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Pain Behind My Eyes

Updated on May 3, 2011

What is Causing the Pain Behind My Eyes and Light Sensitivity?

I am not a doctor. I am speaking about my personal experience as a patient who suffers from pain behind my eyes and also photophobia. What is photophobia? Here's my definition: My eyes are extremely sensitive to light - the lights are too bright for me. I've dealt with these two eye problems for years but I still have no concrete diagnosis for what causes them. Over the years I've tried to pay close attention to anything that might be related to (or coincides with) when my eyes hurt, but because it comes and goes in "waves" throughout the year it's hard to know for sure.

Because my eye pain is still a mystery, I'm hoping to find other people with similar symptoms who will share their stories of eye pain and help me finally solve this puzzle.

*This article is not meant to replace an examination by a physician. All information and treatment options are not covered here. This is simply my own personal story. If you are having eye pain, see your doctor!

During the Worst of the Eye Pain...

In the mornings, I'd cover my eyes with my hand and slowly walk down the hall to turn off

the couple of lights we left on at night.

Then I'd fix coffee in the dark. My eyes were hurting and the light made it worse.

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Eye Pain behind My Eyes
Eye Pain behind My Eyes

When My Eyes Starting Hurting

My Passion for Birdwatching is Now Painful

Think of the things you enjoy most in your life. What sparks you? Football? Sewing? Fishing? Mine was bird watching. Each spring and fall since seventh grade (many years ago) I have looked forward to the changing seasons which bring scores of migratory birds through the areas I have lived. In 2006 I noticed my eyes started to hurt while using my binoculars. It wasn't really my eyes themselves, but pain behind my eyes and, now that I thought about it, my eyes seemed extra sensitive to light too accompanied by headaches. Trying to stop birdwatching was like a smoker trying to stop smoking. I resisted as much as possible, but sometimes I'd see something I couldn't identify from a distance and simply HAD to use my binoculars. As the pain worsened day by day, sleeping became a problem because there was only one position for my head that did not hurt.

What helped? Ibuprofen. But who wants to take Ibuprofen every single day? I needed a solution.

This photo used through CC from Flickr.

List of My Eye Pain Symptoms - What's Bothering Me

*These are all the symptoms from the worst of the whole eye pain ordeal. I'm not suffering from all of these anymore, thankfully, but I did want to include every part of what happened in case someone else is going through this.

  • Pain Behind My Eyes (both eyes). I've read that many people have pain behind one eye, but mine has always been behind both eyes. From time to time one eye might feel a little worse than the other, but almost always, both eyes hurt.
  • Pain when I move my eyes to look up, extreme left or right (not moving my head).
  • Extreme light sensitivity. Yes, bright light hurts my eyes, but sometimes I have eye pain and/or headaches when there is no bright light.
  • Eyes feel slightly tender (painful when touching eyelids).
  • Headaches and head pain when lying down or sleeping. Pain is the very worst when I wake up.

Eye Pain and Bright Light
Eye Pain and Bright Light

This photo used through CC from Flickr.

Why Are My Eyes Hurting? A Mystery. - This is a list of everything I've suspected and/or investigated. Are these familiar to you?

Some of these I've ruled out, some I haven't. This isn't a list I've read at a medical website. No. This is my own personal list of I've put together as I've mulled the eye pain over an over in my mind for years and tried to think of every possible cause.

  • Sinus Pressure: This was my very first suspicion. Were my sinuses causing pressure and pain behind my eyes?
  • Eye Strain: This was a good candidate because I spend a lot of time on my computer, but eye strain is supposed to diminish overnight as your eyes rest and my pain was at its worst first thing in the morning.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma can lead to blindness so I had that checked.
  • Teeth Problems or Teeth Grinding: Humm. Could it be?
  • Migraines: I have had migraines and do have headaches, but I never thought this was the cause.
  • Referred Pain: My mom reads a lot of medical literature and suggested that the pain may be "referred." From what I've learned, eyes are frequent areas of referred pain (pain that actually comes from somewhere else). You can read about some interesting examples of referred pain here.
  • Trigeminal Nerve: As wiki says, this nerve is responsible for "sensation in the face." Again, my mom knew about this and we discussed it at length. I'm not qualified to define it here, but you can read more about the .Trigeminal Nerve here at Wikipedia.
  • Environmental: Was it something in the home we lived in? Maybe there was mold or something that possibly could be causing this?
  • Allergies: Maybe all of this was seasonal and was caused by pollen or something else happening with the seasons.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: Could it be a lack of a certain vitamin?

I Can't Look Towards the Sun

We used to live on a river. The home had a nice dock for fishing and sometimes we would go out there and just sit and talk. Sitting on the dock, we were facing due west. My husband sat facing the water, and I always had to turn my chair around and face back towards the house because even with sunglasses, the light was just too bright.

Coasta Del Mar Sunglasses to help my Photophobia
Coasta Del Mar Sunglasses to help my Photophobia

Sunglasses for My Light Sensitive Eyes

A Birthday Gift

This is probably the most thoughtful gift I've ever received. When the eye pain started, my hubby and our daughter surprised me with a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses. If you haven't heard of Costa del Mars, they are high quality sunglasses loved and worn by beach goers, saltwater fishermen etc. Normally, I purchase my sunglasses at the dollar store so this was a big deal to have such a nice pair of sunglasses. I love and need them so much, I sometimes wear them indoors - even in stores. People look at me like I'm weird (I know what they are thinking :-) but I don't care. I've worn them since 2006 up until a week ago (April 2011) when I broke one of the arms.

