Why headaches often emanate from the eye

Headaches are one of the most common health problems, and it is often difficult to detect their cause. In rare cases, the pain may be an indication of serious eye disease, more often excessive or unilateral eye strain is associated with headache. An ophthalmological examination may therefore be useful to make the correct diagnosis.

Visit to the ophthalmologist often gives information

Ophthalmologists recognize if the symptoms are caused by the eye or if they are common types of headaches such as migraine or tension-type headache and will advise their patients accordingly. Since the pain caused by the eye often radiates into its surroundings and manifests itself particularly intensively there, it can not always be exactly localized for the person affected. Thus, a disease of the eye, the eyelids, the lacrimal apparatus or the eye socket often leads to complaints that are perceived as a forehead, temples, ears or toothache.

The danger of misdiagnosis is obvious. Thus, valuable time may elapse until the actual cause is recognized. This applies, for example, to the glaucoma attack, which requires immediate ophthalmological treatment because it can lead to irreversible blindness in the shortest possible time. The environment of the eye contains particularly many and very pain-sensitive nerve fibers.

Starting from the first branch of the fifth cranial nerve, the ciliary nerves feed the eye. The pain radiating into the environment of the eye is due to the fact that the stimulation of the ciliary nerves (ciliary neuralgia) can also be transmitted to other branches of the fifth cranial nerve or the very pain-sensitive meninges.

Eye-related headaches occur

  • inflammatory diseases of eyelids, lacrimal gland, lacrimal sac and eye socket,
  • Inflammation of the anterior part of the eyeball, especially the leather, horn and iris, as well as a sudden increase in intraocular pressure (acute glaucoma attack),
  • in asthenopia. Typical of asthenopia is that those affected in the morning when waking up are completely symptom-free. Only after increasing stress on the eyes do dull pain appear behind the eyes and in the forehead and temporal area during the day. Sometimes even dizziness, nausea and vomiting are added.
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