Headaches that occur behind the eye can be a symptom of an eye problem, headache or something more serious. Read on to learn what you need to know about this common health condition.
Headaches that occur behind eyes or both eyes can be sharp, dull, throbbing, intense, burning or explosive. Cluster headaches generally cause pain behind the eyes and occur in cycles. Migraine headaches are also known to cause pain and pressure behind the eyes.
Many other symptoms can occur with a headache behind eyes such as eye pain and redness, eye dryness or excessive tearing, numbness or weakness of the face, double vision or vision loss, sinus pressure and possibly fever. The cause of these symptoms is diverse and we will discuss many of these entities below.
• Dry Eyes
When the eyes become dry, irritation and discomfort ensue. This is very common for those who work on computers all day. Itching, burning and sharp pain may also be felt. Prolonged dryness can result in a rush of excessive tears in response to the irritation and as the eye tries to protect itself from further drying. To remedy this problem, keep a bottle of artificial tears on hand. Severe cases require a trip to the eye doctor to explore other causes and to consider prescription eye medications.
• Vision Problems
Vision problems often lead to eyestrain and discomfort. Headaches commonly occur with a variety of eye conditions such as astigmatism, presbyopia (near-sighted) and hyperopia (far-sighted). An eye doctor will be able to determine if there is a vision issue causing headaches.
• Cranial Nerve Palsies
Multiple cranial nerves arise from the brain and provide the sense of vision we are all accustomed to having. When one or more of the nerves are inflamed, injured or compressed vision changes. Common symptoms include double vision, drooping of the eyelid, changes of the pupil size and even significant pain.
Dehydration — another common origin of headache — is also one of the most simple to remedy. To demon¬strate this, researchers in the Netherlands enrolled 18 patients in a pilot study. All of the individuals suffered from migraine headache. In addition, two also had tension-type headache. Patients received either placebo (fake) medication or advice to drink 1.51 times more water than they typically consumed every day for 12 weeks.
There was no reported change in the placebo group. However, those who boosted their water intake “reduced the total hours of headache in two weeks by 21 hours.” Headache intensity also plummeted (Eur J Neurol 2005;12:715-8).
• Bat your eyelids.
Blinking spreads a layer of lubrication across the surfaces of the eyes. This gives them quick relief. It also helps remove dust or grift from the eyes before it causes irritation.
• Do what some professional massage therapists do: Rub your hands together to warm them up, then place the heels of your palms over your eyes for a few seconds. The warmth will help them feel rested and relaxed.
• Give your eyes a break, they sure deserve it: Overuse from staring at the computer screen or driving long distances puts extra strain on your eyes. Every hour take some time and and focus on something other than the computer screen. Then close your eyes and relax for a moment.
• Chiropractic Care
Patients suffering from various types of headaches undergo chiropractic adjustments, along with other chiropractic care methods including massage and trigger point therapy. These methods can either be done alone or in combination with one another to realign the skeletons and eliminate the cycle of pain. It can also help to release muscular tension that could bring about moderate to severe levels of pain.
Patients with chronic eye strain headaches are recommended to undergo several sessions to find effective relief and treatment from their condition. This comes as a result of reducing the amount of nerve irritation and facilitate in muscle relaxation. For a more effective long-term treatment plan against eye strain headaches, chiropractors recommend regular exercise, stretching, proper posture, and relaxation techniques to help alleviate the pain and symptoms of eye strain headaches.