You can see lots of styles of Costa Del Mar Sunglasses here at Amazon.

Making Eye Appointment
Making Eye Appointment

My First Trip was to the Eye Doctor

My First Doctor's Appointment

When I typed "pain behind my eyes" into the Google search box I saw things like sinus infection, eye strain and also something that scared me out of my skin: Glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disorder that can lead to blindness. That was scary to read, even though I never really believed that was my problem. I decided to get an eye exam so I picked a doctor from the phone book. Random picking of doctors is not something I'd normally do but we had just moved to the area and I had no one to ask. I had the full eye exam and there was good news. Which in this case was no news, meaning he found nothing. My eyes were perfect. Humm. He recommended I see my regular doctor to try to trace down the problem. So I did.

Just for the record, we don't have health insurance so paying out of pocket was something I had to consider before making any appointments. This eye doctor trip was $130.

I remember one time...

...standing on a concrete driveway talking to a friend. It was a blazing bright summer Florida day and the reflection of the bright white concrete all around us was almost unbearable. My eyes hurt sooo bad. But I never said anything because I was embarrassed and didn't feel like explaining the whole thing. I should have said something so we could have moved to talk in the shade of a tree.

Eye Pain and Headaches - Migraines
Eye Pain and Headaches - Migraines

My Second Trip was to a Regular Family Doctor

More Scary Stuff

Again, I picked a new doctor's office out of the blue and again, I got a super doctor. I described my symptoms and told her about the visit to the eye doctor which showed nothing. Her best guess was that the pain behind my eyes was migraine related. She said sometimes eye pain can cause migraines. Now this sounded completely backwards to me. Wouldn't the migraine be causing eye pain? and not the other way around? I never have understood this.

Anyway, the first thing she did was order a shot (which I got immediately as I was having eye pain sitting there talking to her) which, if it helped, would tell us if the pain was related to a particular kind of migraine. I'm sorry to say that I didn't write down the name of those migraines or the name of the shot. I wish I could share that, but I simply don't remember. She said to just rest on the table there and wait 15 minutes or so to see if the shot relieved the pain. Well it didn't do anything at all. Next we discussed the scary stuff. She said the worst case would be that I had some sort of tumor or some other problem in my head (brain) causing pressure and pain. She said it was a possibility, but not probable. Soooooo she ordered a CT Scan (sometimes called a CAT Scan) with contrast. This trip to the family doctor was about $100. The CAT Scan was more, see below.

CT Scan
CT Scan

My Third Trip was Getting the CT Scan

Well, THAT was Interesting

As I just mentioned, the family doctor wanted me to get a CT Scan to check for anything serious (since nothing else was showing up). And also as I've already mentioned, we don't have health insurance. I'm not complaining about that, just saying it was part of the whole picture as to what we could afford to do as far as pursuing a cure or treatment for my eye pain. Long story short, the CT Scan at the hospital was going to be $2500-$3500 and if I had it done at a stand-alone imaging clinic it would be $400. I made the appointment at the independent imaging clinic. My CT Scan was the type done "with contrast." That's when they inject you with a material which will make your blood vessels show up better in X-rays. You can read more about contrast here.

Anyway, the thing I remember most is that the lady giving me the CT Scan said (as she injected me), "This might make you feel warm, like you are peeing. But you won't be peeing - so don't worry." Humm. She was partly right. I did feel warmth move down my legs. I was lying down.

We were supposed to hear the results of the CT Scan within 3 days. After 5 days I called and found out they had been misplaced on someone's desk all week. OMG! Are you kidding me? I've been living on the edge for 5 days and they lost track of my results? That was really an awful time, but we finally found out that the CAT Scan showed nothing. Nothing at all. My head and brains we all looking good. Cost of CT Scan: $400.00.

This photo used through CC from Flickr.

If I was Speaking with You Face to Face...

...and you were standing in front of a bright window, I'd ask you to move away from it.

I wouldn't be able to look at you because

the light coming in the window beside you

would hurt my eyes.

Sinus Pressure and Pain Behind My Eyes
Sinus Pressure and Pain Behind My Eyes

Next I was Off to an ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

Was the Eye Pain Sinus Related?

When I discussed the "negative" results of the CT Scan over the phone with my regular family doctor, she suggested I go to an ear, nose and throat specialist to check for sinus problems. We weren't at the ENT doctor's office long at all. The doctor came in and looked in my nose, pressed on my face and asked me some questions. Within 5 minutes, he said, "It's not any sort of sinus issue causing the pain behind your eyes. I can tell it's simply not your sinuses." Cost of 5 minutes consultation with the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist: $140.00. He recommended I see a dentist.

This photo used through CC from Flickr.

Feeling frustrated
Feeling frustrated

Frustration Sets In

Will this pain ever go away?

You know, at some point, all of this gets quite depressing and frustrating. My eyes were hurting and extremely light sensitive, my head was hurting, I couldn't sleep good at night, I couldn't birdwatch and no test or doctor could nail down what could be causing the problem.

After the CT Scan didn't show anything, I didn't pursue any more answers for a while. If you've been there too you'll understand. I was worn out and my eye pain had subsided a little as well. I still had light sensitivity, but the headaches and pain behind my eyes had eased off. I simply took pain medicine and changed my lifestyle (absolutely no bird watching - I can't say how horrible this was for me) and wore sunglasses everywhere I went.

