Headache Behind the Eyes
Headache located behind the eyes is a fairly common occurrence and is usually caused by the corneas and the lenses in the eyes not working correctly. When this happens, the images that enter the eyes cannot focus onto the retinas, straining the muscles around the eyes, causing tension and fatigue. People mostly experience a headache behind one eye, since it is less likely for both of the eyes' lenses to fail. Alternatively, the blood vessels and nerves around the eyes can be damaged and may cause pain in that way.
An irregular sleeping pattern or stress can cause what are called tension headaches, the most common type of headaches behind the eyes. However, there are a number of other possible causes for these headaches, as listed below.
When the retina of an eye has an abnormal shape, it causes what is known as an astigmatism. This condition causes things to look blurry when viewed from a particular angle, making the person squint their eyes to try to see better. Squinting causes the muscles around the eye to strain, which may lead to a tension headache.
As people age, the lenses of their eyes tend to become less flexible, which affects how light enters the eyes. This is called presbyopias and causes symptoms such as loss of focus, painful eyes and inevitably headaches.
Far-sightedness is a similar problem and can also cause tension headaches due to the strain the eyes are under when the person tries to focus on nearby things. Also named hyperopia, far-sightedness is when the image that enters the eye is focused at a point behind the retina rather than on the retina.
Migraine is a condition that can cause all kinds of headaches, including tension headaches situated behind the eyes. Some migraines can cause headaches that can continue for as little as a day or two or for as long as a few months. Migraine of the retina intensely strains the eye muscles and may even result in partial or complete blindness. Sinusitis usually causes headaches and can lead to pain behind the eyes too.
Cluster headaches can be very painful, including a burning feeling on the side of the nose. The pain will appear at different periods over time and can lead to very intense, spiking pain behind the eyes. What causes cluster headaches to appear is unknown, but luckily they are much less common than other types of headaches.
Usually, tension headaches will go away over time. Massaging the base of the skull or the temples on the sides of the head can help relieve tension in the muscles around the eyes. Prescription and over the counter medications including ibuprofen or paracetamol can help ease the pain of these headaches.
Caring for the eyes, getting plenty of rest and sleep and a balanced diet all help towards preventing tension headaches in the first place, always better than suffering the pain and trying to cure it afterwards.