Eyes Hurting When You Have a Headache? This Could Be Why.

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Nobody enjoys a headache. Whether it’s a dull ache or a throbbing pain, headaches range from being an annoying inconvenience to being incapacitating. But what does it mean when your eyes hurt when you have a headache? Should you be concerned? And is there something you can do about it?

Causes of Eye Pain With Headaches 

A number of things can cause headaches with eye pain. Here are some of the more common ones.

Eye Strain

Do you spend a lot of time on your smartphone or computer? Maybe you work or have hobbies that involve looking at things up close for long periods of time? Do you spend a lot of time driving? If so, your headache and eye pain combo might be the result of eye strain. 

We take our eyes for granted and can forget that it’s possible to overexert them. Staring at one thing, especially up close, for too long leads to eye dryness and fatigue as well as an accompanying headache.

If eye strain is why you’re experiencing headaches with eye pain, then resting your eyes should make the problem go away. Practice daily eye care by taking breaks from focusing on one thing for too long and remembering to blink when looking at screens will help.


Another cause of eye pain accompanied by headaches is nearsightedness. It’s no fun to think your vision might be getting worse, but take a moment to reflect: when was the last time you visited the optometrist? It’s possible you need glasses or contacts, or that you need a stronger prescription.

Do you find yourself squinting to see things better? Possible nearsightedness that hasn’t been addressed can cause you to overexert your eyes, resulting in the achiness you’re experiencing.

Sinus Infection

It’s possible that your eye pain headache doesn’t have anything to do with your eyes themselves. You could have a sinus infection. According to the National Headache Foundation on headaches.org, sinus headaches include pain over and around the nasal area (which can also be around the eyes) and a fever. They occur when the sinuses are blocked from draining correctly.

Decongestants can help get your sinuses back in proper working order.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches aren’t as common as other headaches, but they often cause eye pain when they do occur. The eye pain is usually around only one eye and can be intense. (mayoclinic.org)

How to Prevent Eyes From Hurting

Eye strain and changes in vision are among the most common reasons people experience headaches with eye pain. Proper eye care can often alleviate the problem. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist to check your vision and eye health, getting the proper glasses prescription if needed. Take frequent breaks from focusing on any one thing for too long. 

It may also help to keep track of what you’re doing when your headaches with eye pain occur. That way you can observe what eye care changes would benefit you the most, and what you may need to talk to an optometrist about.

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