I continued to roll all the information and testing results around in my mind. Not a day went by that I didn't think about the problem and wonder what was causing it.

This photo used through CC from Flickr.

Photophobia and Eye Pain
Photophobia and Eye Pain

Back to an Eye Doctor - Maybe the First Eye Doctor Missed Something

8 months later

I began to wonder if the first eye doctor missed something. Remember I had no recommendations for him. So the next time I visited my mom out of state I made an appointment to see her eye doctor who is known for his excellent work and care. He performed the normal eye exam stuff and then used an extremely bright light to look into my eyes. He warned me that the light would be intense and he was right. I grabbed the arms of the chair and felt myself push against the cushioned chair as he examined the depths of my eyes. He was surprised that the light was so painful for me and as we discussed my frustration, I broke down.

He talked with me at length about all sorts of things including the trigeminal nerve (hey, that's one of the things my mom mentioned). He also took a look at my teeth which were fine (remember the ENT mentioned going to the dentist). He also performed the simplest of neurological tests (kind of like a touch this, look at that sort of thing) and I could do all of those simple tasks effortlessly.

Even though this eye doctor couldn't tell me the cause of the pain, he actually did help me. He answered a couple of lingering questions and I felt compassion from him. I think the more desperate we get sometimes, the more thankful we are. Looking at his notes (I have a copy) I can make out the words "see specialist" at the bottom of the page. I never did go to any more doctors. This office visit: $122.00.

Where am I Now with My Eye Pain?

And Photophobia?

All of this occurred in 2006-2007. The pain behind my eyes is nowhere near as painful as it used to be, but I still DO HAVE IT. Somedays it's bad enough for Ibuprofen, some days I just deal with it. Thankfully, the awful headaches and sleeping problems are no more. I don't birdwatch for hours at the time anymore, but I do pick up my binoculars to get a quick look at birds from time to time.

I still have the photophobia and wear sunglasses every time I leave the house. I don't wear them inside my home, but sometimes leave them on when I run into grocery stores etc.

My Eye Pain is Very Manageable Now

And I am very thankful it's not what it used to be.

If you ended up on this page because you have eye pain, photophobia, are looking for answers or have something to share that has helped you PLEASE leave a note here. Anyone can comment (comments are moderated). One last hope of mine is that an eye specialist will somehow end up reading my story and offer some advice or opinion on what might be causing the pain behind my eyes.

Now it's your turn. Are you dealing with eye pain? What's going on with you? What helps the pain? - What are your symptoms? Have you been able to figure out why

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    • profile image

      Zoe 20 months ago

      Please look up Irlene syndrome. My son of 8yrs has it.

    • profile image

      sara 24 months ago

      i wanted to also point out that my mother gets shots her eyes and that her eyes are being affected by diabetes. the doc has shown xrays of eyes showing the abnormalities. my point is our diets and lifestyle most likely have a certain degree of a role to play in causing photophobia. i am not saying that is the only reason. finding the right doctor , researching the disease and working on eating the right foods can help. there has to be a solution to this problem.

    • profile image

      sara 24 months ago

      i also have photophobia and eye pain. it started recently. i have feeling it is allergies. sunglasses help but ur blog has helped me become very determine to read about this condition and go to every doctor who can help. i will make sure about this. i learn so much from blogs and forums and people who similar symptoms that i have.

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      lana ganer 2 years ago

      I have had eye pressure for 7 years now and I have tried everything recently started taking vitaimines for eye health and made a huge difference

    • profile image

      Tonnette White 2 years ago

      OMG!!!! I been like this for 5 years now. I have lost my eyesight over 4 times. I would have to stay in the hospital between 3-6 days to get steroids treatment to get my eyesight back. The steroids causes me migraines even though I already have them from the eye pains. I wake up with my head hurting until I go to be. I take so much drugs just to make it through day so I want be in pain. The sad thing these pain drugs cause different problems. I have grown to the point of dealing with the pain as much as I can before I take meds. Even though I have done this before and damage more of my life eye refusing to do steriod treatments. I have gain 76 pounds since I lost my eyesight the first time. TMI ( I have went from a 36c bra to a 38DDD bra). Dealing with this pain and doctors haven't found anything has been depression for me I am only 27 years old. They say it might be MS but in the 3 spinal taps they have done they do not find it. I have had so many MRI and CT Scan and Visual Exams it is crazy. This year was my first year having to where eye glasses because my vision has been that blurry. I am scared of driving because I randomly loose my eye sight. The new symptom that I have this year is weakness and body aches throughout my body. One day I hope that they get this under controlled. I am missing life right now. I can't even have a child on my own my husband scared whatever I may have might be hereditary.

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      guest 3 years ago

      I had the exact same symptoms - and brushed off by eye doctors as well. no definitive diagnosis or cure either, just managing. However, I did lessen the light sensitivity (it seems) by going gluten free. I also had dry, itchy eyes and going gluten free fixed that as well. Pain unaffected.

