Eye Pain and Headache: Causes and Finding Relief 

Rahul Gupta
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Eye pain and headaches triggers and treatments

Everyone experiences an occasional headache, but consistent pain behind the eye can disrupt one’s life. If it occurs daily, this might indicate something serious.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 50% of the global population suffers from eye pain and headaches. In the past year, 50% to 75% of adults aged 18-65 have experienced headaches; of them, 30% or more have experienced migraines. 1.7–4% of adults worldwide experience headaches 15 or more days a month.

In case your headaches have caused you to change your daily routine, it is essential that you talk to your doctor. Your healthcare provider will consider your situation, diagnose to know the causes and prescribe treatment.

The eye pain and headache treatment will be based on your headache triggers, location of pain, and symptoms. 

Headache behind the eyes

There could be several symptoms of a headache behind your eyes. They can be a sign of a sinus headache, tension headache, or even cluster headache that occurs if you have problems with sinuses or allergies. Eye pain and headache symptoms can arise when you feel tense or stressed.

Some might go away with an Over-The-Counter (OTC) painkiller like Naproxen, while others, like migraines, may get severe. This makes it difficult for you to continue working or enjoying time with friends and family. Frequent occurrences of these conditions might lead to severe illness, and you need to consult your doctor. 

What causes eye pain and headache?

Multiple causes of eye pain and headaches could exist. Your doctor will first understand the type of pain you have, and then they will help you identify the source of your headache pain.

Depending on your headache type, you may encounter different symptoms. Look for its associated symptoms to identify the particular headache you experience. Continue to explore the causes and symptoms of eye pain and headache through detailed information ahead.

Migraine

Extreme pain behind your eyes might lead to a migraine. Your migraine triggers could be distinct from the rest. For many people, migraine eye pain accompanies anxiety or stress, hormone changes, poor medication, diet, posture, and even environmental stimuli.

Migraines go far and beyond the pain in your head. They are characterized by mood changes, nausea, weakness, sensitivity to light or sound, and even an aura before the headache begins. These eye pain and headaches usually occur only on one side of the head.

Tension headache

You might develop tension headaches due to eye strain. It can occur by continuously looking at the screen after a long day of driving or even anything that requires continuous and close focus. These headaches, which may include head or neck muscle contractions, are frequently experienced on days with cold temperatures.

Tension headaches either occur once or for several months. At this point, your doctor might diagnose them as chronic headaches. You might experience forehead pressure, head tenderness, and head tension, apart from pain behind your eyes. 

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches occur in cycles and are more frequent in men than women. Even if these are common, doctors do not know what actually causes them. In most cases, genetic factors are held responsible. 

People suffering from this condition usually experience severe pain. Like migraines, cluster headaches occur on one side of the head and create extreme pain. You might also have teary or red eyes and congested, sweaty, flushed, or runny nostrils.

Sinus headache

These types of headaches usually appear when you experience an allergy flare-up or during allergy seasons. The symptoms of sinus headaches resemble those of migraines, tension, and cluster headaches. Sinus headaches may trigger pain anywhere your sinuses reach. These include the forehead, nose, eyes, teeth, and cheeks. These headaches often accompany allergy symptoms like fever and nasal discharge. With sinus pain, you can notice the pain worsening over the day. 

Fact
More than 85 percent of the people who suspect a Sinus headache have Migraines. 

Risk Factors

Eye pain and headache often accompany several factors. Whether you have lifestyle factors or an underlying condition, you should take the initiative to minimize them. 

Some common risk factors for developing eye pain and headaches are: 

  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Body Mass Index Or  BMI (overweight) 
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Age
  • Overuse of medications
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Chronic dehydration

Other possible factors are:

  • Thyroid and eye problems like Glaucoma could increase your risk of pain behind the eyes
  • If you have Sinusitis and Allergies, you may also experience more headaches as they affect the area around your eyes
  • If you work in an office, you might also experience severe headaches due to continuous staring at computer screens
Warning:
Frequent eye pain and headaches can also indicate an untreated autoimmune disorder like Scleritis. To avoid complications, consult your doctor immediately if you have these symptoms. 

Diagnosis

If you frequently witness pain behind your eyes, you should seek medical advice. There is no specific test to determine the type of headache you have. Your doctor will diagnose the issue based on the pain’s severity, possible causes, and placement.

They might also run tests to check for underlying conditions. Your doctor will look for a pattern to diagnose your headaches. They will ask you questions regarding the symptoms and try to match them with the causes of eye pain and headache.

If required, they will also run a physical test to check your vision, senses, collaboration, and revulsions. If your healthcare provider cannot offer a precise diagnosis, they might refer you to a neurologist.

Treatment

Woman using ice pack for eye pain
Woman using ice pack for eye pain

Not every headache behind your eye needs to require a visit to your doctor. You can treat them on your own with home remedies such as:

  • Ice packs
  • Change in your diet
  • Over-the-counter pain medication such as Brufen 400mg for mild to moderate pain or other Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as Naproxen for headaches

Immediately seek medical advice, if you experience severe eye pain and headache. Your doctor might prescribe you Antibiotics, such as Augmentin for Sinusitis or prescription medication for specific conditions.

Sometimes, non-medication treatments such as biofeedback or relaxation techniques can lower the strain, reducing eye pain and headache as effectively as other medications without side effects. 

Prevention

You can actively prevent eye pain and headaches by staying aware of your triggers. If you have an autoimmune or chronic disease, seek treatment for it to reduce the number of pain days you have.

If lifestyle factors are causing right eye pain and headache, make some changes like:

  • Exercise
  • Stay hydrated
  • Take time to destress
  • Avoid known headache triggers
  • Limit or avoid processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine
  • Take scheduled breaks from your phone, computer, and other screens

If you are dealing with different types of headaches, such as tension and cluster headaches, you might also need to experiment to find out what practices would best help you.

Conclusion

Eye pain and headaches are common nowadays. Knowing the reason behind your condition is essential. Diagnosing the cause of a headache might present a challenge. You should contact your doctor if you are experiencing severe or chronic eye pain and headache.

After diagnosing the real cause of the eye pain and headache, your doctor will recommend a suitable treatment. While most of them go away with painkillers or rest, others require further treatment. 

Making certain lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, taking breaks from screen time and exercising also helps with management and prevention. Observing and avoiding headache triggers and foods that worsen headaches can also decrease your chances of getting frequent and severe headaches and eye pain, improving your overall quality of life. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get rid of a headache and eye pain?

There are several effective ways to eliminate headaches and eye pain such as trying a cold pack, staying hydrated, getting some caffeine, practicing relaxation, meditation such as NSAIDs, using a heating pad or hot compress, etc. You can buy Naprosyn 500 from WowRXPharmacy to seek fast relief at affordable prices.

When should I be concerned about eye pain and headache?

If you are facing unusually severe eye pain accompanied by fever, headache, or unusual sensitivity to light, contact your local emergency number for eye pain. Some symptoms include a sudden change in vision, vomiting, and nausea.

Can eye problems cause headaches and neck pain?

Yes, eye problems can cause headaches and neck pain. Unlike other headaches, eye strain headaches are rarely associated with nausea and vomiting. The pain usually occurs behind or around your eyes, and the area might feel sore.

Is it normal to have eye pain and headache?

Nowadays, eye pain and headaches are common. If your eyes are working too hard, your eye muscles may contract too much. These contractions might trigger an eye strain headache. 

Citations:
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