Many different health problems can present with headache as the first symptom. Headaches near the eye might be benign, but they might also be a sign of neurological problems. Nerves that are in or near the eye might be affected, and that can lead to pain that feels like a headache. Eye pain might also be present. To determine the true cause of headache above the right eye, talking to a healthcare professional is always your best bet.
Causes of Headache above Right Eye
There are many reasons why you might suffer a headache above your right eye. These are some of the most common reasons why you might feel pain in this particular area.
1. Cluster Headache
A cluster headache is also known as an “ice pick headache” for a reason: the pain can be extreme, and often focuses on a very sharp point in your head, like an ice pick on a block of ice. These headaches can happen several times a day and this can go on for weeks, maybe even months. Men have them more often than women, and both sexes have them more often in adolescence and middle age. No one really knows what causes these headaches, but experts believe it might be related to abnormal serotonin and histamine regulation. These are often triggered by particular things, such as alcohol or cigarettes, heat, exertion, certain foods, medications or even bright light.
These headaches can be significantly painful and can last from one to six weeks in length. Between the pain of a migraine there might be low-intensity headaches, so the pain never actually goes away for a long period of time. These headache cycles are often followed by pain-free periods. There are many treatments for migraine headaches, including home remedies and prescription medications for those who have intense pain with the episodes.
If you have a sinus infection, you might suffer severe pain above both eyes, or just above one eye at a time, depending upon where the infection is. If your sinus cavities are filled with bacterial pathogens or infected with a virus, you can experience all the symptoms of the sinus infection, including a significant headache. If it gets bad enough, the lining of the eye, the areas behind the eye and the chamber around it can also be affected. Medications are often required for a problem this severe.
This increased pressure in the eye can lead to headache and eye pain. If glaucoma is untreated, it can affect the optic nerve and result in permanent vision problems, including blindness. In some types of glaucoma, the fluid is unable to drain out of the eye and the pressure increases, thus leading to more frequent and intense headaches. The causes of glaucoma are not yet known.
5. Blood Vessel Problems
If you are experiencing problems with the blood vessels or nerves near the eye, the result could be headache pain. Temporal arteritis is one of those problems. It comes from inflammation of the temporal artery, which is on the side of the head, near the eye. Aneurysm could also be a cause of significant pain; if this occurs near the nerves in the skull that serve the eye, the pressure from the vessel could cause pain. If the vessel bursts, it is a true medical emergency.
6. Increased Pressure in the Skull
When you have pressure in your skull, the headache pain is likely to be throughout the head, but it might be more pronounced around or near the eye. Since the skull is a rigid container, the pressure has to go somewhere, and it often goes to the eye cavities. Problems with increased skull pressure might include an intracranial abscess, infections in the skull or a brain tumor.
How to Deal with Headache above Right Eye
How do you deal with intense headache pain? These tips can help you ease it:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers. Look for medications that can help ease the pain, and don’t be afraid to mix them. For instance, you can take acetaminophen and ibuprofen at overlapping times. Check with your doctor to ensure which combinations are okay for your situation. Never use the medications for more than ten days at a stretch; if you still need medications at that point, you need to speak with your doctor.
- Lie down. Simply getting some rest can make a big difference in how you feel. For some headaches, such as migraines, sleep is one of the only things that will help – in fact, it might be more effective than any medications. If you can possibly lie down as soon as you feel the headache coming on, that is always best – the sooner you can relax with a headache, the faster it will go away.
- Apply cold compresses. Coolness and pressure can help immensely. Start with a washcloth that has been dipped in cold water or an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel. Press this against the spot where it hurts, lie down and take deep breaths. Some pharmacies sell ice packs that surround the head, fit comfortably around the eyes or can be inserted into pillows to make things easier for you.
- Relieve the tension. Some headaches are brought on by simple tension. If you can avoid the tension, you can avoid the headache. Throughout the day, stop and take deep breaths, and make a point of relaxing your body as much as possible. If you feel a headache starting, try to ease up whatever is happening around you – and as mentioned before, lying down is always a great medicine.
- Exercise on a regular basis. Regular exercise can help reduce tension in your body, and besides that, it releases good hormones that can affect how you feel. Once those endorphins begin flowing, you might see fewer headaches. Try walking, jogging, and other activities that get your heart pumping faster.