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      sharonb1822 3 years ago

      I have something similar in my right eye only for the last 4 months. It seems connected to reading on my cell phone without my glasses and having the phone too close to my face. The other option might be a sensitivity to a preservative in visine and many eye prescription eye drops. Last week I was out of town, my eye had been feeling pretty good and so somehow I managed to both read on my phone and use visine. This week I have been using a preservative free eye moisturizer and not reading on my phone. And taking ibuprofen. It has gotten much better since Monday but still bothering me a little bit. I do not have increased pain in the morning. Also, when I turn my eye in and out etc., it has discomfort.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My pain is a little different than any I have read. I get shooting sharp pain in my right eye only. It has been going on for a couple of years. It is not everyday, but at least a couple of times a week. Today my eyelid swelled up on the side closest to my nose. That also happened a couple of months ago. (the swelling). Also friends and family have mentioned that my eye looks 'BULGEY" and it does. Light sensitivity is also a big problem. On an overcast day I still need sunglasses. Even worse is headlights and sometimes street lights. I have been to the doctors and the emergency room. Treatment was blood work and CAT scan. Diagnosis - UNKNOWN. Getting worried, any advise ?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have bouts of pain here and there. This one is still going and it's been 4 days. The last one I had was 5 months ago and I ended up in hospital for CT scan, tests and needles in my spine to check for fluid. All came back normal. My symptoms are headaches (frequently to the front of the head) pain behind my eyes which is worse when I look down, the feeling of light headedness and just a feeling of being ill. At night I find it hard to drop off as my head hurts too much.

      Also I wanted to mention as there's other ladies here - do you find it gets worse when you're near or on your period???

      If anyone feels the same let me know ð thanks

      Chloe

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      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am so sorry that you have suffered so much with eye pain and glad that it is now manageable. I have had atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia for 27 years. I have 4 or 5 episodes of intense pain a day and during these attacks the pain is awful and all on one side of my head: eye, nose, forehead, ear, throat, teeth, etc. Sometimes I will get an occipital block from my pain management doctor and it will help for awhile.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm 15 years old and am having pain behind my left eye. Two days ago it randomly started pouring tears and started to hurt for the first time. Today, I had pain behind both eyes :( Putting a cool washcloth over my eyes helps the pain go down a bit, but doesn't stop it. I haven't left the house since the pain started, and I'm nervous about doing so. Turning a light on in my room hurts my eyes, but doing things from the light of a window doesn't bother me. When the sun goes down or it's cloudy, I can't do anything, because that would require turning on a light :( I've been considering using a battery powered lantern, as the ones we have here aren't very bright, but I think that would be embarrassing DX

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have the same problem.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Everything the same, my mum also ?genetic link?

      My worst pain is from reflected light - can't do the dishes in my girlfriends house because the sun reflects off the draining board.

      Need sunglasses even when cloudy.

      I found that pressure on the eyeball for a short period masks the pain, particularly on the iris.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Oh this is a scary blog, I have unexplained eye pain, my left eye, iv had a ct, mri and many trips to the ophthalmologist, I'm stuck and in pain every day :( it's scary that you still have no answers. My eye sometimes clicks too, I think it's the muscles maybe? If anyone has any answers please mail me Hayleysangel@yahoo.com I'd be most grateful!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TESTED FOR LYME DISEASE, BABESIA OR BARTONELLA? A LOT OF S HAVE MANY OF THE PROBLEMS YOU MENTIONED.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      After calling housing inspector, LL finally sent his handyman remove insulation.Water was leaking frm roof , intermittently, for months. and it just stayed up there growing organisms ( home ,mold test ,results tested positive for Aspergillus and Penicillium, waiting for sample I sent out, to arrive with results soon) All LL simply sent handymen to replace tiles (sometimes) & patch roof.This should have been professionally remediated, as I was violently ill early the next morning (Diarrhea,vomiting, chills)...the next morning woke up eyes burning & swollen shut. Had to stay in bed three days w/stabbing pain behind eye, in ear and around temple. Was able to break lease, wever, cannot go back...its hazardous. So broke lease and am moving soon, alas....the dull ache, behind eye, persists Seeing allergist next week & getting additional tests....

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I read an article from Dr. Digre (utah university) that helped me to understand more the link between eye pain and light sensitivity.

      it seems that there are some cells in the retina which cause pain and migraine

      I have to add that I am an anxious and stressed which does not help

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is my whole story.

      I am a 33 years old french and started to feel light sensitivity with sun bright light one year ago.

      My ophtalmologist told me it was just dry eye condition so I did not worry about it.

      This summer I went to have a drink outside and I felt eyes pain even with sunglasses.

      I did not have my eyesdrop.

      I stayed for an hour thinking it would be ok because we were in the shadow and not under the sun.

      But since this day it got worst and I became light sensitive to almost every light (tv, incandscent light, flame, fluorescent light, computer creen, sun light....).

      Then I began my trip to search an explanation. I have seen a lot of doctors in Paris till I met the neuro-ophtalmologist who advices me to wear FL41 lenses which help.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a pain behind my left eye and light sensitivity but no headache. I recognise my story in your blog. I went through ophtalmologist, neurologist and they could not explain. I met finally a neuro-ophtalmologist who explained me I have a kind of migraine. I wear since FL41 tinted lenses that helps me a lot. Hope it can help others.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I sent my husband this link and he asked if I wrote it. I've seen a lot of specialists, too, and had tests done. I'm normal, other than the chronic pain. I take a lot of ibuprofen, which does not always fix the problem. One pain reliever I find works well is smoking. Not practical for a workday, but good for the home. Otherwise, I've given up. Good luck to everyone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, I've been having this horrible eye strain for a six months now. I recently discovered a website that REALLY opened my eyes (literally and figuratively) on the subject. Due to squidoo's fear of spam I can't post the whole link but its eyestrain.sabhlokcity.com

      I use the cpu often, and I'm 99% sure that this is where my problem came from. I remember editing video for an unusually long period of time one day, and since then I've had this eye strain/pain everyday. Went to my physician and saw a couple of eye doctors (optometrist and ophthalmologist), neither could give me a definitive answer. Physician says allergies, and eye the doctors kept trying to prescribe me glasses. I even tried contacts. None of those remedies worked and just cost me a lot of money. After reading over the aforementioned website, it sounds like exactly what I was dealing with. I just read it today and I'm going to pursue those options immediately.

