Pain in right eye socket and head: The request could not be satisfied
Headache Behind Eye: Causes, Triggers, and Treatment
What Is a Headache Behind the Eye?
If you feel pain behind your eyes, there’s a good chance it could be a specific type of headache.
Causes of Headache Behind the Eye
These headaches often begin with pain around your eye and temple. They can spread to the back of your head. You might also have an aura, which can include visual signs like a halo or flashing lights that sometimes come before the pain starts.
You may also have nausea, a runny nose, or congestion. You could be sensitive to light, sounds, or smells. Migraine headaches can last several hours to a few days.
These are the most common types of headaches. They usually cause a dull pain on both sides of your head or across the front of your head, behind your eyes. Your shoulders and neck may also hurt. Tension headaches might last 20 minutes to a few hours.
These cause severe pain around your eyes, often around just one eye. They usually come in groups. You may have several of them every day for weeks and then not have any for a year or more before they start again.
Along with the pain, you may also have watery eyes, congestion, and a red, flushed face. The attacks last 30 to 60 minutes and are so strong that you may be restless and can’t stand still while they happen. Cluster headaches aren’t very common and mostly happen in men.
A sinus infection (sinusitis) can cause a headache around your eyes, nose, forehead, cheeks, and upper teeth. This is where your sinuses are. You’ll often also have a fever, congestion, and a thick nasal discharge. The pain usually gets worse throughout the day.
True sinus headaches are rare. Migraine and cluster headaches are often mistaken for sinus headaches.
This is when your eyes get tired from working too hard, doing things like staring at a computer screen or driving for a long time.
Other symptoms can include:
Eyestrain isn’t serious and usually goes away when you rest your eyes.
Headache Behind the Eye Triggers
Different things may set off each type of headache.
You might get migraines because of:
Things that may give you a tension headache include:
- Poor posture
- Problems with the muscles or joints in your neck or jaw
- Dehydration or missing a meal
- Bright sunlight
- Certain smells
Cluster headaches are often triggered by alcohol, smoking, or certain medications.
Headache Behind the Eye Treatment
Learning to avoid your triggers may prevent headaches or make them less painful. If you do get one, there are many kinds of treatments.
Medication for headache behind the eye
Over-the-counter pain medicine can ease occasional headaches. It may even help with migraines if you take it early enough. Doctors often recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). But remember that taking them too often can trigger overuse headaches.
If you get frequent tension headaches, your doctor may prescribe medication. Antidepressants like amitriptyline (Elavil) help many people.
Sometimes, prescription drugs are the only things that will ease migraine pain. Some of the most common are triptans such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig). They help most people within 2 hours if taken early enough. People who get chronic migraines often take medicine like beta-blockers or antidepressants every day to help cut back on how many they have.
Breathing pure oxygen may bring relief of cluster headaches. Injected triptans like sumatriptan and lidocaine nose drops might also help. Some people take medicines such as verapamil (Calan, Verelan) or prednisone to prevent attacks.
Treat a sinus headache by clearing up the infection. Your doctor might suggest antibiotics and decongestants.
Home remedies for headache behind the eye
Caffeine or ice packs may help with migraine pain.
For a tension headache, try a heating pad or a warm shower, or rest until the headache goes away. It can also help to find better ways to handle stress. Learn relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing. Try not to skip meals or get too tired.
When you have a sinus infection, breathe in warm, moist air from a vaporizer or a pot of boiling water to ease congestion. Warm compresses can also help.
If your eyes are often strained, take breaks and blink more. Artificial tears may also refresh your eyes. Check with your doctor to make sure your vision prescription is up to date, and ask about exercises to strengthen eye muscles.
Cluster headaches – NHS
Cluster headaches are excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head, often felt around the eye.
Cluster headaches are rare. Anyone can get them, but they’re more common in men and tend to start when a person is in their 30s or 40s.
Symptoms of a cluster headache
Cluster headaches begin quickly and without warning. The pain is very severe and is often described as a sharp, burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head.
It’s often felt around the eye, temple and sometimes face. It tends to affect the same side for each attack.
People often feel restless and agitated during an attack because the pain is so intense, and they may react by rocking, pacing or banging their head against the wall.
You may also get 1 or more of the following symptoms:
- a red and watering eye
- drooping and swelling of 1 eyelid
- a smaller pupil in 1 eye
- a sweaty face
- a blocked or runny nostril
The attacks generally last between 15 minutes and 3 hours, and typically occur between 1 and 8 times a day.
What causes cluster headaches?
The exact cause of cluster headaches is not clear, but they have been linked to activity in part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
People who smoke seem to have a higher risk of getting cluster headaches.
Some people who get cluster headaches have other family members who also get them, which suggests there may be a genetic link.
Cluster headache attacks can sometimes be triggered by drinking alcohol or by strong smells, such as perfume, paint or petrol.
Pattern of attacks
Cluster headaches usually happen every day, in bouts lasting several weeks or months at a time (typically 4 to 12 weeks), before they subside.
A symptom-free period (remission) will often follow, which sometimes lasts months or years before the headaches start again.
People tend to get cluster headaches at the same time each day. For example, they often wake up with a headache within a couple of hours of going to sleep.
They’ll often get cluster headaches every year for many years and they may be lifelong. They tend to happen at similar times of the year, commonly in the spring and autumn.
When to get medical advice
You should see a GP as soon as possible the first time you experience what you think may be a cluster headache.
They’ll ask you about your symptoms and may refer you for tests.
A brain scan is sometimes needed to exclude other conditions that can have similar symptoms to cluster headaches.
Typically, with cluster headaches the brain scan is normal and the diagnosis is made on the basis of your symptoms without the need for further tests.
If you’re diagnosed with cluster headaches, you’ll usually see a specialist, such as a neurologist (a specialist in brain and nerve conditions), to talk about your treatment options.
Treatments for cluster headaches
Cluster headaches are not life threatening, but they can cause severe pain and significantly affect your quality of life.
Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, are not effective for cluster headaches because they’re too slow to take effect.
Instead, you’ll need to have one or more specialist treatments.
3 main treatments are available to relieve pain when taken soon after a cluster headache starts.
- sumatriptan injections – which you can give yourself up to twice a day
- sumatriptan or zolmitriptan nasal spray – which can be used if you do not want to have injections
- oxygen therapy – where you breathe pure oxygen through a face mask
These treatments usually relieve the pain of a cluster headache within 15 to 30 minutes.
The Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache (OUCH UK) has more information about the medicines used to treat cluster headaches.
Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation
Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (TVNS) is a fairly new treatment that uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate a nerve in the neck.
The aim is to relieve pain and reduce the number of cluster headaches.
You place a small handheld device (about the size of a mobile phone) on the side of your neck. Your specialist will show you exactly where.
Gradually increase the strength of the electrical current until you can feel small muscle contractions under your skin. Hold the device in position for about 90 seconds.
TVNS can be used to treat cluster headaches when you get them, and can also be used between attacks to try to prevent them happening. But TVNS may not help everyone with cluster headaches.
For more information, read the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance about transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.
There’s also a new portable TVNS device called gammaCore. NICE has said that gammaCore can be effective for some people and reduce the need for medicines.
Stimulation device implantation
If you’ve had cluster headaches for a long time and other treatments have not worked, surgery to implant a stimulation device may be recommended.
Under general anaesthetic, a small electrical device is implanted in a cavity in the side of your face.
It emits electrical currents that stimulate an area of the parasympathetic nervous system thought to be associated with cluster headaches.
When you get a headache, you activate the device (up to a pre-determined maximum dose) by placing a handheld unit on your cheek over the place where the implanted device is located.
As with TVNS, the aim of treatment is to relieve pain and reduce the frequency of cluster headache attacks.
NICE has recommended that the treatment is safe for short-term use (up to 2 months) under close specialist supervision.
For more information, read the NICE guidance about implantation of a sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation device for chronic cluster headache.
Preventing cluster headaches
Avoiding the triggers of cluster headaches can help prevent them.
For example, you should not drink alcohol during a cluster headache bout.
You should also try to avoid strong-smelling chemicals, such as perfume, paint or petrol, which can often trigger an attack.
Becoming overheated during exercise can also bring on a cluster headache attack in some people, so it’s best not to exercise during a bout.
Smoking has also been linked to an increased risk of getting cluster headaches, so you should consider giving up smoking (if you smoke).
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent cluster headaches during a bout.
You start taking the treatment as soon as the headaches begin, and continue it until the bout is thought to have stopped.
A medicine called verapamil is the main treatment for preventing cluster headaches. It’s taken as a tablet several times a day.
Verapamil can cause heart problems in some people, so while taking it you’ll need to be monitored using a test called an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Other treatments may be considered if verapamil is not effective. These may include corticosteroids, lithium medicine and local anaesthetic injections into the back of the head (occipital nerve blocks).
Preventative treatments can vary in effectiveness from person to person.
You may need to try a few different treatments before your attacks are brought under control.
Help and support
Living with cluster headaches can be very difficult, particularly if you have long-term (chronic) cluster headaches.
You may find it useful to get further information, advice and support from organisations such as OUCH (UK).
OUCH (UK) has an answerphone messaging service you can call. The number is 01646 651 979.
You can also contact them by email: [email protected]
Page last reviewed: 01 May 2020
Next review due: 01 May 2023
Cavernous sinus thrombosis – Symptoms
The most common initial symptom of cavernous sinus thrombosis is a headache.
This usually develops as a sharp pain located behind or around the eyes that steadily gets worse over time.
Symptoms often start within a few days of developing an infection in the face or skull, such as sinusitis or a boil.
It can be several days, or even weeks, before additional symptoms develop after the headache starts.
In very rare cases, cavernous sinus thrombosis can occur after having some types of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. If this happens, symptoms can appear between 4 days and 4 weeks after vaccination.
