Headache behind eyes

Getting headaches behind the eyes very frequently? 

As headaches are very common, people believe that they rarely occur due to a serious health issue. However, in many cases, headaches, especially behind the eyes, can be a symptom of some underlying medical condition. 

Every person experiences headaches occasionally due to various reasons. Read here to understand the common causes of headache behind eyes and how it can be treated. 

What Causes Headache Behind Eyes? 

Headaches can occur due to a primary cause or as a symptom of some ailment. The common causes are explained below. 

1: Migraine


Migraine is a serious and incurable condition that causes unbearable pain on one side of the head and sometimes, directly behind the eye. If not treated on time, the pain can last for up to 2-3 days continuously. More than 213 million people in India have migraine and 60% of those cases are among women. 

When a person experiences headache behind eyes due to migraine, it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as- 

  • Dizziness 
  • Weakness 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Sensitivity to light and sound  
  • Mood swings 
  • Visual disturbances

Though the exact cause of migraine is unknown, doctors closely evaluate the patient’s health to identify the potential triggers of migraine. Common things that trigger migraine headaches are lack of sleep, hormonal changes, dehydration, consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, stress, anxiety, and environmental factors, such as strong smells, smoke, flickering bright lights, etc. 

The doctor addresses these causes and then suggests a feasible method to treat the headache behind eyes. 

2: Eye Strain

eye strain headache behind one eye

In the digital era, every person spends most of the time on his/her phone, desktop, laptop, or some digital device. Due to this, eye strain has become very common. There is even an umbrella term used for eye strain related to digital devices, specifically computers, known as computer vision syndrome. 

Looking at the electronic screen for prolonged periods can cause discomfort and lead to headache behind the eyes. Along with the discomfort in one or both eyes, other symptoms may also be present- 

  • Dry eyes 
  • Neck and shoulder pain 
  • Blurry vision 

Focusing and refocusing on the screen multiple times put a strain on the eyes and cause pain. As soon as the time spent on the screen is reduced, the symptoms start to improve and no further medical assistance is required to treat the headache. 

3: Sinusitis

Sinusitis headache behind left eye

Sinusitis is a medical condition that occurs due to inflammation or congestion in the sinuses. It can cause headache behind eyes (one or both) and put pressure on other parts of the face, including the forehead and cheeks. 

If the headache behind eyes is caused because of sinusitis, the following symptoms will also be present in the patient- 

  • Nasal congestion 
  • Fatigue 
  • Pain that gets worse in sleeping position 
  • Aches in upper teeth 

The headache caused by sinusitis may take several weeks to clear up. To treat the condition, the doctor will prescribe some antibiotics and anti-inflammation medicines. 

4: Cluster Headaches
Cluster Headache


It is a medical condition with an unknown cause that results in painful headaches one to eight times a day. Usually, the pain is throbbing and occurs only behind one eye. 

Other symptoms that will be present if a person has cluster headaches are- 

  • Stuffy or runny nose 
  • Flushing 
  • Sweating 
  • Redness in the affected eye 
  • Drooping eyelid 

A cluster headache may be caused due to a genetic component or may be triggered due to some environmental factors. There is no cure for cluster headaches. Thus, the doctor will focus on alleviating the pain and shortening the duration of the headaches for treatment. 

5: Tension Headaches

Tension Headaches

One of the most common types of headaches is tension headaches. They are more common in females than males. In some people, these headaches occur once or twice a month. However, in chronic cases, the frequency of the headaches can be 3 or more. 

Tension headaches cause pain behind both eyes with a constant feeling of pressure around the forehead. They can occur at any time without any specific reasons and can last up to several hours. The pain caused by these headaches is usually dull and have other symptoms like- 

  • A feeling of tightness around the head 
  • Tenderness in the scalp, neck, or shoulder muscles 
  • Difficulty in falling asleep 
  • Sensitivity to light 

The causes of tension headaches are not clearly understood yet. Experts believe that these headaches are stemmed from muscle contractions or heightened emotions, tension, or stress. To treat the headache, the doctor will identify the pain characteristics, intensity, and location and suggest some tests. Based on the test results, the doctor will prescribe pain relievers, narcotics, triptans, or a combination of medications. 

Some alternative treatment methods, such as acupuncture, massage, deep breathing, behavior therapies, and lifestyle modifications may also be suggested to address the problem. 

6: Vision Problems

Vision Problems

When vision problems are caused due to refractive errors, i.e., hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia, headache behind one or both eyes appears as a common symptom. Other symptoms that will appear are- 

  • Double vision 
  • Hazy Vision 
  • Glare or halos around bright lights 
  • Squinting 
  • Headaches 
  • Eyestrain 
  • Trouble reading or looking at distant objects 

This type of headache can be treated by addressing the problem and getting prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. If the refractive error is not corrected with the help of visual aids, the headaches will occur continuously and the vision will further decline. 

Besides the above-mentioned causes, there are a variety of eye conditions that can cause headaches behind the eyes, such as occipital neuralgia, angle-closure glaucoma, Graves’ disease, scleritis, etc. 

Potential Triggers for Headache Behind Eyes

Headache Triggers

Different types of headaches are triggered by different factors. Some common triggers that result in headache behind right eye, left eye, or both eyes include- 

  • Hunger 
  • Excessive alcohol use 
  • Exposure to loud sounds 
  • Smelling strong odors 
  • Bright lights 
  • Tiredness and fatigue 
  • Hormonal changes 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Emotional stress 

Once a headache is triggered, it won’t go away on its own. It is important to seek timely treatment as the headache behind eyes can be a sign of some underlying condition.

Read More – Nutrition For Healthy Eyes

How Do I Get Rid of An Eye Headache?

headache behind right eye

In most cases, common over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen can treat headaches temporarily. The headaches will continue to arise unless the main cause is addressed. Furthermore, the body may become accustomed to the medicines and provide relief only for limited periods until the medicine wears off. 

In severe cases of headaches, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants, antidepressants to stabilize the serotonin levels, birth control pills to achieve hormonal balance or some other treatment method based on the type of headache. 

Some home remedies and lifestyle changes are also suggested to the patient when medicines don’t resolve the headache behind the eyes. This includes avoiding processed foods, limiting or avoiding caffeine, exercising regularly, or avoiding things that act as a triggers for headaches. 

Contact An Experienced Eye Specialist To Get Rid of Headache Behind Eyes 

If the headaches behind the eyes won’t go away and waking up with a headache every day becomes common, contact an eye doctor as soon as possible. Ignoring headaches and other symptoms that cause pain in the eyes can be very problematic and may cause deterioration of vision. 

Book a free consultation with the best eye doctors at Pristyn Care and get their help to resolve the problem effectively. The doctor will identify the exact cause and plan the right course of action to provide relief from the headaches and preserve your vision.

Pristyn Care Provides Best Eye Specialists in:     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *