You may feel stabbing and shooting pain when you have a headache behind the eye. The pain can be mild, moderate, or severe and lasts from some hours to several days. Sometimes you may feel extreme pressure on the right side of your forehead and a dull headache in the back of your eyes, which can radiate across your head to the back of your head.
There are many causes of a headache behind the right eye and temple. Common reasons include stress, sinus infection, eyestrain, trauma, injury, tumor, migraines, glaucoma, or trigeminal neuralgia.
In most cases, headaches are temporary conditions that can be alleviated by some natural remedies such as cold, massage, and sleep. These remedies can effectively help you relieve headaches. However, some headaches are often the symptoms of serious diseases, and you need to see your doctor immediately.
Symptoms of Headache Behind Right Eye
- Sharp headaches on just one part of your head or your whole head
- A dull ache headache behind or around the eye
- Sometimes the pain feels like a squeezing
- Stabbing and shooting pain that comes suddenly
- The pain may last from some hours to several days
- Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness
- Sensitivity to light or temporary blindness
- Tenderness of the scalp and neck
14 Common Causes of Headache Above or Behind the Right Eye
Headaches are one of the symptoms of different health issues. You may experience other temporary symptoms like nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, neck pain, and light flashes, depending on the reason. Here are 14 common causes of headaches on the right side of the head and eye.
1. Lifestyle Factors
Lifestyle plays a significant role in preventing different health problems, including the intensity and frequency of headaches. One may experience a headache behind the right eye due to the following:
- Neck pain related to a current or previous job
- Skipping meals
- Side effects of medications
Stress triggers many headaches and migraines, and taking a bath or reading a book may not be enough to alleviate the pain. You may need meditation or breathing exercises to reduce stress levels effectively. Eat balanced meals, often exercise, practice good posture, and make a sleep schedule to combat stress.
2. Eye Pain from a Tension Headache
The most common type of headache, tension headache, feels like a tight band around the head and may cause mild, moderate, or excruciating pain behind your eyes, neck, and head. It can occur due to muscle contractions in the neck and head regions. The symptoms of a tension headache are:
- Dull, aching pain in the head
- I feel pressure or tightness across the forehead or on the back and sides of the head.
- Tenderness on shoulder, scalp, and neck muscles
Episodic tension headache usually lasts 30 minutes to one week and may occur less than 15 days a month. Chronic tension headache lasts for hours and may occur 15 or more days a month.
Home remedies for a Tension headache
- Drink plenty of water: Sometimes, mild dehydration can cause headaches. You can drink lukewarm water or decaffeinated fluids to relieve the headache.
- Rest: Sleep is one of the simplest and most effective ways to treat headaches.
- Scalp Massage: Scalp Massage can help you ease stress and anxiety. This is very effective at treating tension headaches.
- Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise is the most effective way to reduce tension in your body. This can produce endorphins in your brain, which can help relieve the pain in your body. Walking, yoga and swimming are all excellent choices.
- Lavender oil or mint: lavender oil or mint flavor can effectively relieve headaches.
- Flaxseed Oil: The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil have anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat headaches.
- Cold compresses: Cold compresses can help reduce muscle tension in your head and neck.
Note: See your doctor if a tension headache affects your life, especially if you have to take medication for a headache twice a week.
3. Migraine Headache
One of the possible causes of right-side headaches and eye pain is a migraine. It usually causes a pulsing sensation or severe throbbing headache behind the left or right eye.
Migraine behind the eye can also be accompanied by sensitivity to sound and light, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine headaches may progress through four phases. The symptoms of the four stages of a migraine headache include:
- Prodrome (One or two days before a migraine) – Constipation, neck stiffness, increased urination and thirst, mood changes, food cravings, and frequent yawning.
- Aura (Before or during a migraine) – Vision loss, hearing music or noises, visual phenomena, difficulty speaking, pins and needles sensations in the leg or arm, and uncontrollable jerking.
- Attack – Pulsing or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, blurred vision, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sounds, light, touch, and smell.
- Post-drome (Final stage) – Moodiness, confusion, weakness, sensitivity to sound and light, and dizziness.
It is best to see a doctor to discuss your migraine headache, especially when accompanied by a stiff neck, double vision, numbness, or pain like a thunderclap.
4. Eye Pain from a Cluster Headache
A cluster headache is one of the most painful problems as it occurs in clusters or cyclical patterns. It commonly awakens you with excruciating pain in or around one eye. Cluster periods may last for weeks, followed by remission periods (no headaches occur for months or years). The typical symptoms of this problem include:
- Extreme pain in or around an eye may radiate to the head, face, neck, and shoulders.
- Redness in the affected eye
- One-sided pain
- Drooping eyelid
- Facial sweating
- A runny or stuffy nose on the affected side
- Pale skin
See your doctor if your headache is abrupt and severe, accompanied by fever, stiff neck, nausea or vomiting, difficulty speaking, and numbness.
5. Eye Pain from a Sinusitis Infection
Sinus infections can cause headaches behind or under the eye near the clogged sinus. It may also cause common symptoms like:
- A runny nose or drainage of a thick, greenish or yellow discharge from the nose
- Postnasal drainage, nasal congestion
- Pain, swelling, and pressure around the eyes, nose, cheeks, or forehead
- A sore throat, bad breath
- A cough, fever, fatigue
- Ear pressure
Because of the pressure buildup, coughing, sneezing, and bending over, blocked sinuses will cause pain behind the eyes and around your forehead.
Home remedies for sinus headaches
- Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve your sinus headaches. At the same time, it can promote nasal drainage to alleviate sinus pain.
- Neti Pot: Using a neti pot can help reduce sinus pain. Use distilled water and salt to clean up the nasal passages, which can effectively rule out the mucus in the nasal cavity.
- Humidifier: Place a humidifier in the bedroom, which can reduce the irritation of dry air brought to the nasal cavity and help relieve sinusitis symptoms.
- Hot compress: Apply a towel soaked in warm water on the nose, which helps relieve sinus pain. You can also use a steam shower to expand and soothe the sinus cavity.
- Cinnamon: Mix cinnamon with honey and ingest it, which can help relieve sinus headaches. Cinnamon contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. Honey has a lot of vitamins. They can effectively relieve headaches and sore throat caused by postnasal drip.
- Over-the-counter drugs: Take some over-the-counter medicines, such as Advil. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can reduce nasal inflammation and relieve sinus headaches.
A headache behind the right eye or over the right eyebrow can be a sign of eyestrain. It usually occurs when your eyes get tired from prolonged, intense use, such as staring at computer screens and driving for hours. This cannot be very pleasant, but it usually goes away after taking enough rest.
Eye strain can cause redness, irritation, dry eyes, and difficulty focusing. Other symptoms of eyestrain include:
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Blurred or double vision
- Dry or watery eyes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Itching or burning eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling like you cannot keep the affected eye open
How to cure eye strain headaches
Warm compress: Warm compress is an effective way to reduce eye strain. Place a soft towel soaked in warm water on your eyelids. This can help relax the muscles around your eyes and relieves dryness, swelling, and pain in the eyes.
Eye Exercises: Regular eye exercises can improve blood circulation to your eyes. Try to roll your eyes in different directions for a few seconds. This can effectively help alleviate eye strain.
Eye Massage: Eye Massage can help improve blood circulation and relax the muscles of your eyes. Gently massage your eyelids, temple, and upper cheekbones for about 1 to 2 minutes. This can help prevent dry eyes and relieve a strain headache.
Note: See a doctor if home remedies and relaxation do not relieve the symptoms.
7. Trauma or Injury
Injury or trauma to the right side of your head can cause a headache behind the eyes and forehead. Depending on the severity, it may cause a recurring headache even after healing. Traumatic headaches can also cause cluster headaches.
If you have an injury or trauma, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
8. Giant Cell Arteritis
Another possible cause of a headache above or behind the right eye is giant cell arteritis. Also known as temporal arteritis, it is an inflammation of the lining of the arteries in the head. If left untreated, this condition can result in blindness or stroke. The general signs and symptoms of giant cell arteritis are:
- Constant headache behind the eyes, usually in temple areas
- Jaw pain when opening the mouth wide or chewing
- Scalp tenderness
- Weight loss
- Fever, fatigue
- Double vision, blurred vision, or vision loss
- Sudden or permanent vision loss in one eye
See your doctor immediately if you develop a persistent headache and other symptoms mentioned above.