In most cases of cavernous sinus thrombosis, the eyes are affected. You may experience:
- swelling and bulging of the eyes – this usually starts in one eye and spreads to the other eye soon after
- red eyes
- eye pain – which can be severe
- vision problems – such as double vision or blurred vision
- difficulty moving the eyes
- drooping of the eyelids
Other symptoms of cavernous sinus thrombosis include:
- a high temperature
- seizures (fits)
- changes in mental state, such as feeling very confused
These symptoms usually occur if cavernous sinus thrombosis is left untreated, or if an infection causing the condition spreads throughout the body.
Without treatment, most people with cavernous sinus thrombosis will become increasingly drowsy and eventually fall into a coma.
When to seek medical advice
Call 111 immediately if you experience:
- a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
- a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
- a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
- eye pain or swelling of one or both eyes
- a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
- shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain
While it’s highly unlikely to be caused by a cavernous sinus thrombosis, these symptoms need further investigation.
In very rare cases, these symptoms may appear from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
You should also contact a GP if you develop any of the eye symptoms described above.
Page last reviewed: 05 August 2021
Next review due: 05 August 2024
Cluster headache Information | Mount Sinai
Treatment for cluster headaches involves:
- Medicines to treat the pain when it happens
- Medicines to prevent the headaches
TREATING CLUSTER HEADACHES WHEN THEY OCCUR
Your provider may recommend the following treatments for when the headaches occur:
- Triptan medicines, such as sumatriptan (Imitrex).
- Anti-inflammatory (steroid) medicines such as prednisone. Starting with a high dose, then slowly decreasing it over 2 to 3 weeks.
- Breathing in 100% (pure) oxygen.
- Injections of dihydroergotamine (DHE), which can stop cluster attacks within 5 minutes (Warning: this drug can be dangerous if taken with sumatriptan).
You may need more than one of these treatments to control your headache. Your provider may have you try several medicines before deciding which works best for you.
Pain medicines and narcotics do not usually relieve cluster headache pain because they take too long to work.
Surgical treatment may be recommended for you when all other treatments have failed. One such treatment is a neurostimulator. This device delivers tiny electrical signals to certain nerves such as the occipital nerve in the scalp. Your provider can tell you more about surgery.
PREVENTING CLUSTER HEADACHES
Avoid smoking, alcohol use, certain foods, and other things that trigger your headaches. A headache diary can help you identify your headache triggers. When you get a headache, write down the following:
- Day and time the pain began
- What you ate and drank over the past 24 hours
- How much you slept
- What you were doing and where you were right before the pain started
- How long the headache lasted and what made it stop
Review your diary with your provider to identify triggers or a pattern to your headaches. This can help you and your provider create a treatment plan. Knowing your triggers can help you avoid them.
The headaches may go away on their own or you may need treatment to prevent them. The following medicines may also be used to treat or prevent headache symptoms:
- Allergy medicines
- Blood pressure medicines
- Seizure medicine
Red flags in neuro-ophthalmology
Community Eye Health. 2016; 29(96): 64–65.
Lecturer and Honorary Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria.
Olufunmilola Ogun, Lecturer and Honorary Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
Some diseases of the brain presenting with visual symptoms are life threatening and need urgent management. This article discusses possible causes of double vision, vision loss with headache, and non-ocular vision loss.
Papilloedema in a 23-year-old woman. Headache for two months. Worse on waking. Vision 6/6 in both eyes.
The three most important ‘red flag’ symptoms that indicate that a patient may need neuro-ophthalmological assessment are:
Sudden onset of double vision (diplopia)
Headache accompanied by vision loss (without an ocular cause)
Visual loss after ocular causes have been excluded
If a patient presents with any of the symptoms above, you must take a detailed history ().
1 Sudden onset of double vision
Each eye is moved by six muscles which are innervated by three “cranial” nerves (the 3rd, 4th and 6th nerve) (). If the nerves are affected then the eye cannot move normally, which results in double vision. The 3rd nerve also innervates the upper eyelid ().
First exclude monocular diplopia by asking the patient to cover each eye in turn. If the double vision persists when looking with just one eye, then this is usually due to an ocular problem (e.g. cataract) and does not have a neurological cause.
|Questions to ask||Clinical interpretation|
|Is the double vision worse in any direction of gaze?||The direction of gaze in which the double vision is worst signifies the most likely eye muscle involved.|
|Are the images side by side; or is one image tilted and above the other?||In 6th nerve palsies the images are side by side;
In 4th nerve palsies one image is tilted.
|Has there been a recent head injury?||Trauma to the brain or orbit can affect the nerves which control eye muscle movements.|
|Does the double vision get worse as the day progresses or after exercise?||If the condition gets worse with use of the muscle then this is typical for myasthenia gravis; there may be eyelid drooping (ptosis) or diplopia as the day proceeds.|
|Is there any head or eye pain?||Pain is an important clue: it usually indicates infection or inflammation. Tumours are less likely to be painful.|
|Are there any systemic symptoms or diseases?||Hypertension and diabetes can both cause loss of vision and diplopia.|
|Questions to ask||Clinical interpretation|
|Is the upper eyelid drooping?||Ptosis may be due to myasthenia gravis or a third nerve palsy, or may be congenital.|
|How do the eyes move (each eye alone and both eyes together)?||Assess the position of the eyes looking straight ahead (check for squint), and the movements of each eye alone and together in all 9 positions of gaze (Figure 3 on page 67). Limitation of movement in a certain direction indicates disease of the affected muscle or the cranial nerve which innervates it.
