Headaches are an everyday situation for some people, while not for everyone; most of us can say we’ve experienced it at least a couple times in our lives. What causes it can vary from person to person. From stress, to neuralgias, to undiagnosed aneurisms, headaches can cover a wide spectrum of situations in your body.
Part of the assessment doctors conduct include the time of appearance of the headache, the exact location of the pain, what other symptoms might come with it, how intense it can get, and what makes it go away or at least calms it.
It is really important to consult with your doctor if your headache has a high intensity, or if it’s located near your eyes. Like if the headache is in your forehead, eyeball, or behind the eyes. Because it might be the first signs of various medical conditions.
The most frequent cause of headache behind eye is trauma in the eye or head. This might cause swelling or inflammation and edema of the affected area, compressing optical nerve directly(optical nerve is the nerve that innervates the eyes). Or traumatic brain injury causing a retroocular hematoma or fracture, affecting the optical nerve indirectly in this case.
When it comes to preexisting diseases, diabetes is the most common cause of retroocular pain when it comes to the case of detached retina. A detached retina originated by other causes can too lead to pain behind the eye.
Other benign causes include sinusitis, and some types of headache including cluster headache and several types of migraine with an aura. Different causes in addition include viral infections, a cold, or more serious conditions such as viral encephalitis can generate pain behind the eye because of meningeal inflammation as well.
On the other hand, damage to the optical nerve itself, or swelling, such as optical neuritis, also causes retroocular pain or headache behind the eye.
The cause of optical neuritis then might be infections, mostly viral, vacuities, which is an autoimmune disease where blood vessels inflame and can compress the nerve.
A demyelinating disease can also generate damage to the nerve and it can be the first manifestation of multiple sclerosis as well.
Lastly, a tumor of the optical nerve or any other tumor in the central nervous system that compresses the optical nerve directly. Otherwise, compression of the eyeball can also cause pain behind the eyes.
Intracranial hypertension which is high pressure inside the skull, can be caused by any number of different types of injury, and can cause headache behind the eyes as well. The causes for intracranial hypertension can be brain infarction, an hemorrhage in the brain, tumors, cerebral contusions, central nervous system infections, vein thrombosis, obstructive hydrocephaly.
All of these can also cause headache behind the eye and papilledema, which can be quickly checked by your physician.
What can you do at home to relieve headache behind eyes?
Rest your eyes by closing them or keeping away from lights that are too bright for a long period of time.
Use sunglasses when you know you’re going outside and there will be too much Sun.
These are options you can apply for a short period of time while you contact your physician and get an appointment. You should contact your physician if the intensity of the pain is too high, or if the pain lasts for more than two days. If there’s any changes in your eyesight. If you have any other medical conditions even if they might seem unrelated such as arthritis or diabetes, or any immune system condition. If the pain has appeared after any infection in your nose, throat, ears, eyes, or after any flu like condition. Also you should see a doctor if you feel only pressure behind the eyes and not the pain.
What can you expect?
During the consultation, the doctor might ask different questions to find the cause of the pain. Such as: Is it behind both eyes? Does your eye hurt as well, or is it only a headache located behind the eye? Do you feel a pulsated sensation? Did the pain star abruptly or progressively? Does it get worse when you move your eyes? Does light make it worse? What other symptoms have you noticed? (Such as fever, nausea, throwing up) Have you recently suffered any type of infection?
What are the treatment options?
The remedies or solutions may include relaxation techniques, pharmaceutical treatment with medication such as NSAIDS or other drugs your doctor will recommend depending on the intensity of your pain and its response to treatment. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and highly processed foods are a part of the treatment plan. Significantly reducing stress levels in your life is not only necessary, but crucial to the efficacy of any kind of treatment process that adapts better to your case.