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Question
Posted by: Patricia | 2011/03/04

Headache with pain behind eyes

All my headaches start with pain behind my eyes, which spreads a bit to the forehead and temple areas afterwards. It''s been like this for years, but I wonder if there''s anything I can do to prevent them?

I''m 26, have myopia (currently 4.25 diopters, I believe - but as of last Summer, it''s stopped increasing) and strabismus. My eyes are also sensitive to bright lights, but I wear glasses that turn darker outside, which helps.

I went to an ophtalmologist to check my pain behind my eyes, and he said my eye pressure was normal and there was nothing he could do.

Is there anything that can be done or is this just the way my headaches have a tendency to be?

They are more common when I''m tired, and because I''ve had insomnia for the past 5 nights (hadn''t had insomnia in years), I''ve had a headache for two days now, which I feel even in my sleep and has caused many bad dreams that seem to make my sleep even poorer. Usually, I put ice on my head/eyes and it helps, but this time I had to take Ibuprofen capsules. I''ve felt a bit of nausea too (that happens each time a headache is particularly strong or long-lasting).

I''m working on my insomnia (no medication) already, what else can I do to prevent these headaches?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Patricia,

The eyes are very seldom the real cause of headaches, even though you feel pain behind the eyes. There is one of the jaw muscles which attaches to the skull in the temple behind the eye – often that is the source of the ‘eye pain’. Headaches are usually caused by a combination of muscle pain and arterial pain, but you have to have an expert to be able to diagnose it properly. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Headache expert | 2011/03/04

Dear Patricia,

The eyes are very seldom the real cause of headaches, even though you feel pain behind the eyes. There is one of the jaw muscles which attaches to the skull in the temple behind the eye – often that is the source of the ‘eye pain’. Headaches are usually caused by a combination of muscle pain and arterial pain, but you have to have an expert to be able to diagnose it properly. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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