6th nerve palsy: eye cannot look out (abduction). 3rd nerve palsy ptosis and eye cannot look up and in.
|Are the pupils of equal size?||If one pupil is larger than the other, this suggests 3rd nerve palsy relating to the eye with the larger pupil.|
|Does the pupil react normally to light?||A non-reactive pupil indicates a damaged optic nerve or prior use of dilating drops.|
What should I do?
Refer all patients with double vision for further investigation. Some may have life-threatening conditions.
2 Headache accompanied by vision loss (without an ocular cause)
The brain is encased by the skull and meninges and is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid. If the flow of fluid is blocked, by a tumour for example, this raises the pressure inside the head (intracranial pressure), causing headache, sometimes with nausea or vomiting. Raised intracranial pressure can lead to swelling of the optic nerve head (papilloedema), usually in both eyes. If the raised pressure persists, the optic nerves become atrophie; i.e. they become paler then normal.
Both headaches and visual loss are common. Before suspecting a neurological cause, examine the patient to exclude eye conditions which might be responsible for the visual loss ().
Taking a history
Ask questions about any aches or pain using the mnemonic ‘SOCRATES’ ().
|Questions to ask||Clinical interpretation|
|Site: Where is the headache? The patient may describe or point to the location||Pain overlying the sinuses may suggest sinusitis, whereas periorbital pain suggests orbital pathology.|
|Onset: How long have they had the headache?
Is It worse at any time of the day?
|Migraine is a common cause of recurrent severe headache which may last hours or even days.
Pain which Is worse In the morning on waking up may be due to raised Intracranial pressure. The headache may be associated with nausea and vomiting.
|Character: Can they describe the quality or type of pain?||Dull, constant, unrelieved pain over days or weeks may suggest a space-occupying lesion.
A sudden, throbbing pain Is more typical of vascular problems like migraine or an aneurysm.
|Radiation: does the pain start In one place and then extend/spread to another?||Pain that starts In one place and seems to move or ‘radiate’ to another suggests that Is generated by the Irritation of a nerve.|
|Associated vision loss||Severe constant headache with gradual visual loss suggests either compression of the optic nerve, or longstanding raised Intracranial pressure.|
|Time course: have the symptoms changed over time?||Symptoms which are constant and getting more severe may Indicate a serious progressive condition e.g. a tumour.
Intermittent headaches are more typical of vascular or Inflammatory conditions.
|Exacerbating factors: What makes the headache worse or better?||A headache which Is worse when lying down or bending down may be due to raised Intracranial pressure.|
|Severity: Ask the patient to rate the severity on a scale from 1 (mild) to 10 (very severe)||Any headache that Interferes with the patient’s dally activities should not be Ignored.|
|Questions to ask||Clinical interpretation|
|Are the pupils of equal size and do they react normally to light?||See .|
|Is there optic disc swelling or atrophy?||Swelling of the optic disc can be due to raised intracranial pressure (papilloedema) or inflammation (papilitis). Optic atrophy may be due to longstanding compression of the optic nerve or vascular or toxic damage to the nerve.|
What should I do?
Refer all patients with headache and persistent visual loss for further investigation. The referral must be urgent if they have papilloedema. Some may have life-threatening conditions.
3 Visual loss after ocular causes have been excluded
Most causes of visual loss are due to diseases of the eye. Ocular conditions must be excluded by careful examination of the eye before considering a neurological cause of poor vision ().
Progressive vision loss with no ocular cause must be taken seriously.
|Questions to ask||Clinical interpretation|
|Is the vision loss in one or both eyes?||Unilateral vision loss indicates a problem within the eyeball or optic nerve in the orbit.|
|Has there been any change in the vision since onset?||Vision loss that is progressively worsening may suggest a space-occupying lesion.|
|Are there any other symptoms?||Vomiting, seizures, and changes in mood or mental state may indicate increased intracranial pressure. Calll for URGENT referral.|
|Is there a fever?||Fever indicates infection, check the sinuses, ears, orbit, and for neck stiffness.|
More red flags
Proptosis is anterior displacement of the globe. It may be due to space-occupying lesions in the orbit. Adults with acquired proptosis need to be evaluated for thyroid disorder. Pulsatile proptosis, painful proptosis and all cases of proptosis associated with vision loss should be referred for urgent evaluation.
Drooping of the upper lid is called ptosis. All cases of acquired ptosis should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Marked unilateral ptosis with ocular deviation down and out are signs of a 3rd cranial nerve palsy. If associated with severe sudden onset of unilateral headache this can be due to a intracranial aneurysm (dilated artery). Patients must be referred for immediate neuro-ophthalmological review.
Bilateral ptosis which gets worse as the day progresses may be due to myasthenia gravis.
Partial ptosis with a smaller (constricted) pupil on the same side is due to damage to the sympathetic nerves which supply the muscles in the eyelid and iris – this is called Homers syndrome and the cause needs to be investigated.
