Having a headache behind the eyes is a relatively common problem, and such headaches happen for a variety of reasons.
Most of the time, such headaches are a sign of some other problem or disorder. This problem may have nothing to do with your eyes or vision.
To stop the pain, you first have to figure out where the pain is coming from.
What Causes a Headache Behind the Eyes?
Here are the most common reasons most people get a headache behind the eyes.
Your sinuses or an infection in your respiratory system can might be the cause. Swollen nasal passages near the eyes can put pressure on nerves behind the eyeballs when you have a cold or the flu..
Unfortunately, there’s a possibility your headache may be caused by a tumor. Hopefully, this is not the case.
But the most common problem that causes a headache behind the eyes is related to general eye health and eye conditions or disorders. Something happens that causes the lens of the eye to cast an unfocused image on the retina. When this happens, your brain automatically tightens your eye muscles in an effort to compensate. After this has been going on for a while, the eye muscles become strained, causing soreness.If this situation corrected, the muscles become even more strained and sore.
There are several common vision problems that are likely to result in soreness and pain behind the eyes.The list of vision problems that are likely to produce such discomfort or pain include the following.
Astigmatism – Sometimes there’s a change in the shape of the lens, which results in a distorted image landing on the retina. Vision becomes blurry or fuzzy.
You’ll notice that people who have astigmatism sometimes have to squint a lot. By squinting, they’re trying to force their eyes to focus. Squinting, if it’s done often enough, overworks and strains the eye muscles. This causes pain around the eyeballs, which feels like a headache behind the eyes.
Presbyopia – When we’re young, and even in our early adult years, the lenses of our eyes are pretty flexible. But with passing time, we lose some of this flexibility.
The result: objects close to us begin to lose their clarity. This is why many people need “reading glasses” as they pass into middle age.
When you have uncorrected presbyopia, you will strain your eyes trying to make them focus as you read. This results in headaches in the area around the eyes.
Hyperopia – This is similar to presbyopia in that images don’t focus correctly on the retina. They focus in an area behind the retina instead. Once again, the brain overworks the eye muscles in an effort to resolve the problem. This, of course, lead to strained muscles and soreness around the eyes.
Tips for Relieving Headache Pain
Many different over-the-counter medications are available that will relieve pain from a mild headache behind the eyes. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for specific recommendations.
If over-the-counter pain-relievers don’t work, and your headache persists for several days, call your doctor. He or she may prescribe something stronger.
If your headaches are happening often, and you haven’t had an eye exam for a while, a visit to your optometrist is probably in order. Since headaches behind the eyes are often caused by uncorrected vision, a set of eye glasses or contacts may put an end to your discomfort.
Acupuncture and massage may help to some people.
Short of the possibilities just mentioned, your best bet is rest and relaxation. If eye strain is the cause of your headaches, then giving your eyes a break is probably the best prescription for finding relief.