Pain in the eyebrow


Pain in the area of the eyebrow or adjacent areas such as the forehead, temple, nose and eye socket can have many causes. On the one hand, damage to the bones such as bone fractures are possible, but on the other hand various diseases of the eyes such as inflammation or glaucoma can also manifest themselves in this way. Furthermore, various types of headaches can radiate into this area and last but not least, inflammations of the paranasal sinuses can also cause such complaints.


Pain in the area of the eyebrows is often caused by inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. These vary in size from person to person and can occasionally become inflamed. Directly under the cheeks are the paired maxillary sinuses (sinus maxillares), above the eyebrows are the paired frontal sinuses (sinus frontales) and at the transition between nose and brain are both the ethmoid cells (cellulae ethmoidales) and the sphenoidal sinus (sinus sphenoidalis).

Like the nose, they are all lined with mucous membrane from the inside and can become inflamed as a result of infection with viruses or bacteria. Typical symptoms are then a swelling of the affected region and the associated feeling of pressure or tension or even headaches. Depending on which of the paranasal sinuses is affected, the symptoms can radiate into different regions of the face.

Pain above the eyebrows usually occurs as part of an inflammation of the sinuses and may be accompanied by headaches. However, pain in the area of the eyebrows can also be caused by headaches. A distinction is made between different types of headaches such as tension headaches, migraines or cluster headaches, which differ in type, localisation and intensity of pain.

While tension headaches are usually localised on both sides and have a dull, oppressive character, migraine often manifests itself with rather circumscribed headaches limited to one region. These are often strictly one-sided and rather localised in the front part of the skull, mostly in the area of the forehead, at the temples or even behind the eyes. Under certain circumstances they can also radiate into the area of the eyebrows and are usually of a rather throbbing character.

In addition, migraine usually also causes additional symptoms such as nausea or visual disturbances. As a result of an external force, a bone in the area of the facial skull can be fractured. Fractures of the floor of the orbit are relatively common because the bone layer separating the eye from the underlying tissue of the maxillary sinus is very thin and can therefore break easily.

The term “blow-out fracture” is used as a synonym and it usually occurs after direct exposure to force, such as a punch or injury from a tennis ball. Concomitant symptoms are usually double vision and a significant limitation of eye movement. Plucking the eyebrows also often causes pain in this region.

Ophthalmological diseases with pain radiating into the eyebrows can be caused by conjunctivitis, other inflammatory processes in the eye or glaucoma. Conjunctivitis can be the result of an infection, allergy or mechanical injury. What they all have in common is pain in or around the eye, possibly even radiating into the eyebrows.

In addition, the affected eye is usually severely reddened and there is an increased production of tears. In the case of glaucoma, the cause of the symptoms is usually an increase in pressure, usually intraocular pressure. And of course, external injuries such as cuts, abrasions or bruises after a blunt blow directly on the eyebrow can also cause pain there.