Headaches are a common complaint, and they can range from mild to severe. A headache behind the eyes is usually a type of referred pain, meaning that it is perceived in a place other than where it originates. This type of headache can be caused by a variety of conditions, including tension headaches, cluster headaches, sinus headaches, and migraines. It can also be caused by an underlying health condition such as glaucoma or a neck injury.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are more common in women than in men. They usually cause a dull pain on both sides of the head or in the front of the head, behind the eyes. Your shoulders and neck may also hurt. A cluster headache can cause severe pain on one side of the head, often around the eye.
The pain can be very severe and may feel sharp, burning, or piercing. Migraine is the most common type of headache behind the eyes. Usually, a migraine is one-sided, which means that it affects only one side of the head. It can cause severe throbbing pain behind the left or right eye (but usually not behind both eyes).
Because of its location, a migraine headache is sometimes called an ocular headache. Sinus headaches are another type of headache that can cause pain behind the eyes. They recur if you have allergies or sinus problems and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nasal congestion and facial pressure. A specific type of glaucoma called acute angle-closure glaucoma can also cause nausea and severe headache behind the eyes.
If you have many different types of headaches, such as cluster headaches and tension headaches, you may need to experiment to find out which practices help you. Your doctor can diagnose this type of headache by doing a physical exam and asking about your symptoms and medical history.