Forehead Pain – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
Forehead pain results from multiple processes that affect the forehead. Headaches are a common cause of forehead pain. Such headaches may result from vascular abnormalities, muscle tension, or inflammation. Forehead pain is commonly caused by sinus infection, viral infections such as cold or flu, or even bacterial meningitis. Many other conditions may lead to forehead pain, including drug withdrawal, trauma or hormonal changes.
Headache causes of forehead pain
Headaches that may cause forehead pain include:
Infectious causes of forehead pain
Forehead pain may be caused by infections such as:
Other causes of forehead pain
Forehead pain may also have other causes including:
Anxiety or stress
Consumption of nitrates, aspartame, or monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Loss of vision or changes in vision
Withdrawal from caffeine, alcohol, or drugs such as sedatives
Serious or life-threatening causes of forehead pain
In some cases, forehead pain may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include:
Encephalitis (inflammation and swelling of the brain due to a viral infection or other causes)
Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the brain)
Meningitis (infection or inflammation of the sac around the brain and spinal cord)
Severe head trauma
Questions for diagnosing the cause of forehead pain
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your forehead pain including:
How long have you had forehead pain?
Where (specifically) do you feel the forehead pain?
Do you have tingling, weakness or numbness in your arms or legs?
Do you get a headache after reading or watching television?
Have you recently injured your head or neck?
Do you have any other symptoms?
What medications are you taking?
What are the potential complications of forehead pain?
Because forehead pain can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Brain damage or inflammation
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
Why Do I Wake Up With Eye Pain?
Several conditions could cause you to wake up with eye pain. Here are a few of them, and how they are treated. Any excruciating eye pain with blindness should be considered a medical emergency and you should seek immediate help.
What is dry eye?
This is a common condition that often causes severe pain. It is caused by a lack of lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface. You may also experience persistent dryness, grittiness, a burning sensation and red eyes. It may be hard to open your eyes in the morning. If this only affects you in the morning it could be because your eyelids aren’t closing properly when you go to sleep. A solution is to use a lubricating eye drop before you go to bed. If this doesn’t help, visit your optometrist for more specialised advice.Those who spend a lot of time on the computer are more likely to experience eye pain as people tend to blink less when using this kind of technology.
What are the symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma?
This condition is caused by a blockage in the drainage canals in your eye, creating a rise in intraocular pressure. If you have hazy or blurred vision alongside severe eye and head pain, nausea and vomiting, it could mean that you have acute-closure glaucoma.This requires immediate medical attention, particularly if you also experience sudden loss of sight.
What is a corneal abrasion?
A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the cornea or clear protective layer over the iris (coloured part of the eye) and pupil (black part).If something gets trapped under your eyelid it can cause your cornea to become scratched, which can result in severe pain and discomfort. If something gets caught in your eye, try to flush it out with water or seek help from your optometrist rather than trying to rub it out.You may tear up or notice red eyes. If your vision changes or you become sensitive to light then it is important to seek emergency care.
90,000 What do we know about migraines, or dedicated to all migraine sufferers
There is no such person on Earth who has never had a headache. She may be sick after strenuous work, lack of sleep, or in the morning after a party. But for most people, the pain goes away after an hour of rest or an aspirin pill. And 10% of humanity associates a headache with lost hours of life, in which they can do absolutely nothing, even sleep. This pain is exhausting, there is no escape from it, it does not go away from pills or sleep, and it seems that it will last forever.Pain can provoke fever, panic attacks and fear. It’s a migraine. An ancient disease that has spawned many legends around itself. Why do we know so little about migraines? And do we know anything at all?
The Legend of the Elite Disease
It is believed that migraine is a disease of geniuses and high intellectuals. Many people who wrote themselves on the pages of history suffered from headaches. Guy Julius Caesar, Karl Marx, Karl Linnaeus, Charles Darwin, Alfred Nobel, Sigmund Freud, Blaise Pascal, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Richard Wagner, Frederic Chopin are just a few of the names in a long list of famous migraine sufferers.Perhaps this is why the myth arose that migraines are a price to pay for talent. However, it is not. Simple and great people suffer from diseases of “mere mortals, and the problem of migraine affects about one tenth of the world’s population!
Legend of a young disease
The fact that scientists have not yet fully studied migraine does not mean that it is a young disease. As early as 3000 years BC, the Sumerian poet, whose name has not survived, described headaches accompanied by the onset of blindness.The first physician to professionally describe migraines was Hippocrates. He noted that before the pain itself, a person may experience visual impairment, and during an attack – vomiting. In the II century of our era, the physician Galen called pain “hemicrania”, which translates as “half of the head.” This is due to the fact that in the vast majority of migraines, pain spreads only to one side of the skull. Later, doctors of antiquity also noticed that the “focus” of migraine can be located in the depths of the eye sockets (in the temples) or in the back of the head.In addition, they found that before a migraine, a person may experience certain sensations: weakness, “fog”, glare, zigzag distortion of objects and other special effects in the field of vision, auditory hallucinations, inability to think coherently. And during an attack, the patient is often afraid of light, harsh sounds, smells, movements, and sometimes even touch.
