Headaches behind the eyes are a prevalent and disruptive condition that can impact people of all ages and backgrounds. It is important to recognize that this specific location of headache can be indicative of different underlying causes. Understanding these causes is essential for effectively treating and preventing this type of headache.

When experiencing a headache behind the eyes, it is crucial to consider different factors that may contribute to the pain.

The following are possible reasons for such headaches:


Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses, can cause pressure and pain behind the eyes. This occurs when the mucus membranes in the sinuses become inflamed or infected, leading to congestion and discomfort. According to statistics from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, approximately 31 million Americans experience sinusitis each year . Proper diagnosis and treatment of sinusitis can help alleviate headaches.

Eye strain:

Extended periods of near vision tasks, such as working on a computer or reading, can strain the eyes and lead to headaches. This phenomenon, known as eye strain or asthenopia, can cause discomfort around the eyes, including behind them. According to the American Optometric Association, up to 75% of computer users suffer from vision problems, which can contribute to eye strain . Taking regular breaks, using proper lighting, and maintaining proper ergonomics can help reduce such headaches.

Eye strain

Tension headaches:

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache experienced by individuals. They often present as a constant band-like pressure around the head, and the pain can extend to behind the eyes. Stress, poor posture, and muscle tension are common triggers for tension headaches. The World Health Organization reports that tension headaches occur in about 70% of males and 80% of females at some point during their lifetime . Managing stress and practicing relaxation techniques can help prevent tension headaches.

Tension headaches


Migraines are severe, recurring headaches that can cause intense pulsating pain, often localized to one side of the head. However, migraines can also manifest as pain behind the eyes. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, approximately 39 million people in the United States experience migraines 4. Identifying triggers, such as certain foods or stressors, and seeking appropriate medical treatment can help manage migraines.

It is important to note that self-diagnosis and treatment are not recommended for headaches. If experiencing persistent or severe headaches, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.



A headache behind the eyes can signify various underlying causes such as sinusitis, eye strain, tension headaches, or migraines. Identifying the specific cause is crucial for effective treatment and prevention. Seeking medical advice and following appropriate treatment plans can help alleviate the pain and improve quality of life.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/definition/sym-20050800, Symptoms Headache
  2. American Optometric Association. (n.d.), Computer vision syndrome
  3. World Health Organization. (2018), Headache disorders
  4. Migraine Research Foundation. (n.d.), Migraine Facts