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Why Headache Pain Occurs Behind the Eyes & How to Treat It

Close-Up Photograph of Green Eyes

Headache pain is commonly felt in a variety of places on the head, including the temples, sinuses, forehead, and behind the eyes. Eye pain associated with a headache can be caused by a few different types of headaches, as well as other seemingly unrelated conditions. But regardless of the cause, this type of pain can be mild, moderate, or even excruciating.

The purpose of this article is to explore the causes of headache pain behind the eyes and the treatment options available for this type of pain.

Since eye pain result from so many different factors and conditions, it is important to have an accurate diagnosis of the problem so that it can be treated effectively.

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Eye Pain from a Tension Headache

One of the most common reason that an individual feels pain behind the eyes is a tension headache. This type of headache causes pain in the neck, forehead, and behind the eyes. However, tension headaches can be triggered by many different things, including eye strain and dry eyes. To prevent these triggers, it may help to use eye drops and take frequent breaks while working at a computer.

Eye Pain from a Cluster Headache

Although much rarer than tension headaches, cluster headaches are another condition that can cause pain behind the eyes. This pain feels like a burning or piercing sensation in this location and is typically behind just one eye. Someone who is experiencing a cluster headache may also experience swelling of one eye, a reddened eye, and excess tearing.

Eye Pain from a Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a condition that occurs when the sinus cavity becomes inflamed and causes sinus headaches. This inflammation can create extra pressure behind the eye, resulting in pain here. For sinus-related illnesses, it is advised to treat the underlying infection in order to alleviate the pain and pressure in the head and behind the eyes.

Targeted Eye and Vision Issues

However, sometimes a headache is actually not to blame for the pain experienced behind the eyes. At times, an issue with the eye itself is causing the pain and must be treated accordingly. For example, an individual who has an uncorrected vision problem, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, can experience eye pain because the brain and eye are trying to make up for poor vision abilities.

Other possible causes are scleritis, which occurs when the outer coating of the eyeball becomes inflamed, and optic neuritis, which occurs when the optic nerve is inflamed. The increased intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma may also be a cause of throbbing pain behind the eye.

How to Treat Headache Pain Behind the Eyes

If a tension headache is the cause of one’s eye pain, powerful over-the-counter medications like Vanquish can help.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but mild exercise may help reduce pain behind the eyes because exercise releases natural pain relievers called endorphins. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and processed foods may also help to reduce eye pain associated with headaches. But if the eye pain is not accompanied by other symptoms of headaches or relieved with headache medication, it may be time to see an optometrist to determine if poor vision or an eye disorder are actually causing the pain.

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Vanquish® is indicated for tension headaches. If you have a cluster headache, sinus headache, migraine headache or any other type of headache you may want to consult a doctor.

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