Do you feel headache pain whether you move your eyes right, left, up or down?

Under certain circumstances this can mean an emergency situation.

“The eyes and eye muscles are closely connected with the brain, so it is common for eye conditions to cause headaches,” says Kaushal M. Kulkarni, MD, board certified ophthalmologist and neuro-ophthalmologist in private practice in New York.

“In order to find the cause, you would need to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist, who can conduct a full eye examination,” continues Dr. Kulkarni.

Make sure that the doctor whom you are being scheduled for is an ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor) rather than an optometrist (who specializes in vision care and cannot prescribe medications or perform surgery).

For head pain when moving both eyes, the ideal doctor to see is a neuro-ophthalmologist.

“Sometimes you may need to be referred to another specialist,” says Dr. Kulkarni.

“If you experience headaches and pain when moving your eyes that comes on suddenly, you should seek medical attention immediately, particularly if you have any other symptoms such as loss of vision or redness or swelling in or around the eyes.”

This means a trip to the emergency room or at least, urgent care.

Causes to Consider

“Headache pain when moving both eyes can be caused by migraines, sinus infections or inflammation, or recent surgery in or around the eyes or sinuses,” says Dr. Kulkarni.

Now, a sinus infection may not sound that serious, but sinus infections have been known to encroach upon the brain.

This in turn can cause a seizure. If it causes only head pain, and you’re driving when this happens, it can be bad enough to make you lose control of the car.

It should be easy to understand why an advanced sinus infection that’s causing a headache when you move both eyes needs immediate treatment.

You may need to see both an ophthalmologist and an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) to find the exact cause and get the most effective treatment.

Dr. Kulkarni has a special interest in optic nerve regeneration.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick