A headache behind your left eye can develop as easily as a headache behind both eyes. They may include shooting pains beginning behind the eye(s) and moving further in the head. There are multiple causes of headaches that develop behind your eye, and they can be accompanied by different symptoms.
Headaches can develop at any time and in virtually any part of your head. They can impact your day at work or at home, or interrupt your routine activities. Headache pain can be dull, throbbing or sharp, and located either in a small, pinpoint area or throughout the head.
Let’s face it, headaches are just miserable, and you just want to get rid of the pain. If you can pin down the cause, you can more likely manage your headache and prevent more headaches in your future. What about a headache behind the left eye?
What Causes a Headache behind the Left Eye?
Headaches behind the left eye are not uncommon. Many people suffer from these types of headaches, for a variety of medical reasons. The pain can start behind the eye or elsewhere in the head. While you can have eye pain and head pain simultaneously, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily related.
If your headaches are due to problems in the eye, this means you likely have disease in the eye or the tissues that surround it. This includes the muscles that allow your eyeball to move, in addition to the nerves that control the eye and eyelid. Some instances of headache behind the left eye are not in any way related to the eye, regardless of their location.
Possible causes of these headaches include:
- Cluster Headaches
Cluster headaches may be quite severe, but they are not as common as migraines. People who suffer from cluster headaches describe them as intense burning, stabbing or throbbing pain that will occur frequently during the day. This may go on for a period of days or even weeks, but then they will often enter remission, and will not recur for months or even years. Most people with cluster headaches say they feel like headache behind the left eye or the right. They don’t normally travel from one eye to the other.
- Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches do not have one definable cause. They may be caused by abnormal blood flow in the brain. While the precise reason for migraines isn’t clear, they do have specific triggers. They include psychological stress, lack of sleep, eating certain foods and hormonal changes. Most people with migraines say that the pain is mainly felt behind one eye or both eyes. Many also are sensitive to light during their migraines.
A common reason for a headache behind the left eye is sinusitis. The issue is an infection in paranasal sinuses, or allergic reactions. The lining of the sinuses can become inflamed, swollen and congested, which leads to that pain.
The precise location of the pain is dependent on which sinus areas are affected. Sinusitis in the maxillary area will cause pain in the area of the cheek. Sinusitis located in frontal sinuses causes pain above your eyes. Sinusitis in your sphenoid sinuses will cause pain behind your eyes.
When you put too much strain on your eyes, by reading, watching TV, playing video games or working at your computer, it can cause a headache behind the left eye, the right eye, or both eyes. It is much more commonly found now, since so many people use their laptops and binge-watch their favorite TV shows. The cause is usually straining the muscles around the eye and not blinking often enough while you’re engrossed in reading, watching, typing or game play.
Eyestrain is much more common in people with refractive eye disorders, including people with farsightedness, astigmatism or nearsightedness who don’t always wear their glasses when they need them.
Other symptoms of eyestrain include eye pain, tired eyes, blurry vision, eye redness, eye dryness and excessive tearing. Eyestrain is also believed to be a contributive factor in tension headaches.
- Optic Neuropathy
This is a condition where there is damage or disease that affects the eye’s optic nerve. It is dangerous, and can even lead to eventual total blindness in whichever eye is affected.
Optic neuropathy is caused by any of the following: hereditary eye conditions, neurological diseases, infections, nutritional problems and toxic exposure. Sinus infections that cause complications can also lead to this problem. There are vision disturbances quite obvious to the patient, and eye pain that becomes worse when they move their eyes.
- Orbital Cellulitis
This eye infection is generally related to your eyelids. Children sometimes develop it after sinus infections. It can be dangerous and can lead to blindness if you don’t have it promptly treated.
In addition to eye pain, this disease causes visible eye tissue swelling, including eyelids, cheeks and eyebrows. Moving the eyes becomes difficult and extremely painful, and the eyes may actually bulge outward.
This condition occurs when the eye pressure gets too high. It causes damage to the eye that is affected. Some of the more common symptoms are damage to peripheral vision and pain behind the eye.
Eventually, glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve, resulting in blindness in some cases. African Americans above the age of 40 have an especially high occurrence rate of glaucoma.
- Brain Infection or Tumor
These conditions are quite rare, but they can still cause pain behind the left eye. The pain is not usually from the brain tissue, but rather caused by infection, brain abscess or cancer. Encephalitis is also a possible factor, and it can damage nerves near the eyes and blood vessels in the eyes, which causes the pain.
- Head Injury
Head injuries may cause increased pressure from bleeding or swelling in the brain, or fracturing of the skull. Typical symptoms include headaches behind one or both eyes. Head injuries often occur with injuries related to sports, falls from great heights, assaults or car accidents. If you have a traumatic head injury, have it thoroughly evaluated to make sure you do not have additional complications.
- Brain Aneurysm
A brain aneurysm may cause a headache behind left eye. It occurs when damaged blood vessels leak blood or burst. This causes hemorrhagic stroke. Other causes include subarachnoid hemorrhage, or bleeding between the brain lining and brain tissue. The headaches caused by brain aneurysms are quite severe, and may be felt anywhere in the head.
This list is not complete. If you experience a headache that worries you, consult your physician for proper diagnosis and early intervention and treatment.
Here is a video that will show you how to relieve eye strain that nearly everyone experiences at some time. Follow the video instructions to reduce eye stress.