Ask the Optician

Pain behind eyes and pressure feeling in head


I'm 24 years old and for the past 3 days I have had eye pain at the back of both my eyes, that I can only describe as nerve type pain. It also hurts when I move my eyes. It is in both my eyes but it appears to alternate. I also feel as though my eye muscles are very stiff and sore and limits my eye movement. I also feel as though my vision is zoning out, blurring my vision and making it difficult to focus. I feel as though I am constantly fighting to keep my eyes focused. Furthermore I have a heavy pressure feeling behind and around my eyes and in my head. It also feels around my nose. I have heavy brow ache and also tension type headache. In general my face, eyes and head feels tense and sore. I am also getting intermittent ear ache, my temples are tender, my cheek also feels slightly numb and I feel like I have toothache slightly. I do not have any nose congestion or cold symptoms so just wondering what this can be?

I have only just had a dilated eye exam only 4 days ago which was normal and I am suffering from severe anxiety and depression regarding my eyes ( I have been experiencing visual disturbances for the past 2 months, however I have only just started to get eye pain) I feel a little silly about going back to the doctor with this issue due to all the other problems I have been having.

Answer Written answer:

There are a couple of things that come to mind.  You could have a sinus infection which could cause a lot of these symptoms. It's possible you could have some sort of virus. Generally your symptoms are none specific and don't indicate anything serious. As you say you are very anxious about your eyes, and so anxiety may be playing a big part in causing these symptoms. I do think you need to rule out any physical cause so it is appropriate to go and see your GP.


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Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 35 years, and has a vast experience of almost all aspects of optometry. He joined Specsavers Opticians in 1993 first in Liverpool and for 15 years as a director of Lancaster and Morecambe. He served on many panels and committees whilst a director, including those responsible for IT design and professional advancement. He was regional chairman of the North West directors of Specsavers for over 12 years and as such was involved in almost all aspects of optometry on a business and professional level. He has been involved on the Local Optical Committee for many years and is currently Vice Chairman in his area.
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