A person may suffer a severe headache over the right eye due to damaged or trapped nerves in the head. This condition affects the trigeminal nerves in the face and causes stabbing pain around the left or right eye.
The jabbing or shooting pain can be triggered by some actions, including speaking, brushing your teeth, applying makeup, drinking or eating, and touching your face.
You may experience a headache behind the eyes and temples that lasts for a few seconds or minutes. A series of attacks can last for days, weeks, or months. If facial pain accompanies your headache behind the right eye, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
10. Vision Problems
In some cases, pain behind one or both eyes is caused by a problem with the eye itself and must be appropriately treated. For example, someone with an uncorrected vision issue, such as astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness, may experience a headache and eye pain because the eye and brain are trying to work harder for poor vision abilities.
Other possible causes of a headache behind the right eye are optic neuritis, which is the inflammation of the optic nerve, and Scleritis, which is the inflammation of the outer coating of the eyeball.
Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, which is essential for good vision. High pressure usually causes damage to the eye. The effect is gradual, and some symptoms are not noticeable until the problem is at an advanced phase. Depending on the stage of the condition, symptoms may include:
- Patchy blind spots in peripheral or central vision
- Tunnel vision (advanced stage)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe headache
- Eye pain, redness
- Halos around lights
Vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be recovered. See an eye doctor if you experience symptoms of proper diagnosis and immediate treatment.
An aneurysm is the ballooning or bulging of an artery’s wall. It can rupture and result in internal bleeding. This condition does not usually show symptoms, so a person may not know that they have an aneurysm, even if the bulge is prominent.
When symptoms occur, some signs of an unruptured aneurysm include pain above or behind one eye, double vision or change in sight, a dilated pupil, drooping eyelid, and numbness.
Common symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm are:
- Sudden, excruciating headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light
- Stiff neck
- Drooping eyelid
- Loss of consciousness or seizure
Seek medical attention if you develop sudden, extreme headaches.
A brain tumor is a growth or accumulation of abnormal cells in the brain. It increases pressure in the skull and produces pain throughout the head but may also cause localized pain behind an eye. The general symptoms of a brain tumor include:
- Headaches that gradually become more severe and frequent
- Seizures, muscle cramps, spasms, jerks
- Change in vision, sensation, hearing, or smell
- Balance and speech difficulties
- The gradual loss of feeling in a leg or an arm
- Nausea or vomiting
If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately to prevent the possible tumor growth in your head.
14. Dry eye
Dry eye is a very common disease, especially for those who look at a computer screen or cell phone for a long time. Dry eyes can cause the eyes to become dry, itchy, and irritating, leading to headaches behind the eyes.
This eye pain and headache can sometimes be intense, accompanied by a burning sensation. Sometimes, you will feel tears flow out suddenly and cannot be controlled.
Close your eyes and rest for a while. This will help ease the symptoms of dry eyes. You can also use eye drops to relieve the headache caused by dry eyes.
How to Treat Headache Pain Above or Behind the Right Eyes
Knowing the underlying cause of a headache behind the right eye allows you to conduct a proper treatment. You can also relieve these problems naturally by applying a cold compress, improving sleep habits, lowering stress levels, eating nutritious meals, and massage therapy.
Sleep: Sleep is the most effective way to get rid of migraines. It can help you remove tension and stress. It also relieves headaches caused by fatigue.
Exercise: Exercise is a natural painkiller. It can promote the production of endorphins in the body and relieves headache. Avoid excessive exercise, which can lead to fatigue and headaches behind your eyes.
Steam: Inhaling steam can effectively help you reduce sinusitis, a common cause of headaches behind the eyes. You can also use the saline nasal spray to treat sinusitis and relieve headaches.
Acupuncture or massage: Acupuncture or massage is very effective in treating headaches after the eyes. They can help improve your blood circulation and relieve your body tension.
Yoga: Yoga is another effective way to treat headaches behind the eyes, while it can help improve the body’s flexibility.
Avoid smoking and drinking: Heavy smoke and too much alcohol often lead to headaches. You better avoid them.
Avoid strong tea or coffee: Strong tea or coffee can stimulate your nerves and lead to headaches behind the eyes. You can drink some green tea to relieve the headache.
See your doctor: If the pattern of headaches changes and becomes more frequent or severe, see a doctor immediately.