Although it is common for people to suffer from a pain behind their eye, it can still be alarming as well as horribly uncomfortable. Most of the time when someone experiences pain behind left eye it is not a serious problem and you should not be too concerned unless you are also experiencing other uncomfortable or unusual symptoms like numbness, slurred speech, vomiting, unsteady gait, dizziness, nausea or vision problems. In these conditions, you are supposed to see your doctor immediately.
Causes of Pain Behind Left Eye
When you experience a pain behind left eye, it may be something simple such as a reaction to pressure or it can be something much more serious such as an aneurysm. Anytime you experience recurring headaches behind your eye as well as other symptoms, you should visit your doctor. Here are some of the most common causes.
1. Infection and Tumor
Although brain tumors, infections and abscesses are rare, they are a possible cause of pain near the left. Your brain tissue will not directly generate the pain in these cases; instead cancerous processes, encephalitis, abscesses or infections can destroy blood vessels and nerves near your eyes causing intense pain in the process.
In many cases head trauma will lead to pain near your eyes due to hemorrhages either in this area or elsewhere within the skull. In some cases trauma can directly lead to headaches behind your left eye if the trauma is directly experienced in that area. Certain contact sports such as rugby are common causes of head trauma in both the eye area and in general and this can include orbital bone or skull fractures. If you experienced trauma that led to a left orbital bone fracture, this would cause sudden and severe pain around your left eye as well as a great deal of inflammation.
3. Pressure Headache
In some cases pain behind your left eye can be due to a pressure headache and this is when you experience increased pressure in a specific area. The pressure in this area will surround the tissue as well as press on the nerve fibers and this combination leads to the activation of pain receptors. The cause of pressure headaches can vary widely including sinus congestion or eye problems such as glaucoma.
4. Cluster Headache
Cluster headaches (also known as histamine headaches) are fairly common and only occur on one side of the head. In most cases they will start two or three hours right after you go to sleep but they can also happen during the day and the pain will be at its worst five to ten minutes after it starts and last between a half hour and two hours. It is triggered by the sudden release of histamine or serotonin and can also include stuffy nose, eye swelling, tearing and red eyes. It can also be triggered by specific medications, nitrates, heat, bright light, smoking and alcohol.
5. Sinus Headache
Sinus headaches are caused by sinus infections and have similar symptoms to cluster headaches. The pain occurs in a specific area and is pressure-like and is made worse by any sudden head movements (such as bending forward). It also gets worse during the morning due to draining and collecting of mucus. Sinus headaches are also frequently accompanies by moderate to mild fever, postnasal drip, sore throat and green or yellow nasal discharge.
6. Eye Migraine
An eye migraine is also known as a retinal, basilar, opthalmoplegic, ophthalmic or ocular migraine. These migraines more commonly affect kids and young men and tend to cause pain in only one of your eyes. In many cases eye migraines are accompanied by nausea or congestion. They can also include symptoms related to the vision such as dilated pupils, drooping eyelids or double vision. You should always consult your doctor if you experience these problems to rule out underlying conditions.
Papilloedema is when the optic nerve collects excess fluid and begins to swell. It is commonly caused by certain types of medical conditions such as hemorrhages, inflammation and brain tumors. Papilloedema can also lead to a localized headache. In most cases lying down will help while coughing and sneezing make it worse. Some people with this problem will also experience double or blurred vision. If you have any of those symptoms, it is important to visit your doctor as you may have a serious medical condition.
Another possible cause of pain behind left eye is a brain aneurysm which is when the damaged blood vessels in the brain either leak some blood or burst completely and this can lead to hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding. Most of the time hemorrhagic strokes are subarachnoid hemorrhages which occur between the arachnoid tissues and brain tissue. When a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs it can lead to excruciating headaches at the back of your head as well as symptoms and pain by the left eye.
If your pain behind your left eye is due to a condition then the most likely explanation is glaucoma. That is because glaucoma occurs when the pressure within one of your eyes builds up to the extent that it can cause damage. Glaucoma can lead to serious effects such as eye pain, destroying peripheral vision, damaging the optic nerve or even eventual blindness depending on the severity of the condition. Although glaucoma can affect anyone African Americans who are older than 40 have an increased risk of developing this condition.