      Just thought I'd post this incase anybody else could find it useful. Good luck

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The problem I have is that when I walk into a lit room, and the lights are turned OFF,, my eyes instantly ache, and I have light all around my peripheral vision, which then fades. It actually seems like a delayed reaction insofar as that my eyes have a twinge of pain and ache and I continue to see light for a couple of seconds after the light goes out. This actually started after having eye drops to dilate my eyes at the Opthamologists office. The assistant put numbing drops in, followed by the drops to dilate the eyes. As soon as she put the second set of drops in, my vision went black for a few seconds, semi-returned, after which I saw very large, black spots, that appeared as gigantic floaters. I honestly thought I had gone blind, and nearly had a panic attack. I wondered if the drops somehow caused damage to my retina, or some type of nerve damage had occurred. I wondered if the drops were contaminated or if too many drops were used. Anyway, after that, my eyes have never been the same. I experience problem with severe glare, double/triple vision, blurred vision, photophobia, and a delayed adjustment to light changes. I've been to retinal specialists, and a neurologist. No one can tell me anything. I have been looking into Benign Intercranial Hypertension, because I sometimes have the feeling of pain behind my eyes, and a feeling of pressure in my head. The neurologist simply told me that if I had BIH, I would have edema/swelling around my eyes. I had read that is true in only some of the cases. BIH can result in blindness, and as I understand, a spinal tap is necessary to be able to diagnose BIH. I would really like to hear from anyone that might have symptoms similar to mine, or someone that has or has been treated for BIH, and what type of Specialist should be seen...a retinal specialist? Neurologist?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You may want to look into maybe having a pineal cyst. I have the same symptoms and diagnosed with a pineal cyst and can cause all these symptoms, and Im having the same eye pain, I feel your pain! I didn't get diagnosed until I had an MRI. Hope this helps, good luck

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      i am 18 and recently ive noticed that i cannot move my eyes too far up and down and too far right or left otherwise i get severe pain. after i wake up there is pain for about 2 hours and light hurts my eyes. then if i strain my eyes at all the pain is still there for the rest of the day. i get constant migraines and it just started about 3 days ago everyday i wake up hoping it will be gone but its still there. i have been researching google for a cure but i cannot find anything if someone could help i would really appreciate it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am having the same symptoms for about a year; pain behind my eyes and pressure in my head/sinus/back of neck, that mostly only occurs when I'm sleeping (the longer I lay down, the worse the pain and pressure is). I feel very sick, dizzy and disoriented when I wake up each morning, and my eyes will be so sore and red that I have to wash them with distilled water. I will also wake up every day (or even after a two hour nap) with a sore throat and stuffy nose. However, I am aware that my problem is definitely related or caused by my teeth. I have chronic cavities in my teeth that will not go away. I've tried everything to keep my teeth healthy but I can't stop getting cavities in them. My teeth surface are damaged from having metal braces when I was younger, which has caused them to be weak and cavity prone ever since the braces. I don't think there is really any cure for me besides having all of my teeth pulled out, and I'm too young to wear dentures.

      The only thing that has somewhat subsided the symptoms has been following a very healthy, strict, clean diet and getting vitamins as well as other supplements to help improve my immune system. Ginger root has helped me clear out my mouth and throat. But besides keeping it down somewhat, I can't really get this infection to go away for good.

      I would recommend anyone with these symptoms to get your blood tested for an infection, although you could have one that may not show up on a blood test. It could be an infection in your teeth, sinus cavities, or even your brain. A brain infection is a serious problem, but I'm not sure there is a test for that.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have never had eye pain before a surgery 2 1/2 months ago to remove a pterygium. I went through the expected pain at the surgery site that mostly subsided in a month. And then, my eyeball as a whole began to ache. It ramped up to a migraine behind that eye, with loss of vision acuity, light sensitivity and I felt like there was wind on my cornea, when there was none. The worst has passed, but the waves of pain continue. The surgeon lept into defense mode, which was no help to my ongoing pain. I was sent to a neuro-ophthamolgist and MRI @ $7k and he wants to treat me for migraine or anxiety which is not the root problem. My eye hurts, there are waves of pain, sensitivity and dull throbbing headaches, not migraines. It's not normal and it happened right after a surgery where they stick a needle into the back of my eye. Too much of a coincidence, I think.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My case is a little more unique in that I accidentally sprayed resolve in my right eye & since then I have had pain behind my eye & sometimes it moves around to my right temple or above my right eye, but in the same general area. I also now have sensitivity to light & the pain worsens when I read so I have had to stop reading which is something that I love. This has been going on for about a month & it is really affecting my quality of life. Some nights I have to just go to bed early because the pain becomes intolerable. I went to the eye doctor twice which cost me $140.00 out of pocket & I have insurance. The Dr. said everything was fine & that my eyes were normal. I am becoming depressed because I am always in pain. I have 5 children & their lives are being affected by it because I'm in too much pain to want to do much of anything. Our money is very tight so we can't really afford to keep going in for testing. I really believe that my incident is somehow related to the resolve, since that's when it all started but I don't know what to do about it. Any advice would be appreciated.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hey, I have the same problem. Lowest reading and to pass eye test reading is 20 for glaucoma you would need the medication. Cataracts protruding up out of the eye causes the pain and bad eyesight. Need surgery. Toxic substances,x-rays,or a bad eye injury punch in the eye. Just can't believe you can't get the right answere. But , today you just about have to go to a specialist for any of your problems. And then you just as well expect two to three visits before you get help.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      It's amazing how much you narrowed down the symptoms to your eye pain in this article. You don't know how much this helps. Now, I feel that like i have steps that i can follow in order to pinpoint the cases of MY eye pain. I am waiting for insurance to kick in to start examining myself at different specialist.