Hippocrates. Source: aif.ru
The Middle Ages did not add to the knowledge of mankind about migraines. After the Renaissance, in the 17th century, the Swiss physician Wepfer suggested that migraine was associated with vasodilation of the brain.At the same time, scientists come up with a theory about the hereditary nature of the disease. In the 19th century, several scientific works on migraine were published at once, in which physicians were trying to give a clinical description of seizures and find drugs. At the beginning of the twentieth century, about 500 articles and monographs about this mysterious disease were published. But in the camp of scientists there is no agreement. They can not only determine why this pain occurs, but even understand the symptoms that can be confidently attributed to migraines.
The legend of a “simple” headache: what does a migraine lead to
The fact is that with a migraine, a person most often does not observe any pathological changes.Migraine is a vascular, neurological and biochemical disease at the same time. This leads to a whole bunch of sensations that arise in the patient during an attack, which cannot be described with the simple phrase “I have a headache.”
Headaches are divided into two types: primary and secondary. The second group includes pains that are a symptom of any disease, for example, cervical osteochondrosis, meningitis, colds, concussion, head trauma and other ailments.The first group includes those pains that are disease in themselves. Also referred to primary pain as tension headache, which occurs due to emotional or physical fatigue, and cluster headaches. Migraine is included in the first group.
This pain is not harmless. Those who suffer from migraine pain are more prone to suicide than people with a “healthy” head, according to the authors of a scientific article in the journal Headache of the American Headache Society.Researchers at Michigan State University followed two groups of people for two years: those with headaches and those without. It turned out that in the first group about 10% tried to kill themselves, and in the second – 1%. What is the reason for such high numbers in migraine sufferers is unclear: with the chemistry of pain, with a state of depression, or with severe pain syndrome that accompany migraine.
The legend of a “simple” headache: how an attack develops
It is believed that a migraine attack can be provoked by certain factors that are individual for each, the so-called triggers.Usually migraine sufferers recognize them intuitively and try to avoid them: it can be sunny weather, heat, certain food, smell or sound, even color. But this is not always the case.
The development of a migraine attack proceeds in different ways. The complete cycle is divided into four stages. First, migraine sufferers may have a phase of precursors of an attack, the so-called prodrome. At this time, the patient feels irritability or, conversely, extreme fatigue. Appetite may increase. The second phase is the aura. A third of patients have it.Most often, at this stage, patients can see unusual figures in front of their eyes, flashes of light, “fogging” space. There are other disorders, for example, auditory or olfactory hallucinations, a feeling of numbness.
The most severe phase – the phase of pain, lasts from several hours to 2-3 days. The pain most often occurs in one side of the head, but it can also affect the entire head. Typically, the focus is in the frontal, temporal, or base of the spinal cord, although the “epicenter” can be anywhere on the periphery of the skull.This is usually a throbbing or bursting pain that worsens with movement and physical exertion. Often there is nausea and even vomiting, which subjectively relieves the headache. During an attack, light and sounds can be unpleasant, any smells – you want to be left alone and crawl under the covers.
Finally, the final resolution phase begins. During this period, tone and love for life return, but the feeling of fatigue may not go away. It seems that the migraine is somewhere nearby, and you are cautiously expecting the pain to return.After all, an attack can subside and grow again within a few days.
The legend of a “simple” headache: what happens in the head with a migraine
Migraine model. Source: no-pain.ru
During all this time, several biophysical processes take place in the head. In the first phase of migraine, a spasm of the vessels of the head occurs, that is, they narrow and become very sensitive to any physical deformations. This causes local cerebral ischemia.Ischemia is a sharp decrease in blood supply, which leads to oxygen starvation of nerve cells and, as a result, to loss of performance, memory impairment and the functioning of the nervous system as a whole.
Excess blood pressure on the walls of blood vessels, which leads to their sharp expansion (bursting pain). Microinflammation appears, to which nerve receptors respond. It is believed that this is what causes migraine pain. At the same time, the atony of the walls of the vessels occurs, that is, a drop in their tone.Pulse vibrations of the walls increase, which is why patients feel pulsating pain. Then edema of the tissues surrounding the vessels forms, which already becomes the cause of dull and constant pain. Finally, these “head” changes stop and gradually fade away.
In most cases, the migraine spreads only in one half of the head, but sometimes the pain goes from one hemisphere to the other. This may be due to the fact that the blood supply to the brain in migraine sufferers is uneven – this is the conclusion reached by a research team at ITMO University.
Legend of the studied disease
It is popularly believed that migraine, like any other headache, is a neurological disease. On the one hand, this is true, because with a pain in the head they go to a neurologist. But at the same time, migraine develops due to several other factors that are not directly related to the nervous system, including biochemical processes. The biochemical mechanisms of the onset of seizures have been little studied, but it is known that this disrupts the metabolism of certain substances, primarily serotonin, as well as catecholamines and histamine.The peptide bradykinin (it has a strong vasodilating effect), prostaglandins and heparin are involved in the development of migraine, according to the journal Science and Life.
