Pain behind the eyes can be quite discomforting and sometimes impair your ability to see because it is so severe you may only want to keep your eyes closed. There are many causes for pain behind the eyes, ranging in severity. Knowing what is causing your pain behind the eyes can help you obtain relief from the discomfort and fee like yourself again.
Here we will outline the common causes for pain behind the eyes along with home remedies you can try for pain relief.
Vision problems: Vision problems can lead to eye strain. For example, if you aren’t wearing glasses when you should or if you’re wearing the wrong prescription, your eyes may get tired, so you feel pressure and pain.
Sinusitis: This is a common condition that can cause headaches and pressure in the sinuses, leading to pain behind the eyes. It may be caused by allergies or an infection. You may also experience pain in the cheeks.
Scleritis: This is inflammation associated with some types of arthritis. The sclera is the film that covers the eye. When inflamed, it can become red, feel like burning, cause pain, and affect vision in severe cases.
Optic neuritis: This is a common early sign of multiple sclerosis, bringing on changes in vision accompanied by eye pain and numbness. Headaches in optic neuritis can be intense, so the goal is to reduce inflammation and relieve the pain.
Migraines: Migraines can affect vision and cause pain behind the eyes. One may also experience flashes, squiggles, or other visual obstructions. Migraines may also cause increased sensitivity to light.
Cluster headaches: Although not common, cluster headaches are quite severe. Pain behind the eye brought on by cluster headaches is usually centered around one eye and can be piercing.
Dry eye syndrome: The eyes can become dry for many reasons, including allergies or inadequate tear production. The syndrome is accompanied by itchiness, burning sensation, and a sharp pain behind the eyes.
Trauma: Trauma of the eye or even the head can cause pain behind the eyes. This can result from direct impact, hemorrhaging, or a headache.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma results from the damaging pressure buildup behind the eye. Glaucoma can lead to pain, changes in peripheral vision, and even blindness.
Cranial nerve palsies: This is a painful condition in which blood flow behind the eye gets compromised, causing pain and leading to vision problems.
Hormones: Changes in hormones have been linked to migraines and headaches. Fluctuations in hormones can change blood flow to the brain and medications can worsen the effects as well thus contributing to a headache.
Long-sightedness: Also known as hyperopia and is characterized by having to strain the eyes in an attempt to see objects properly. The condition is caused when the image of an object is focused behind the retina instead of on it. Long-sightedness can weaken the eye muscles over time, possibly leading to headache development.
Astigmatism: Known as having an irregular retina shape that can cause patients to be more susceptible to headaches behind the eyes. Those with astigmatism often have to squint or strain to view objects that are difficult to see at certain angles.
Orbital inflammatory syndrome: Caused by inflammation of the muscles around the eye. This can result in increased pressure on the eyes themselves as well as the brain cavity, which can present as painful headaches. Headaches behind or above the left eye are more common in this condition.
Increased pressure in the skull: A condition that likely produces pain throughout the entire head, but can cause localized pain behind the right eye or localized pain behind the right eye. Possible causes leading to increasing skull pressure include localized infection, intracranial abscesses, and brain tumors.
Pressure headache: Increased pressure may cause surrounding tissue to press on nerve fibers leading to the activation of pain receptors. This may be caused by conditions such as sinus congestion or glaucoma.
Papilledema: A condition characterized by excess fluid accumulation in the optic nerve causing it to swell up. It may be caused by conditions such as hemorrhages, inflammation, and brain tumors.
Aneurysm: Caused by weakening blood vessels that either leak a small amount of blood or burst leading to the development of hemorrhagic stroke. Aneurysms can lead to excruciating headaches.
Home remedies for pain and headache behind the eyes include:
If you can’t relieve your pain behind the eyes with home remedies, you want to ensure there isn’t any serious underlying condition that is causing the pain.
See your doctor or an eye specialist for eye examination and other tests to uncover what is causing the pain behind the eyes.
Over-the-counter pain medications often give patients a quick relief for pain behind the eyes, but if the pain has become chronic or if medications don’t work, your doctor will have to refer you for a more thorough examination and look for alternative treatment options.