      My eye pain in only in one eye, my right eye. I have been able to notice that bright sun light DOES bother me and gives me the worst headaches. The pain is so bad some times that i can't focus on things, classes or anything. When I come home all I want to do is lay down and close my eyes and eventually fall asleep knowing that if I do I would had rested my eyes and I would wake up with little to no pain. I definitely have the place I live look like a cave Also. I try not to take medicine but I do if it does get really bad.

      I know I have TMJ, sinuses issue and perhaps now after reading this article/post I may even be a candidate for Trigeminal Nerve. I'm frustrated as it is but i'm assuming the journey is only beginning. I just hope it is nothing serious. I also though from time to time that I must have some sort of tumor or something to explain this random pain behind my eye. It's a scary thought but now after reading this article I feel a little more relaxed about that idea. Dealing with this problem and not knowing where it comes from and what may be causing it, IS THE WORST.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I can definitely relate to all of your experiences and trust me, I understand what you are going through. I can not be outside, even for a very short period of time without sunglasses. Just yesterday, it was a very dark cloudy day and I was just brushing a few leaves off my (white) car and everything started shimmering. It seems that any relective surfaces outside cause me to get aura (without migraine), or at least that is what I think it is. I went to ophthalmologist who said my eyes were healthy and also had a carotid artery ultrasound at neurologists office that was clear. This all started about 2 years ago under a time of extreme stress and high anxiety. Well, the anxiety is no longer there but the eyesight has never been the same. I am in my 40's. I just wish my eyes would go back to being normal, or at least someone to tell me why this is happening.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      That whole story you just told is what I am dealing with! I want to cry. Pain behind both eyes, almost "dizzy" pain in bones in face....eyes ok, etc. I do have rheumatoid arthritis and sjogren's syndrome, TMJ....but why can't any doctor find a real answer and give me some relief?! I too have read about trigaminal nerve....ugh! Any answers, help, advice! i'm glad i found this website, and someone with all my symptoms! Even though i'm not happy we have to deal with them:(

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had a test for glaucoma on my office visit to an optometrist, he kept the very bright light longer than normal, I told him right away it gave me a headache from, I mentioned it again to him before leaving the room. I called back two days later when it didn't go away, it was behind and above my left eye. I called asking if I need to use a cool compress or something, the receptionist asked him and he said he didn't do anything that cased it. I disagree completely, the headache was immediate after the bright light ( have never had any problems with my eyes, this was just a check up to get glasses). 6 weeks later I was at my physicians office for a checkup, I told her my eye was really bothering me with light continual headaches, she put something like a dye or something in my eye and said my eye lens didn't have any scratches, but didn't know the trouble. It has now been 2 months and I still have mild headaches, mostly when I lay on the side that hurts. Any suggestions?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Have you tried 'numbing eye drops"? This is really helped me with my eye pain unfortunately, we still do not know what is causing the pain even after having gone through tests upon tests..

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My wife could have written almost exactly what you wrote above. As I read it I had this surreal experience with my hair standing up because your situation is so similar to hers. We have seen virtually all the same specialists and she has had nearly all the same treatments as you and we are still dealing with her pain behind the eyes and a growing photophobia. Currently we are seeing a specialist in neurology who has her taking Topamax in an effort to reduce the severe headaches which come on with the orbital pain. She also is taking Sumatripten which is generic Imatrex just in case she can head off some of the pain before it gets horrible. I don't think the Sumatripten has helped. The Topamax is too early to tell. The doctor said at least two weeks before we would see any good signs IF the medication even works at all. There does come a point where we are so weary of chasing after a cure that we just want to give up. Then the unpredictable pain kicks us into high gear again. We will keep you posted if we find some help.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: it is true the best medicines for eyes are sleep early and do not sleep so late at night.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My wife found that 600mg Magnesium per day and precision tinted lenses solved her photophobia/migraine problem. Try the "ceriumoptical.com" website for her lenses.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have experienced similar problems with my eyes. I am 17 and live in the UK. My eye pain started suddenly at Christmas 2011. After a few days I went to my doctor who sent me to hospital with suspected meningitis. This was quickly ruled out. After a couple of weeks the pain subsided and I could bare to look into light, which had been very painful up to this point. I had another "attack" about a month later to which my doctors said it was probably nothing, despite me being in intense pain and barely able to open my eyes. After this attack the pain never really went away. It took two more "attacks" before my doctor agreed to send me away to a bigger hospital for tests. (I live on a really small island in Scotland so the hospital there is fairly basic) I had loads of blood test, an MRI and three separate lumbar punctures all of which turned up nothing. I returned home to where my doctor set me on a range of medicines from migraine tablets to different diets. None of it worked. I've had every test my optician can think of, nothing has shown up. So now I just live with it, I have worse pain after I wake up, and just a constant dull pain throughout the day which I find really effects my concentration in school. Every month or so it intensifies for a week or so, during which I am confined to a dark room.

