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12 causes for pain below the eyebrows

Pain below the eyebrows is caused due to several reasons and sometimes, can be quite debilitating. We tend to mostly overlook this issue, thanks to our busy schedule and minimal effect on what we do. This pain slowly manifests to become chronic and severe. An understanding of the causes of pain helps find appropriate treatment for it.

Below are some vital reasons why we experience pain beneath the eyebrows.

1. Cluster headaches

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One of most common causes for pain below the eyebrows is cluster headache, which is also known as an ice-pick headache. The pain is characterised by a sharp pain that occurs many times daily. It extends for weeks or months. It may have a similar pattern in stopping and recurring.

Cluster headaches occur more commonly in men than in women. They are also more frequently occurring during one's adolescent years and middle age.

The exact cause of cluster headaches is not known. However, scientists conjecture that it could be associated with improper regulation of histamine and serotonin.

Identified triggers for these headaches are alcohol, bright light, exertion, heat, cigarettes and medication.

2. Tension headaches

Tension headaches usually occur around the eyes and cause pain and discomfort.

  • The pain is characterised by a feeling of head being compressed.
  • Although the exact reason for tension headaches is not known, common triggers are stress, lack of sleep and onset of flu or cold.

3. Infection

If there is an infection in or around the eye, it causes pain below the eyebrows. Many sinuses are placed in the cavities in the skull bones, near the eyes and them getting infected can also cause pain below the eyebrows.

4. Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to increased pressure in the eye, it causes pain below the eyebrows. With time, the increased pressure may destroy the optic nerve. Thus, the person may not be able to see. While the exact cause of glaucoma is unknown, open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma occur due to the inability of the fluid in the eye to drain out. Consequently, the pressure in the eye increases.

5. Muscle spasms

Spasms that occur in the eyebrow or eyelid or involuntary tremors in the area of the eyebrows causes pain. They are referred to as benign essential blepharospasms. Usually, they occur for a few days and then stop. This condition is generally triggered by lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns.

6. Temporal arteritis

Pain below the eyebrows may also be caused by blood vessel disorders near the eyes or nerve problems in the eye. It happens because the temporal artery, which runs from the side of the head near the eye, gets inflamed.

7. Aneurysms

This refers to abnormal dilations of blood vessels. Aneurysms that occur in the skull in proximity of the nerves feeding the eye cause pain below the eyebrows. The enlarged blood vessel puts pressure on the nerves and may cause the blood vessel to burst.

8. Increased pressure in the skull

Pain below the eyebrows can be caused by an increased pressure in the skull. Since the skull is similar to a rigid container, a health condition such as brain tumour that causes that space to be filled causes increased pressure. An intracranial abscess, which is a localised infection in the skull, also causes pain below the eyebrows.

9. Bruising

Getting bruised around the eye socket is fairly easy because the flesh padding is very less. Swelling and pain below the eyebrows are accompanying conditions.

10. Esophoria

Esophoria refers to an eye disorder that occurs due to inward deviation of the eye due to ocular muscle imbalance. Thus, pain below the eyebrow occurs.

11. Cold/Allergy

Catching a cold or suffering from an allergy causes sinuses to get blocked. Thus, pressure builds in the head and causes pain below the eyebrows.

12. Migraine

Migraines can occur in any part of the head, including the area around the eyes. Acute pain below the eyebrows is best treated by sitting in a dark room with eyes closed.

Photo source: Getty images


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