Glaucoma is a condition that affects the eyes, specifically the optic nerve. It is more common in people with diabetes and elderly adults. There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle and closed-angle.
Closed-angle or angle-closure glaucoma occurs when there is a blockage in the anterior chamber of the eye, the space in front of the lens. Fluid within the eye gets trapped and pressure increases. This intraocular eye pressure can cause a headache with eye pain, blurry vision, nausea, and vomiting. Eye redness and eye pain can be severe.
Glaucoma requires an evaluation and treatment from a doctor, therefore, should not be treated at home. The doctor will measure your intraocular pressure and recommend medications. In some cases, surgery is necessary to relieve the pressure and restore vision.
Sinusitis or swelling of the sinuses may also cause headache with eye pain.
Sinuses are spaces in the skull located around the nose and eye areas. The sinuses help to drain fluid and provide structure to the skull without weighing it down. Within the sinuses are blood vessels and respiratory epithelium, which is responsible for mucus production and filtering particles when we breathe. Some areas also house smell receptors.
Usually, sinus infections are viral. Sometimes bacteria can also be responsible. When the pathogen enters the cells that line the sinuses, it can cause inflammation. As pressure builds up within the bony sinuses, it can cause a headache with eye pain.
If sinusitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not given. Instead, rest, hydration, and medications like decongestants and OTC pain relievers can be used. If sinusitis is caused by allergies, like rhinitis, nasal sprays and antihistamines can also be used.
This is the prototypical headache concentrated behind one eye that may be with tearing. It is less common than the previously mentioned conditions.
In summary, a headache with eye pain can be present with a variety of conditions and diseases. Most of the time, it is not a serious issue and can be resolved on its own. However, if you experience them with a fever for more than 3 days or the headache does not resolve within 10 days, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor will be able to determine the underlying cause of your headache and eye pain and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Learn more about Headaches and Migraines here.
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