      If anyone has any ideas please let me know!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Several years of eye probs and eye glass prescriptions - still have eye pain. I have blepharitis and convergence insufficiency, but neither of these cause such frequent and prolonged eye pain. I was extremely light sensitive before I treated the blepharitis. You just put a warm washcloth over your closed eyes for several minutes, then gently massage your lids - if frees up blocked oils. These two diagnoses helped me to some extent, but the pain is still behind my eyes. You all should look up blepharitis and convergence insufficiency to compare your symptoms. You never know, the info might help. Good luck!

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      casquid 5 years ago

      I have Keratoconus, a protrusion of the cornea. My eyes burn, hurt and triple-vision on me all the time. Glass contacs are all I can wear. These are very expensive, but worth it. Now my curve is so steep, that a procedure is necessary. No insurance, so I just wait. . .for Social Security to kick in, next year. Medicare takes care of the aged (or so I have been told). Good Luck, my friend!

      Nice lens, very informative. Think I'll feature it on my Keratoconus lens.

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      stoyankochev 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, Can you tell me more about your medicine, did that help you, did you still have the problems or all that is past??

      Thanks, Stoyan

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      stoyankochev 5 years ago

      Hi everybody, I have the same problems with my eyes, I made all this examiations and still nothing. Does Somebody have the solutions for this? Please help me, Stoyan

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      stoyankochev 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Paul, I have the same problems with my eyes, Did you find something new about our problems or maybe solution ? Best regards, Stoyan

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, I've had photophobia from a young age, in fact I can remember as early as 6 having symptoms - I'm now 43. I can relate to all of your experiences, and perhaps even more. Throughout my teens, I really suffered silently as I didn't have anybody I could share this condition with and take me serioulsly. Unfortunately, over the years the light sensitivity has graduated, and has given me enormous head and eye pain, as well as fatigue every time I encounter Light. Light meaning illumination - the sun is unbearable, and I often close my eyes even with sunglasses on due to the oversensitity. Nighttime is also excrutiating, as the brightness of lights anywhere in my field of vision dominate and cause pain. Watching tv is extremely difficult, even on the lowest brightness settings and day to day life really difficult. Also associated with this condition is a neurological aspect, the more light encountered, the harder it is to balance, talk and think. So, it has become really hard for me to construct sentences, especially verbally. In fact, writing this little spiel takes a lot of effort and corrections. If I maintain darkness for an extended period of time, I regain the ability to construct sentences again and naturally the pain subsides. My memory improves, and remember the words that I couldn't before. I wear sunglasses most of the time, but the pain is always constant. When looking in the direction of bright light, I lose most detail, as the eyes are "overexposed", and flooded with light. The only thing besides popping daily painkillers and wearing sunglasses which assists me are magenta coloured contact lenses. But they only work sometimes, not all the time, and reduce the intensity by say 25%. I have had every test imaginable and pushed my way past doctors who don't want a barr of it. Whilst frustratingly undiagnosed, the only glimmer of hope which occurred was in a MRI scan which showed that my visual cortex was notably smaller in comparison to someone my age. My neuropthamologist commented that he had never seen this before, and shared the scan amongst his colleagues, who also just as baffled. So this led me to a Professor Neurosurgen, who very quickly denied the scan showing any adverse findings. So it has now been over 6 months since I have seen him, and battling on a day to day basis, exhausted and in pain from morning till night! When I found this forum, i sensed that my condition, whatever it may be, is not perhaps an isolated case after all, and I would love to be in contact with anybody who has similar symptoms. I still function on a daily basis, and have a wonderful and supportive family, but it is incredibly hard! Ive probably left out heaps of info, and doctors visits etc but I think you will get the general idea of who I am from what Ive written. regards Paul

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had exactly the same symptoms as you are describing which started 17 years ago. I was eventually diagnosed with Benign Intacranial Hypertension and it's basically water pressure that builds up in your cranium and this is why the pain is worse first thing in the morning. The pressure builds up overnight hence the morning pain usually being the worst.

      My headaches had eased almost to the point of being a rarity, however for the past two weeks the pain is back with a vengeance. The treatment for this condition is usually Amitriptyline tablets. I can't remember how they work but if you google the BIH you should be able to find out lots of info about symptoms, treatments etc.

      Hope this helps.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I get the exact same symptoms, particularly if I haven't had enough sleep, and it's bright out. My behind-the-eye pain can be accompanied with extreme noise sensitivity, physical weakness and tremors, and on occasion, nausea. I sometimes find that it can even be worse on overcast days, as the diffuse light seems to penetrate everywhere and there's no shade :(

      A headache like yours struck me in the first week of the semester at uni, and as I didn't know my way around the campus to find the medical centre, and the pharmacy was closed (it was being relocated), all I could do was stumble into the library and find a dark, quiet corner to sit down in, with my sunglasses on, trying to block out the light. Think I'm going to invest in an eyemask and earplugs, like travellers have for sleeping on flights, to keep handy.