It is possible that migraine is caused by congenital disorders of the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that regulates metabolism, body temperature, interacts with the nervous and endocrine systems, as well as the thalamus, which controls the sensory functions of the body. With these disorders, the level of serotonin in the brain decreases, the constant lack of serotonin “mobilizes” platelets, which contain a large amount of this substance.The right hemisphere of the brain contains more platelets, so the right side of the head hurts more often in migraine sufferers. Also, the one-sided nature of pain is sometimes caused by activation or damage to the trigeminal nerve, the same one that is responsible for sensory sensations in the face.
Migraine model. Source: depositphotos.com
There is a very stable version that migraine is precisely a cardiovascular disease. That is, the expansion and constriction of blood vessels does not occur as a side effect, but as a direct consequence of disturbances in the work of this system.Some scientists are also adherents of the theory that the predisposition to this is in the genes. The journal Nature Genetics published data from genetic studies that identified dozens of genes that are specific only for migraines. Moreover, half of them were evidence of a predisposition to various vascular diseases.
The hardest part about understanding migraine is that not all symptoms of the disease are the same in patients. Headaches are of a different nature, frequency, and its biochemical manifestations are also very different.Therefore, we can say that migraine is simultaneously studied and not.
Legend of treatment and prevention
Prevention of migraine looks unconvincing. Doctors advise getting enough sleep and not oversleeping, not getting nervous, not overeating, eating on time, not eating a lot of chocolate and oranges, not overdoing it with alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances, playing sports and being in the fresh air. But these are recommendations for any normal person! And how can they all be observed in real life? Therefore, we agree that there are no natural remedies for migraine prevention.
Today, doctors can prescribe several drugs for drug prevention of migraine, depending on the patient’s indications. First, there are serotonin blockers. After all, as we remember, it is a sharp increase and then a decrease in the amount of this substance in the body that can lead to migraines. Secondly, these are antidepressants. It was found that with migraine, patients are prone to depression, depression, mood swings, which negatively affects the nervous system. Hormones and beta blockers may also be used.The latter are used to treat cardiovascular diseases. They “block” access to the heart of hormones and substances such as adrenaline, which are responsible for the increased, stressful work of the organ. As a result, the heart beats less frequently and weaker.
What can help with a migraine attack? Sometimes – the usual paracetamol and aspirin, caffeine. Sometimes pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. If it does not help, then drugs containing triptan are prescribed. They are used for the so-called “relief” of migraines, that is, the rapid relief of acute pain.These substances have been known for a hundred years, but have been actively used in recent decades, and sometimes you can read on the Internet that they are called the “gold standard” of migraine treatment. Triptans selectively affect the arterial vessels of the brain, forcing them to narrow, while practically not affecting the general blood flow and coronary vessels. Also, the drug blocks pain at the receptor level and prevents neurological inflammation in the head. In addition, research shows that triptans can affect serotonin synthesis.However, taking triptans too often over time provokes an increase in the synthesis of the substance in various areas of the brain.
Also today, scientists around the world are trying to find a drug that affects the genes responsible for the occurrence of migraines. True, so far no really working means have been synthesized.
The main message of this text is simple: we do not know everything about migraine that we would like, but we know the main thing. It’s a disease. It can cause complications such as stroke, epileptic seizure, and chronic headaches that last more than 15 days a month.Therefore, migraine sufferers and those suffering from the “head” – all to the doctor!
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90,000 If the headache is in the eye: reasons, what to do | Beauty and Health
A severe headache can overtake any person, and there can be many reasons, but the pain that radiates into the eye should be alarming – it can be a signal of a dangerous pathology.If headache and discomfort in the eyes are repeated often, forcing a person to interrupt work, interfere with a quality night’s rest, it is recommended to consult with a specialist and undergo a comprehensive diagnostic examination.
During the consultation, the specialist will ask the person in detail exactly how he has a headache, whether there is irradiation in the eyes, whether there is a relationship with external negative stimuli.
• prolonged stay at the computer monitor, especially without using protective equipment, for example, special glasses;
• often the reason that a person has a headache and as if sand was poured into his eyes is wearing the wrong glasses or dirty lenses – at the slightest discomfort, if it gets worse, as soon as the person puts on the glasses, it is necessary to correct the diopters or change the lenses;
• if the pain radiates to the head from other areas of the body, for example, from the neck, then the cause may be banal overwork – constant tension of muscle tissue provokes a condition called by specialists “stress syndrome”, when discomfort is caused by overstrain of nerve endings.In this case, the eyes may not suffer.
It is recommended to analyze the person’s lifestyle. For example, spasms of intracranial vessels can be completely caused by existing negative habits – the abuse of tobacco, alcoholic beverages. Frequent use of various energy drinks, coffee, strong tea, poor-quality night rest, chronic stressful situations can cause a person to feel soreness, twitch his eyes, his temples often hurt, vision and performance decrease.
To date, experts have established many pathologies accompanied by pain in the head and eyes. Modern diagnostic studies help to identify the leading root cause.
