Pain in the eyebrow


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


Pain in the eyebrow area is often caused by inflammation of the sinuses. These differ in size from person to person and can occasionally ignite. The paired maxillary sinuses are located directly under the cheeks (Maxillary sinus), above the eyebrows the pair of frontal sinuses (Frontal sinus) and at the junction between nose and brain both the ethmoid cells (Cellulae ethmoidales) and the sphenoid sinus (Sphenoid sinus). Like the nose, all of them are lined with mucous membrane on the inside and can become infected as part of an infection with viruses or bacteria. Typical symptoms are then 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 areas of the face. Pain over the eyebrows usually occurs as part of an inflammation of the frontal sinuses and sometimes accompanied by headaches.

Read more on this topic at: Sinus infection

However, pain in the area of ​​the eyebrows can also be caused by headaches. A distinction is made between different types such as tension headaches, migraines or cluster headaches, which differ in type, location and pain intensity.

While the symptoms of tension headaches are usually bilateral and have a dull, oppressive character, migraines often manifest themselves as more circumscribed headaches that are limited to one region. These are often strictly one-sided and more likely to be located in the front of the skull, usually in the forehead area, on the temples or even behind the eyes. Under certain circumstances, they can also radiate into the area of ​​the eyebrows and usually have a throbbing character. In addition, migraines usually have additional symptoms such as nausea or visual disturbances.

Read more on this topic: a headache

As a result of external violence, a fracture of a bone in the area of ​​the skull can occur. In this case, orbital floor fractures occur relatively frequently, as the bone layer that separates the eye from the underlying tissue of the maxillary sinus is very thin and can therefore easily break. The term "blow-out fracture" is used synonymously and it usually arises after direct violence, such as a punch or an injury from a tennis ball. The accompanying symptoms are usually double vision and a significant restriction in eye mobility.

When plucking the eyebrows, pain in this region is not uncommon.

Conjunctivitis, other inflammatory processes in the eye or glaucoma may be the cause of ophthalmological diseases with radiating pain in the eyebrows. Conjunctivitis (Conjunctivitis) can arise from an infection, an allergy or a mechanical injury. They all have in common, on the one hand, pain in or around the eye, possibly even radiating into the eyebrows. In addition, the affected eye is usually very red and there is increased tear production.

At the glaucoma (glaucoma) the cause of the symptoms is usually an increase in pressure, usually the intraocular pressure.
And of course, external injuries such as cuts, grazes or bruises can also cause pain after a blunt blow directly on the eyebrow.

Read more on this topic at: Green Star

Localization of the pain

Pain in the temple

Pain in the temple area is usually caused by headaches or migraines. In rare cases, inflammation of the head vessels running here (giant cell arteritis) can cause symptoms in the temples. The pain is then usually throbbing and is aggravated by chewing. The cause of this disease is the acute inflammation of the blood vessel (also: Vasculitis), usually as part of an autoimmune disease. Those affected often show strong general symptoms such as fever, fatigue and a pronounced feeling of illness.

Read more on this topic at: Pain in the temple

Pain in the nose

Symptoms in the area of ​​the nose usually occur in the context of sinus infections. Then those affected often show a feeling of pressure and tension and usually the area is swollen and painful when touched / knocked.

Pain in the eyebrow

Pain in the eyebrows can have a variety of causes and is usually caused by the radiation of pain from another area of ​​the face or head. A detailed description of the possible clinical pictures that can trigger such symptoms was given at the beginning of this article.

Pain between the eyebrows

If there is pain between the eyebrows, it can be caused by inflammation of the sinuses. Due to their arrangement, the paranasal sinuses can project pain into different areas of the face in the event of inflammation. If pain is localized between the eyebrows, it can be concluded that the ethmoid cells (Ethomoid sinus) are affected by the inflammation. The pain occurs especially when the face is tilted downwards. In addition to inflammation, any type of trauma to the area between the eyebrows can also cause pain.

Read more on this topic at: Sinus infection

Pain under the eyebrow

Pain under the eyebrow, as with pain between the eyebrows, can result from inflammation of the sinuses. Furthermore, some diseases from the field of ophthalmology can cause pain in this region. For example, it is conceivable that conjunctivitis (Conjunctivitis), which is typically associated with reddening of the eye, photophobia and a feeling of foreign bodies in the eye, also causing pain in the eye area. These can reach from the radius to the eyebrow. Another possible clinical picture is the glaucoma (glaucoma). It is accompanied by severe headache and eye pain.

Read more on this topic at: Conjunctivitis

Pain in the forehead

Inflammation of the frontal sinus or certain types of headache can cause pain in the forehead area. Usually it is more a pressure pain in inflammatory processes and a more throbbing pain in headache, especially in the context of a migraine.