      I'm not sure what drugs to suggest... I haven't found one that reliably works for me, or even takes the edge off. All I can recommend is that you let people know (family, friends, colleagues, boss etc) that you are suffering with this problem; in my case they were very understanding that when a headache struck, I just had to leave or find a dark quiet place immediately. They could usually tell anyway, as I go pale and wobbly :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I too have gone down this road for the last 3 years...all the dr. and specialists' visits with no answers. I did find out that my progesterone & cortisol levels were very low, but once I got this resolved, the eye pain was still there. However, the eye doc said that my "tear" had hardly any mucin in it, the component that acts as a gel protectant for your tears to "sit" on your eye. This is also true for my sinuses. Now I just need to figure out what produces the mucus in our bodies and is it possible to increase that production. I believe that's where my problem lies, just don't know where to go with that.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Keeping it Dark, or Keeping My eyes closed Really help.

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      Author

      puzzlerpaige 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Grey,

      Yes, I have thought about eye strain, but ruled it out when I read eye strain always lessens through the night. *My* pain was worst in the mornings so I dismissed eye strain. BUT now that I think about it, everyone is different and what might be normal for others might not be the way *my* body responds. So maybe eye strain does play a role. Thanks Grey.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I feel like i can relate to this..have you had a bad case of eye strain?

      Reason im aksing is because i have had very similar symptoms it all started when i got a bad case of eyestrain and with that pressure behind my eyes this started worrying me because honestly i can say that before this my life was way easier and i felt fine. Soon after a few days of this really bothering me i visited my eye doctor and what did he say to me? "oh your eyes are perfectly healthy" soo,,,that pretty much gave me some comfort and hope that i might get better few weeks after visiting my eye doctor my eyes just never got better i developed photophobia and EVERY time i go outside, i have to wear sunglasses. sometimes even when the sky is gray or it's raining, it's still bright to my eyes. i HATE it. i was really down because even the doctors couldn't help me. even now when i'm use to it, i still want to have normal eyes like everyone else.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello guys, I have this pain as well. When I was younger I used to have terrible "direct" pain in my eyes sometimes. So bad that I couldn't sleep or my eyes would hurt after closing them. I also used to have terrible headaches sometimes which we're paired with this pain. That problem is gone now I don't have "direct" pain or headaches at all anymore. The only problem I now have is a vague pain in my head after being exposed to light for a certain time. I notice it becomes very bad on days with bright white light due to clouds. In sunlight I notice it less. Also when im home in the afternoon I use to close my eyes and get a sleep or just lay down for a few minutes and the pain will be gone for a short while. As last I would like to add that I have extremely good eyesight. Does anyone recognize all these symptoms? Best regards, Wesley

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      JGracey 5 years ago

      Mine is due to Glaucoma, and fortunately there is treatment that helps. Laser surgery, multiple drops and ... lots of anti-infalmmatory and motrin.

      Eye paint is not only unpleasant, but debilitating.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! Amazing to see someone dealing with the exact same thing, and who went on the same journey as me. Eye Dr, then Family Dr, Cat Scan, -- haven't made the appt for Ear Nose and Throat...but it was next. Now I don't know what to do. Mine comes in waves too. Just started back up. This time it's more pain than last time. Last time it felt more like something was hitting my eye when I would turn it inward or downward. This time I still feel that but with some pain...causes head aches. Seems to be affected more when the lights are on. I feel relief when I turn the lights off or shut my eyes. So frustrating to not know what's going on or why I have this. I just woke up one day with it. And it's been a mystery ever since. I sure hope we find answers.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Okay! THANK you! Finally! this descibes my exact symptoms and experiences, except I have the pain only in my left eye since this past Sept . It all started with cold like symptoms and pounding on left side of my head. Went to get antibiotics for sinus infection..I felt a little better...but was left with this lingering shooting pain anytime i look into a bright light. I have been to PCP, dentist, TMJ specialist, retina specialist, had CT scan (no contrast) on my sinus cavities, and now have my next appointment w neurologist in a few weeks. the only person so far who believes that have a "hunch" of what is causing all this light sensitivity (and another major symptom i have is shooting pain from behind my left eye to just behind my left ear) is the TMJ specialist. He says my TMJ discs are partially dislocated and i need a series of custom mouth splints to change the position of my jaw to allow discs to slide back into place. All this would cost me around 3 grand. however, even though I have TMJ issues, he wasn't confident that this treatment would resolve my light sensitivity and shooting pain behind my left ear. although apparently my left TMJ joint was in worse shape than my right. so who knows. But i don't have 3000 dollars to gamble with..that is for sure. TMJ doc also mentioned trigeminal neuralgia, which my father had. Scared me to death when he mentioned this... my dad was literally locked in his bedroom for months on end ..and I could hear him screaming in the other room in pain. Needless to say, I really hope that is not it. but I am going to neurologist in a few weeks and hope to get some more insight without breaking th bank. If the neurologist isn't helpful..i will probably invest in some transitional lenses for my glasses..and quit searching for an answer that I probably wont find. ;/

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have a lot of those same issues, and they keep saying it is related to my migraines, but I just feel like there is more going on. Thank you for sharing your story, I too think I need to find a specialist, but am afraid no one will be able to give me any answers. Good luck!

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      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Sorry to hear about your eye pain. I have had terrible headaches in the past from fluorescent lightening and the new light bulbs. My headaches seems to be the result of poor lighting rather than too much. I'm wondering if you have ever had retinal mapping done. It's done here in Canada as part of an eye exam but, of course, for an additional fee.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I used to have a lot of eye pain, but it seems to have gone. Hasn't been a problem for years now. Thank goodness!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Sounds terrible! You could live in the Pacific Northwest, we get a whole lot less sunshine than other people.... seems lately like we will never see the sun.