Headache with irradiation into the eye can be caused by:
• a person’s tendency to high blood pressure – hypertension. It is the spasm of the intracranial vessels, which causes the state of ischemia of the structures of the brain and causes discomfort in some of the areas of the head, for example, the left eye hurts more;
• Similar phenomena can also be observed with a congenital tendency to vascular spasms – migraine.The head may be enveloped in a hoop of pain, accompanied by nausea, hyperreactivity to light and noise. There is also an acquired variant of migraine – in this case, to prevent it, it is enough to avoid provoking factors;
• sometimes a person notes that it hurts only on one side of the head, unpleasant sensations are present in the ear, temporal region, eye area on one side or two. The attack is provoked by a sharp turn to the side, overstrain in the shoulder girdle. After diagnostic studies, in this case, cervical osteochondrosis will be identified, as the root cause of the pain syndrome arising after compression of the cervical artery by the modified vertebrae;
• pathologies from the visual apparatus – of an inflammatory, traumatic nature, can become a provoking factor.Pain can be caused by overstrain of muscle fibers that help the eyeball to move to the sides, by the ingress of a foreign body into the conjunctival sac, allergic manifestations are also reflected by a feeling of discomfort – the eye is watery, the tissues are edematous, hypermigrated;
• the head and eyes may also hurt due to pathologies, sometimes localized in other areas of the body, for example, with autoimmune herpetic lesions. A person complains of soreness in the area of the eyes, and one of the branches of the trigeminal nerve is affected, or the local blood supply in the post-ocular space is disturbed and the outflow of the eye fluid is difficult.
The important point is not to fight against pain, even when a painful impulse is sent to the eyes, but to eliminate the cause of such symptoms.
1. Visit a specialist.
2. Complete a comprehensive examination.
3. Reconsider your own lifestyle.
4. Provide a quality night’s rest.
5. Adjust the diet – give up strong drinks, rich broths, many spices, sauces, preservatives, smoked meats.
6. Observe adequate drinking regime.
7. Try to walk more in the fresh air.
8. Observe the work and rest regime.
9. To master yoga or relaxation complexes.
10. Visit the pool, fitness room more often.
Compliance with the above rather simple recommendations helps to avoid the state of deficiency in the body of oxygen and nutrients, which will be an excellent prevention of various pathologies in which the eye, the back of the head hurt, and severe discomfort is felt in other parts of the body.
It is useful for people suffering from migraine attacks and hypertensive crises to keep a diary, which indicates the time of the onset of unpleasant sensations, what caused them, whether the recommended medications helped. At the slightest deterioration in health, for example, the eye began to see worse, the headache intensified, it is necessary to consult a specialist again.
To relieve pain, as symptomatic therapy, you can use:
1.A subgroup of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – help to stop the production of substances that cause pain.
2. Antispasmodics – dilate blood vessels in the part of the brain where local ischemia has arisen, causing pain impulses in the head and eyes.
3. Analgesics – modern drugs perfectly cope with pain impulses of various nature, but must be recommended by specialists in order to prevent possible cross-allergy.
4. Combined drugs – have a double or triple mechanism of action on the focus of pain, for example, Pentalgin.
If it is impossible to consult with a specialist, it is recommended to carefully read the instructions for the medicinal product, pay attention to the indications for it and contraindications, which must be indicated by the manufacturer.
The result from the taken pill will come after 10-15 minutes – the pain will subside. But with frequent relapses – discomfort almost every day, gives to the eyes, there is nausea, retching, dizziness – you should not delay the consultation, nevertheless.
Headaches in the occipital, temporal, parietal and other areas. Causes. Treatment
Migraine. Migraine is a throbbing pain in the forehead and / or temples on one side of the head, which can be aggravated by intense lighting, strong odors, from various sounds and even when touched. It may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, pallor or redness of the facial skin, cold hands and feet, weakness, chills.
Tension headache. This is actually a migraine in which a throbbing pain is felt on both sides of the head. Pain occurs, as a rule, in the temples, in the forehead and in the back of the head. This pain may appear from time to time or be constant. It usually occurs as a result of anxiety, depression, stress, sleep disturbances, prolonged use of painkillers, frequent intake of alcoholic beverages.
Sinus headaches. Symptoms of sinus headaches: pain at the level of the eyebrows and / or near the nose, often accompanied by nasal congestion, the appearance of thick yellow or green nasal discharge, fever, cough and sore throat, fatigue.To make a diagnosis of sinus headache, you need to undergo an examination: CT scan or MRI.
Cluster headaches. Characterized by the onset of acute headache attacks lasting from 15 to 60 minutes. Before the attack, the ear usually clogs, then there is a sharp pain behind the eye. The attack is accompanied by redness of the eye, tears, nasal congestion, flushing of the face, and increased sweating. Cluster headaches are difficult to treat.Treatment should only be carried out under the supervision of an experienced physician.
Vertebral headache. Associated with pathologies of the cervical spine. The pain occurs in the occipital region and can radiate to the frontal and temporal regions. It is accompanied by pain and limited mobility in the cervical spine, tension and soreness of the neck muscles, dizziness, tinnitus, impaired coordination of movements. The main causes of vertebral headaches are: prolonged work at the computer, prolonged stay of the head and neck in one position, great psycho-emotional overload, stress, lack of adequate physical activity, injuries of the cervical spine.