Pain Under the Left Eye: Causes and Treatments

image001Many people have complained of pain behind left eye, which can take the form of a steady ache or shooting pains. In addition to the pain, your eye might become droopy or seem to want to close. You might also experience tears from that eye, redness, contracted pupils and a stuffy nose as well as significant pain and sensitivity to light. Eye problems or headaches can be the underlying conditions of such pain. Simple home remedies can help to relieve pain while treatment should depend on the root causes. 

Causes of Pain Behind Left Eye

The pain behind left eye is usually of short duration, anywhere between 15 minutes to three hours. It often appears with no warning and goes away in the same manner. Symptoms include intense pain behind the left eye, and sometimes the eye can become droopy, teary or red. This pain can be caused by numerous conditions, including the following:

1. Eye Problems

Sometimes simple eye problems can cause the pain to occur. In some cases these can be easily remedied, but more complex issues might need the attention of a doctor.

Eye Problems

Why It Causes Pain Behind Left Eye

Dry Eyes

Itching and sharp stabbing pains behind the eye can be caused by dryness. This is especially true if you are sitting in front of a computer screen for too long. In most cases, this can be remedied by eye rest and using eye drops to combat dryness.


This is an inflammation that is often associated with different forms of arthritis or gout. Redness and pain are the most typical symptoms. This can usually be treated well with steroids.

Orbital Inflammatory Syndrome

This is a condition which can only be determined using a CT scan. The symptoms of this syndrome are the same as the symptoms for other eye problems.

Optic Neuritis

This inflammation of the optic nerve can cause severe pain and disturbances in vision. These are usually temporary symptoms that come and go. Steroids are a good treatment for this condition.

2. Headaches

There are several different types of headaches in which the left eye is involved. Many of these headaches can be relieved with over the counter medications, but sometimes more serious medications are required.


Why It Causes Pain Behind Left Eye


Though doctors are not entirely sure what causes migraines, it seems that changes in blood vessels play a role. These headaches are often severe and are accompanied by other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and more.

Cluster Headache

The least common but the most severe type of headaches, these are usually centered around only one eye and have a deep, piercing pain. These headaches come and go over a period of days or weeks.

Tension Headache

Stress is a big cause of tension headaches. These headaches are very common and can happen anywhere in the head, not necessarily just behind the left eye.

Sinus Headache

Though these headaches are usually centered in the sinus area, such as the bridge of the nose or underneath the eyes, it can also cause pain behind the eyes as well. These are usually caused by a sinus infection.

Hormone Headache

Women who have significant headaches behind the left eye might be dealing with a fluctuation of hormones, and that can lead to serious pain. This is especially common during times when hormones are changing, such as pregnancy or menopause.

3. Nerve Problems

Cranial Nerve Palsies is a very painful condition where blood flow behind the eye is compromised. This can lead to vision problems and serious pain. A doctor should be consulted for treatment of this condition.

Treatments for Pain Behind Left Eye

Fortunately, there are many treatments that can help ease the pain behind your left eye. Medical treatments and home remedies might both offer some relief.

1. What You Can Do at Home

There are many things you can do at home before you go see a doctor about your headaches. Here are a few.

  • Keep a Healthy Lifestyle and Maintain Good Eye Care. Always make sure to get adequate rest and eat well, as this can help ensure your headaches stay away. Eye exercises that strengthen the muscles might help. Also take care to watch over your eyes, and visit your eye doctor on a regular basis.
  • Try Hot and Cold Compress. Soak your feet in hot water, and then soak your hands in cold water. This has been known to help ease headaches. You can also try using a cool compress on your head to alleviate pain.
  • Try This Exercise to Relieve the Pain. Try this: Lie down on a hard surface and put your hands behind your head. Press your thumbs into the area right at the base of the skull, then let your head fall back. Hold that position for as long as you can.
  • Eat and Drink Properly. Drink plenty of water – dehydration is a leading cause of headaches of all types. Avoid alcohol, smoking, processed foods, and medications that cause hormone changes for they can all be triggers for headaches.
  • Take OTC Medications. Many pain relievers are meant to deal with headaches. Tylenol, ibuprofen or medications that are specifically marketed for headaches or migraines might help.

Click the following video to learn how to relieve headache by massage.

2. Treat the Underlying Health Condition

These medical treatments might be necessary to help make the pain go away:

  • Check Eye Conditions. Meeting with a doctor about the problem can help get your condition diagnosed, and that can lead to treatment plans which work to reduce or eliminate the pain. Conditions such as dry eyes are a relatively easy fix.
  • Cure Headaches. Your headaches can be caused by a wide variety of problems. Your doctor can work with you to figure out the cause, then prescribe treatments or medications that can help reduce the severity. Some people find that acupuncture, massage therapy and biofeedback can help their headaches. Others might need prescription medications to manage the symptoms.