Pain behind the eyes: Causes and home remedies

pain behind eyesPain 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 feel 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.

Common causes of headaches or pain behind the eyes


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 headache and pain behind the eyes

dry-eyes-risksHome remedies for pain and headache behind the eyes include:

  • Follow a healthy lifestyle and maintain proper eye care: Get plenty of rest, eat well, visit your eye doctor regularly, and always keep your prescriptions up to date.
  • Apply cold or hot compresses: Easing headaches can be done by soaking your feet in hot water and your hands in cold water. You may also wish to place a cold compress on your forehead.
  • Try exercises: Lay down on a hard surface and place your hands behind your head. Press your thumbs into the area of the base of your skull and allow your head to fall back. Hold that position as long as you can.
  • Eat and drink properly: Staying well hydrated can reduce the risk of headaches. It’s also important that you avoid smoking, alcohol, processed foods and medications that cause your hormones to fluctuate in order to further reduce your risk of headaches.
  • Use steam to relieve congestion associated with sinusitis
  • Eye exercises: A great choice for the relief of tension headaches. Begin by lying on your back, preferably on a hard surface. Using your thumbs, gently press into the back of your skull, applying pressure as long as you can while still comfortable. It may also be beneficial to trace the area of your skull where the pain is located with your thumbs as you apply pressure.
  • Use essential oils: Lavender oil has been found to be effective for relieving headache pain quickly. Additionally, the use of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil can provide a cooling effect when applied to the temples, relieving
  • Reduce stress to relieve headaches from behind left eye: Stress is a great source of headaches and is known to be the main cause of tension and exertional types, as well as aggravating migraines and trigeminal neuralgia. Several natural stress-reducing remedies can be used to help mitigate your headache risk, such as drinking chamomile tea.
  • Get enough sleep: An important part of everyone’s lives, getting adequate amounts of sleep is the best way to recharge your body and promote physical health. Those who suffer from constant headaches should prioritize sleep more as studies have shown that good sleep patterns can help reduce the frequency of migraines and even lessen their intensity.
  • Massage therapy to treat headaches above left eye: A direct way to relieve headaches behind or above the left eye by massaging your temples and neck. This will help provide instant pain and tension reduction. Massage therapy can be effective for chronic headache sufferers, helping to reduce frequency and intensity over time.

Treatment options for headache and pain behind the eyes

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.

  • Therapeutic treatments: Includes acupuncture or massage therapy, which are the two most commonly prescribed treatments for helping those with chronic headaches being the eyes. Additionally, those who suffer from sinus headaches may benefit from decongestion therapy via steam inhalation, which helps to break up the collected mucus.
  • Over-the-counter medication: Commonly come in the form of decongestants and anti-inflammatory medication, these medications can be beneficial for symptom relief. However, if your condition is not being relieved by over the counter medication, it is possible your symptoms may be the result of an underlying condition that should be looked at by a doctor right away.
  • Certain substances should be avoided: Chronic headache sufferers know that certain substances can trigger the onset or severity of headaches. These may include oral contraceptives, foods high in nitrites, and foods high in sodium. additional, tobacco and alcohol products are known to make headaches worse.

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Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.


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