Behind-the-eye headaches can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. If you experience this type of headache during allergy season, it’s a common assumption that the headache is sinus-related, but that’s not always the case. Below is an overview of what may be causing your behind-the-eye headache and how to remedy it.
Your sinuses are hollow cavities in the skull located behind your cheekbones, in the lower forehead and between the eyes. When you become congested from a cold or allergies, mucus can pool in the sinuses, creating ideal conditions for bacterial growth. Sinusitis symptoms include postnasal drip, fever and headache, which typically last two to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis lasts even longer – about 12 weeks. If your primary symptom is a headache and you don’t experience congestion, you likely don’t have a sinus headache.
If you do have a sinus infection, some ways to manage it include steam therapy to thin out your mucus so it can drain, nasal spray to keep the nasal passages open and light exercise to relieve sinus pressure.
Eye strain occurs when they eye muscles become sore and fatigued after overuse. Common causes include reading without resting or wearing prescribed glasses, driving long distances, being exposed to glare, straining to see in poor lighting and ignoring vision problems.
If you suspect eye strain is to blame for your headache, get a good night’s sleep and see how you feel the next day. You should also use over-the-counter eyedrops to keep your eyes lubricated, and avoid digital eye strain by using anti-glare cover on your screen and taking frequent breaks from your computer.
Migraines affect about 12 percent of Americans and frequently manifest behind the eyes. Common symptoms aside from the headache itself are light sensitivity and nausea. If you have two or three of these symptoms, chances are you have a migraine. Changes in weather, sleep patterns, eating habits and hormones as well as exposure to bright lights, loud noises and strong smells can all trigger migraines.
OTC pain relievers can help with mild discomfort, but most migraine sufferers require prescription medications to manage pain. Other medications to manage nausea may also be recommended. It is best to try to avoid migraines altogether by recognizing your triggers, getting enough magnesium, relaxing when needed and exercising regularly. If you experience frequent headaches, it’s important to have your symptoms evaluated by a doctor. Call ENT of Georgia to schedule an appointment today.