Headaches can at times make you feel like cutting off your head and getting the relief! Have you ever been in to those severe headaches? Well! There are a lot of types of headaches and one of the types being the headaches behind your eyes. There may be various causes for headaches behind your eyes, which require proper evaluation and treatment. In this article we will know about the causes of headache behind eyes and treatments to get rid of it.
What Can Cause Headache Behind Eyes?
Headache behind eyes can develop frequently behind the left eye or both of the eyes. These types of headaches generally include shooting pains that start behind the eye and move all throughout the head. There may be some other accompanying symptoms like redness of eye, eye dryness or excess tearing, weakness or numbness of face, double vision or loss of vision, sinus pressure and also fever. As there can be several causes of headache, let us understand the commonest possible causes of headache behind eyes and treatments to get rid of it.
- Vision Problems: Headache behind eyes may be caused due to various eye or vision problems including astigmatism, far sightedness and near sightedness. This is one of the commonest causes of headache behind eyes and often improves with appropriate eye treatment.
- Dry Eyes: A shooting pain behind the eye can occur due to dryness in the eye. This may also lead to irritation, redness and severe pain in the eye and cause headaches behind the eye. This generally happens after sitting for a long time in front of laptop or watching television for a long time.
- Orbital Inflammatory Syndrome: One more cause for headache behind eyes may be the orbital inflammatory syndrome. The orbit is known as the house for the eye and it contains nerves, blood vessels, lymphatics, fat and the various muscles that move the eye. Inflammation can occur in the orbit leading to pain and discomfort in and around the eye, especially while moving side to side.
- Scleritis: Scleritis is another common condition that causes headache behind eyes. The sclera is a thin film covering the outer surface of the eye. In case of scleritis, there is redness; burning and pain in the sclera and can also threaten vision. Treating scleritis is important to treat headache behind eyes.
- Tension Headaches: Headaches behind the eyes are also caused with the tension headaches. Rest, massage, ice or heat treatments and over-the-counter pain killers can help relieve the headache.
- Migraine: Migraine sufferers severely suffer from the pain or headache behind eyes at many times. Variety of over-the-counter medications, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, Botox along with appropriate rest will help you relieve from migraine causing headaches behind eyes.
- Cranial Nerve Palsy: There are a lot of cranial nerves arising from the brain which provide the sense of vision we are all accustomed to having. Cranial nerve palsies is the condition where the cranial nerves are inflamed, compressed or injured leading to changes in vision like symptoms of double vision, changes of the size of the pupil, drooping of eyelids and also severe pain. Cranial nerve palsies thus can be a cause of the headache behind eyes.
- Optic Neuritis: One more cause for headaches behind eyes is optic neuritis which is likely to be a precursor to multiple sclerosis. Here you might experience numbness, pain in eyes and reduced visual acuity. Headaches behind the eye or in the entire head can get intense in this case. Using steroids to decrease the pain and inflammation can be beneficial.
- Sinusitis: Sinusitis is one more cause for the headache behind eyes. There are a number of sinus cavities in the face and head and they are centered around both the eyes. Infections or allergies in the sinus cavities can cause sinusitis and headache behind eyes. This can be treated with the help of antibiotics.
- Cluster Headaches: Such types of headaches occur in cluster or in a cycle all throughout the day. Cluster headache too is one of the causes of headache with pain behind the eye, more commonly on one side of the head. Pain medication and rest can be an effective treatment for cluster headaches. Some people may require supplemental oxygen for treating their cluster headaches.
- Hormone Changes: Hormones are linked to the development of headaches behind eyes. Sometimes fluctuation of hormones can cause chemical changes in the blood vessels of the brain and cause the headache.
Treat the underlying cause of the headache behind eyes appropriately and that would help you reduce or get rid of the headache behind eyes.
Treatments To Get Rid Of Headache Behind Eyes
Apart from treating the specific causes, there are other treatments to get rid of headache behind eyes. These may include regular exercises, practicing relaxation techniques and improving diet, lifestyle and sleep,
Self Help Therapy/ Exercise for Treating Headache Behind Eyes:
Exercise for headaches behind eyes can be pretty effective when done in the right manner. Exercise can help you release endorphins that fight pain. Deep breathing exercises is also one of the most effective ones to relieve pain. A nutritious diet and drinking plenty of water too is essential to prevent headaches. You can talk to an expert for a lifestyle plan and the best exercises for headache behind eyes based on the underlying cause.
Alternative Treatment for Headache Behind Eyes:
If you have chronic headache behind eyes then alternative treatments would be effective too. In addition to medical management, other treatments to get rid of headache behind eyes include massage therapy, Acupuncture, eye exercises for cluster and tension headache, migraine. People with sinusitis may get relief from regular steam inhalation so as to break up the mucus collecting in the sinuses and may be helpful in reducing headaches behind eyes. There may be some eye exercises prescribed by the doctor in case there are frequent headaches behind eyes; which may help you build the muscles in the area and relieve chronic pain.
Medications to Treat Headache Behind Eyes
- You can take an anti-inflammatory medicine for relaxing the tissue and swelling in the muscles present behind the eye that may be causing the headache behind eyes in mild cases. For any sudden onset severe pain and chronic pain it is necessary to follow medical advice.
- Decongestant may help in case of headache behind eyes in sinusitis.
- However in case you have high BP, do consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication to avoid complications.
- Your doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant which may help you stop muscle contraction. There may be prescribed antidepressants, which can stabilize the brain’s levels of serotonin and can help you cope up with the stress, tension and the headache behind eyes caused because of the same.
There are certain things to avoid or get rid of headache behind eyes. These include
- Avoid alcohol, and tobacco
- Avoid certain foods like the frozen foods, the foods rich in nitrates etc.
- Avoid the foods having high content of sodium which may cause a high blood pressure and may contribute to tension headaches.
- Avoid certain foods like soy are rich in plant estrogens, peanuts that may develop headache behind eyes or trigger migraine in some people, especially in sensitive people.