Pain Around Eye Socket


Pain around the eye socket is a problem that many of us will have experienced at some time or other and that can have many causes. While this can often be just a minor irritation that will go away if left to its own devices, in other instances it can be a more serious chronic condition. Here we will look at the possible causes of eye socket pain, but if the pain continues you should always make sure to see a doctor for a professional opinion.


The bone around the eye socket is protected by very little flesh and has only a thin layer of skin to pad it against bruising, thus it is fairly easy to bruise this area and that would make it very sore to touch even lightly. The pain might be accompanied by swelling. If it doesn’t die down after a few days though then you should see a doctor in case of fracture.


The eye socket just below the eyebrow is where some of the ethmoid sinuses are located, and thus sinusitis (infection or inflammation of the sinuses) can cause pain in this area due to the building up of ethmoid mucosa. A doctor may recommend a steroid spray or other treatment. Hot showers may also temporarily relieve some of the discomfort by liquefying and breaking up the mucus allowing it to drain.


Similarly a cold, allergy, or any other condition that cause the sinuses to become blocked may cause pressure on the head and a slight headache around the eye socket.


Esophoria is an eye problem characterized by an inward deviation of the eye as a result of ocular muscle imbalance. This can cause pain above the eye socket as can some other eye problems.


Migraine can take place in any part of the head, and this includes around the eye sockets. If you are suffering from a migraine the pain will likely be acute and the best course of action is to close your eyes in a darkened room.

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Theodoros Manfredi


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  • I have been suffering all day with sinus/allergy headache pain… and the headache is in my left eye socket under the eyebrow. It's painful to the touch and you were right. I'm glad I looked you up and that my gentle rubbing of the area (sucks) but helps. Thank you very much.

  • Thank you for helping me understand what may be happening to me. I will go to a doctor a little more informed and asking the correct questions.

  • Why is my eye socket sore and painful. And for the past week and headache just above the eye. Hurts that most when I look side ways or look up. Eye ball sore on touch.

  • I always have pain around my eye socket which gets worse when I’m stressed (like studying) I usually get relieved when I massage the area. However the pain keeps coming. Don’t know what to do.

  • I have extensive experience with this issue. One of the leading causes of the excruciating pain in the eye orbit (eye socket), the adjacent temple area of the particular eye orbit and often radiating through that side of the cranial area of the skull is called a cluster headache. Historically it is known as a suicide headache because in some people the pain is so unrelenting and excruciating – often episodes occurring for hours each day once they start and reoccurring for weeks and even months each day – that they have committed suicide. This type of headache starts out very vaguely, almost like a shadow of anything noticeable. Then, the person starts to fell nausea along with a tingling in the affected area that gets more pronounced and intense until the pain is disabling. Nothing seems to stop it and people with this type of headache will actually attempt to press hard on the head or eye socket, or pace rapidly and with panic because they don’t know what to do as the cluster headache takes over their entire life during that moment. They feel like vomiting and traditional headache remedies provide no relief. They are somewhat associated with seasonal headaches which start in the springtime when allergies to pollen irritate the eyes sinuses. The real culprit is found in the blood vessels being affected by episodes of high blood pressure. High blood pressure will engourge blood vessels in the skull and face. In turn, the swollen blood vessel will push on the large trigeminal nerve that runs from temple area, down the side of the face and jaw and branches across the eye orbit area. Hormones and the pituitary gland can also trigger the cluster headache. Treatments include a prescription for high blood pressure medication, sumatriptan to reduce the blood vessels in the brain so they don’t press on the nerve and breathing pure oxygen from an oxygen tank at the first sign a cluster headache is beginning. Often cluster headaches will go away for years before returning again, sometimes they occur for months and occasionally for years before they stop. They are not the same as migraines which have a whole different cause. When cluster headaches occur attempt to lie down in a darkened room with ice over the eye and temple. Relax, calm down, pray. I’ve had endured them many times and thankfully haven’t had one in two years. I hope this helps!

  • I have same pain but with headache very extremely worse headache than normal. I went to doctor found out it’s cluster headache. Took steroids to calm it down. Lasts 45 minutes to hour had one every day for month then it just went away came back 6 months later, same thing. No known cause but stress, caffeine and sunlight triggers them.

  • This addresses eye pain underneath the eyebrow. What about the bone underneath the eye? The whole underneath of the bone feels bruised. It hurts when I blink. When my eyes are open it aches. I’ve had no trauma. I’m not sick. I’ve got no clue.

Theodoros Manfredi