A headache behind the eyes can occur for a variety of reasons.
Knowing the cause of your eye headache can help you find the best treatment for it and get some relief as soon as possible. With that in mind, here are some of the most common causes of headaches behind the eyes, as well as what to do if one threatens to ruin your day.1. You have a tension headache
The most common type of headache is tension headache. A tension headache can occur due to a variety of factors, including stress or muscle tension in your neck, scalp, or head. Tension headaches typically feel like a band is squeezing your head, causing pain in the forehead, both sides, and the back of your head.
However, that band of pain can also extend behind your eyes. Muscle tension causes headaches, and it can affect the muscles around the eyes. This can result in pain around and behind the eye.2. You have a migraine attack
If you've ever had a migraine attack, you usually know what to expect. But, in case you haven't or are unsure, here's a refresher: A migraine attack can result in an intense and severe headache with pounding or throbbing pain on one side of your head. Migraine headaches "can cluster in many locations," including the eyes. It is unknown why the eyes are so frequently affected.
Migraine attacks can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light, noise, or smell. Not-so-fun fact: People who are assigned female at birth are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than people who are assigned male at birth. If you suffer from chronic migraines, talk to a pain doctor who will choose the best treatment for you.3. You're experiencing a cluster headache
A cluster headache is characterized by eye pain—pain in and around one of your eyes or on the side of your head. Cluster headaches typically occur in phases known as "cluster periods," which can last from a few weeks to several months and cause frequent attacks that last from 15 minutes to 3 hours.
A cluster headache frequently wakes you up in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one of your eyes on one side of your head. The pain behind the eye is excruciating. Cluster headaches can also cause symptoms such as red or watery eyes, a stuffy nose, forehead sweating, and eyelid drooping or swelling on the same side as the pain.4. You have a sinus headache
Sinus headaches are difficult to distinguish, especially because what most people refer to as a "sinus headache" is actually a migraine with nasal symptoms. Sinus headaches, on the other hand, are a real thing that occurs when a sinus infection causes pain and pressure in the sinuses.
They usually cause pain in your forehead, bridge of your nose, or behind your cheekbones, and the pain worsens when you move your head suddenly. This frequently results in a headache behind the eye. Because a sinus headache is usually a sign of a sinus infection, it is often accompanied by other symptoms such as a stuffy nose, fever, and facial puffiness.5. You might have eyestrain
Eyestrain occurs when your eyes become tired after prolonged use, such as when you drive for a long time or stare at a computer for hours on end. This can cause symptoms such as a headache behind your eyes, watery or dry eyes, the sensation that your eyes are sore or burning, increased sensitivity to light, and the inability to keep your eyes open.
While eyestrain usually subsides when you take a break. The muscles around the eye can be painful when stressed.
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