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What Are the Common Causes of Eyebrow Pain?

Sinus infections and cluster and tension headaches can cause eyebrow pain.
Pain killers and antibiotics can help alleviate eyebrow pain when the underlying cause is determined.
Tension headaches occur around the eyebrows.
Extreme fatigue could result in eyebrow pain.
The cause of eyebrow twitching is unknown.
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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2014
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Eyebrow pain is most often caused by a sinus infection or tension or cluster headaches. Less common causes of eyebrow pain include acute closed-angle glaucoma and temporal arteritis. Eyebrow twitching, while typically not painful, often has no known cause and is usually short-lived.

The most common causes of eyebrow pain are sinusitis, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Sinusitis is caused by an infection in the sinus cavity, which lies behind the face. During the immune response against the infection, the sinuses become inflamed, producing pain and pressure that radiate outward to the areas of the eyebrows and the upper cheeks. Antibiotics to destroy the infection and pain killers are often used to treat this type of pain.

Tension headaches are a feeling of pain or discomfort in the area of the head, especially around the eyebrows. These types of headaches often feel as though the head is being compressed. The exact reason for a tension headache is rarely known, but some of the more common causes are lack of sleep, stress, or the onset of a cold or flu.

Cluster headaches are severe head pain often concentrated around the lower forehead and are another common cause of eyebrow pain. These types of headaches get their name because they often come in groups or waves and then subside for a short period of time. Both tension and cluster headaches are treated with over-the-counter or prescription pain-killing medications.

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Two other less common causes of eyebrow pain are acute closed-angle glaucoma and temporal arteritis. Acute closed-angle glaucoma is a rare form of glaucoma that produces a quickly accelerating intraocular pressure and results in severe eye pain that can spread to the eyebrow region. This form of glaucoma is treated with drugs to reduce the pressure inside the eye, or with surgery. Temporal arteritis is a disease in which the main arteries which supply blood to the head swell, reducing the supply of nourishment and blood to the head. This disorder can result in intense pain in the eyebrow region and jaw.

Muscle spasms in the eyebrow or eyelid or involuntary tremors in the area of the eyebrow or eyelid are annoying but not an indication of a problem. These uncontrollable muscles spasms, also known as benign essential blepharospasms (BEB), typically appear for a few days and then subside. BEB has no known cause, but many people feel this problem occurs when normal sleep patterns are interrupted or when poor sleep has been experienced for several days. Often these spasms will stop after a good night’s sleep.

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Discuss this Article

anon306360
Post 6

When I raise my eyebrows or apply pressure to the middle/top area of the eyebrow, it causes me slight pain. What could this be?

anon265532
Post 5

I'm exactly the same. I've had the flu for the past two weeks and now that I'm almost over it I've got this really intense pain behind mainly one eyebrow. I've also still got congestion in my head and ears but other than that I'm fine. It's really annoying though,

I think I might give in and go see the doc. It's been a few days now and the pain seems to be slowly getting worse. Being sick stinks!

StarJo
Post 4

Sometimes, the skin under my eyebrows becomes sore, and the pain seems to radiate outward through one or two hairs of my brow. When this happens, I know that the follicles are irritated.

I gently run my finger across my eyebrow until I feel an intense pain. Sometimes, I don't even have to touch the brow to find the source of the soreness. The hair growing out of the tender spot is often out of place or bent downward.

I get a good grip on it with the tweezers and yank it out quickly. It hurts like crazy, but in an hour or so, all the pain will be gone.

lighth0se33
Post 3

@kylee07drg – I know that type of eyebrow pain. I get it whenever I have a bad cold.

Every sinus in my head seems to become filled with mucus and congested. My eyebrows ache, and I can't concentrate on work at all. I feel out of my head and groggy, even when I haven't taken any cold medication.

The thing about the eyebrow pain associated with a cold is that it goes away in about a week. Sinus infections can last for months. If I were you, I'd see a doctor and end my suffering a lot sooner.

seag47
Post 2

I started having tension headaches after my duties at my job and at home increased. I had way too much on my plate, and the demands that everyone was placing on me started to cause me physical problems.

I would get intense pains that felt like they were right behind my eyebrows. I knew it felt like a headache, but rather than being in my forehead, it seemed to concentrate in the area around my eyes.

As long as I stayed stressed out, I had to deal with the headaches. I noticed that they went away during times of relaxation.

kylee07drg
Post 1

I currently have a sinus infection, and my whole head hurts. I do have a lot of pressure around my eyebrows and the sides of my nose, as well as in my ears.

The area under and above my eyebrows is very tender right now. Whenever I forget about this and put my head in my hands, I feel the pain as I touch my eyebrows.

I have been waiting for it to go away on its own, but I think it is getting worse. I know I should probably go get some antibiotics from my doctor, but I'm pretty stubborn about waiting until I can no longer tolerate the pain to go see him.

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