October 13, 2023

Everyone experiences headaches occasionally in their life, but the pain in the right eye can impact your daily life. If you suffer from this condition often or daily, that frequency might indicate a serious underlying issue.

If your headaches have required you to change your routine, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor will carefully assess your situation and recommend a suitable treatment plan based on your headache factors, symptoms, and the location of your pain.

What is a Headache Behind the Eyes?

Eye pain and headache can occur with several symptoms. They can be signs of sinus headache, cluster headache, or tension headache if you have sinus problems or allergies.

When you take tension and get stressed, headache symptoms could arise. Some may go away with over-the-counter painkillers, but others, like migraines, may become too serious for you to continue working or enjoying time to yourself. These frequent issues can indicate a more severe condition, which can have a negative impact on your life.

What Causes Right Eye Pain and Headache?

Headaches behind the eye can be caused by migraines, cluster headaches, sinus infections, and eye strain. These conditions result from various triggers, including stress, fatigue, and underlying health issues. Proper diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare provider are crucial for effective relief and management.

  1. Migraine
    This commonly comes with extreme pain behind your eyes. Migraine pain is complicated and different. Several reasons, such as hormonal changes, anxiety or stress, poor lifestyle or diet, medication and treatment may cause this. They often come with tension, anxiety, nausea, weakness, and mood changes.
  2. Tension Headache
    You may notice some signs of tension headaches after a long day of driving, looking at a screen continuously, or any close focus. Many people see these headaches on days with cold temperatures, which can occur with head and neck muscle contractions.
  3. Cluster Headache
    Cluster headaches are abrupt bursts of pain around or behind one eye. They are likely rare. A cluster headache is usually most painful 10 to 15 minutes after it begins. Most headaches last between 1-3 hours. Some of the symptoms you can notice are redness in the eye, drooping eyelids, or sweat on your forehead.
  4. Sinus Headache
    Sinus infections occur when fluid builds up in the tiny pockets inside your head (sinuses) and gets infected. Viruses and bacteria can both cause them. A few infections cause pain that feels like a headache behind or between your eyes. They can also hurt other parts of your head and face. The discomfort should cease once the infection dissipates.Sinus headaches are rarer than many people think. In many cases, they’re migraines in disguise. One research found that nearly nine over ten patients complaining of sinus headaches were having migraines.

Not all headaches fit into the same category. You may experience a headache behind your eye that results from:

  • Eye strain
  • Undiagnosed nearsightedness
  • Graves’ disease
  • Scleritis
  • Optic neuritis
  • Glaucoma

You might also have headaches or eye pain due to:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Strong odours
  • Bright lights
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Illness or infection

How to Diagnose the Type of Eye Pain and Headache?

If you often experience pain in your right eye, you should seek medical help. There are no specific tests or ways to diagnose the type of headache or eye problem you have. Instead, your ophthalmologist will diagnose you based on your pain’s placement, underlying causes, symptoms, and severity. They may also run tests to check for the possible condition.

Your doctor may look for a pattern to diagnose your eye pain and headaches. They will ask you a few questions, including your symptoms, and try to match them with migraines, cluster headaches, sinus headaches, and tension headaches. They will also conduct a physical exam to check your vision, senses, coordination, and reflexes.

Your ophthalmologist can also refer you to a neurologist if your case is more complicated or if you have symptoms such as loss of visual field, visual acuity, or color vision that happens due to an issue with the brain or optic nerves.

How Do You Treat Headaches Behind the Eyes?

Not every headache and eye pain requires medical treatment. You can also treat them with home remedies, including:

  • Ice packs
  • Change in your diet
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Reducing or eliminating alcohol and smoking
  • Over-the-counter pain medication for mild or moderate pain

However, visiting a reputed eye clinic is recommended if you are suffering from persistent pain after using these treatments. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for sinusitis or medication for migraines.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Most headaches are not dangerous, but some are caused by critical medical problems that should be diagnosed.

Some headaches are signs of an urgent situation that requires immediate medical attention. A few of the headache and right eye pain danger signs are:

  • Sudden, severe pain and a stiff neck
  • Fever, nausea, or vomiting
  • Confusion, double or blurred vision, weakness, unconsciousness
  • Pain after a head injury
  • Violent, uncontrollable movements (convulsions) or shortness of breath.
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