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Pain Behind Eye - Causes and Treatment

Updated on January 5, 2014

What is Pain Behind Eye?

This terminology is not very common and is often used to express that there is a type of pressure at the back of their eye. There may be times when the pain behind the eye will travel down your temple and forehead. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or race.


There are many different reasons that a person may have pain behind eye and some of them include:


This refers to a group of disorders of the eyes which affect your optical nerve. There are different types of glaucoma with each one possibly causing damage that irreparable to your optic nerve. This eventually can cost you the sight in your eye. Your optic nerve is the nerve that acts as a connection between your brain and the back part of your eye. It sends visual data to a specific part of your brain for interpretation from your retina.


This is a headache that lasts a long time. It will usually cause mild pain and eventually it will aggravate to a throbbing pain. There are some rare medical conditions which may be associated with a migraine and these are called retinal or ophthalmoplegic migraines. If you have either of these two types of headaches you may experience pain in one side of your head that is persistent and is accompanied by eyesight problems. These problems can trigger pain behind eye with the pain sometimes being felt around your eyeball that will eventually spread to your forehead.

Dry eyes

Your eyes are coated with a thin layer of fluid called tear film and helps to keep your eyes moisturized or lubricated to help prevent dryness in your eyes. If this film is not able to do the job properly it will causes dry eyes. In addition to a burning or scratchy feeling inside your eyes there may be pain behind eye.

Optic neuritis

Optic Neuritis results when your optic nerve, which sends information visually to your brain, becomes inflamed. In order for your eye to function properly the visual transmission of facts to your brain is very important. The inflammation can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. This inflammation will not only cause pain behind eye but could also cause loss of vision.

Multiple sclerosis

When you have this medical condition your immune system invades the covers that protect the many nerves in your body. These coverings are called a myelin sheath. If this condition affects your optic nerve it results in pain around your eye that feels like someone is stabbing you when you move it. It will usually be followed up by a progressive loss of your vision.


This medical condition is when your sinuses become inflamed. Your sinuses are air-filled spaces in the bony areas of your forehead and face and you have four pair of them. They are all linked to your nasal passages and produce mucus that traps dust particles so they do not enter your airways when breathing. When you have a sinus infection more mucus is produced which could block your sinuses and cause them to become inflamed. When this happens the inflamed sinuses bring tremendous pressure to your face, eyes and forehead. When most people have sinusitis they complain about pain behind eye and between the eyes.


If you have any pain behind eye you should see your physician to have a correct diagnosis as to what is causing it. In order to stop any loss of vision and restore health to your eyes you need to remember that early identification as to the cause and early intervention is the key. If the cause is multiple sclerosis it can be treated with medication such as copaxone. This medication will help protect your optical nerve by thwarting the invasion of your immune system. For glaucoma your ophthalmologist may recommend using eye drops contain beta blockers, medication to help reduce eye pressure but if either of these two does not work you may have to have surgery. Your ophthalmologist would use intravenous or oral steroids to treat optic neuritis. For sinusitis that is caused by a bacterial infection the physician will prescribe antibiotics. You can also take over-the-counter decongestants to help relieve the pressure. For any pain you can also take over-the-counter pain relievers. You can also apply a cold compress to the eye that is causing pain behind the eye. If the pain continues for more than a few days you should go to your physician or ophthalmologist to find out the cause.


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      Anita Bradley 

      4 years ago

      Add Cancer to your list please. My mother passed with Radiation Induced Spindle Cell Sarcoma of her Rt Orbit and paranasal sinuses. A very rare cancer but .... Her first symptom was pain and pressure behind her Right eye. She saw every specialist you can think of with no definitive diagnosis until it was too late. Eairly detection is a must and people and PHYSICIANS should be aware. Thank you


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