Read more on this topic at: Frontal sinusitis

Pain from the eyebrow to the jaw

The radiation of pain from the eyebrow area to the jaw indicates a spread of inflammation along the facial nerve.
Figuratively speaking, the facial nerve emerges from the skull in front of the ear and then releases its branches in a fan-shaped manner for the facial muscles. If the pain occurs in both the eyebrow and the jaw, this suggests an inflammation that is spreading to the nerve structure.

If the inflammation begins before the nerve exits the skull, pain can even appear all over the face. It is typical for this facial pain that it is muscle pain of the facial muscles. Therefore, painful conditions mainly occur when wrinkling the eyebrows or moving the jaw.

Read more on the topic: Inflammation of the facial nerve

Pain in the eye socket

Symptoms in the area of ​​the eye socket are mostly an expression of ophthalmological diseases, such as conjunctivitis or glaucoma. In most cases, the mobility of the eyes and possibly even the ability to see is also impaired. A fracture of the floor of the orbit can also cause pain in the orbit. Last but not least, the cluster headache should be mentioned, in which those affected suffer attack-like attacks of pain that are mostly localized on one side in or around the eye socket.

Read more on this topic at: Pain in the eye socket


The duration of eyebrow pain, like the prognosis, depends on the underlying disease causing the pain. Isolated headaches, which can also radiate into the area around the eyebrows, usually cease within hours. A sinus infection usually lasts a maximum of four weeks. However, pain is not necessarily present in the entire inflammatory phase. Pain on the bottom of an injury usually goes away parallel to the swelling and healing of the bones. If a disease of the eye is the cause of the pain, inflammation can be assumed to last for a relatively short period of time, although chronic cases of glaucoma can also occur.


As different as the described clinical pictures are, as different are the diagnostic possibilities.

The patient discussion (anamnesis) and the physical examination should of course always be in the foreground. This alone allows the vast majority of all diseases to be diagnosed with certainty. However, if there are other findings that point the way, other methods are also available.

While imaging procedures such as X-rays or CT are well suited for changes in the bony structures, an MRI of the head is more suitable for visualizing soft tissues.
A laboratory blood test can indicate inflammatory processes or even help with very specific questions.

In the case of chronic headache illness, a headache diary with precise documentation of the duration, type and intensity of the pain can also provide more clarity. A slit lamp examination is usually used for diagnosis in ophthalmological clinical pictures. In addition, the intraocular pressure can be measured for special questions, for example if glaucoma is suspected.


Of course, the therapy of the various diseases that can potentially be associated with pain in the eyebrows also differs.

Acute sinus infections are usually treated locally with decongestant measures and an antibiotic. The diagnosis is usually only made through the patient interview and the physical examination; it is hardly possible to differentiate between a viral and a bacterial infection.

However, there are signs that suggest a bacterial infection. If these are present, therapy with amoxicillin or, optionally, other antibiotic substances is usually carried out. In addition, symptomatic therapy is carried out with decongestant nasal drops, pain relievers or, if the findings are pronounced, even with a puncture of the pus-filled sinus.

also read Treatment of a sinus infection

Treatment options for headaches also differ according to the type of headache. While non-steroidal pain relievers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol are usually sufficient for a significant relief of symptoms in the case of normal tension headaches, migraines are treated with triptans or substances against additional symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.

In addition, a distinction is made in migraine therapy between acute therapy and prophylaxis treatment. Under certain circumstances, non-drug measures can also provide a remedy. Ophthalmological diseases usually require targeted and early therapy. This should also be done by a specialist doctor.

Pain in the eyebrow when touched

Pain in the eyebrow when touched can be caused by a sinus infection, for example. When there is inflammation, there are many mechanisms that take place in the body. One of these causes the nerve fibers that transmit pain stimuli to become more sensitive. So it can be that you feel pain even with a light touch. In another clinical picture such as trigeminal neuralgia, severe nerve pain can be triggered by touch. Although trigeminal neuralgia is more often localized in the lower half of the face, there are also forms in which the eyes and forehead areas are affected. Typical for this nerve pain is a sudden shooting in for a few seconds. Then the pain quickly subsides. However, such attacks can occur up to 100 times a day. Trigeminal neuralgia can be caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve. It is initially treated with medication and, in the case of frustrating progress, with an operation.

Read more on this topic at: Trigeminal neuralgia

Pain in the eyebrow with a cold

With a cold, the sinuses are often inflamed by pathogens. If the infection affects the frontal sinuses (sinus infection), anatomically speaking, it is in the immediate vicinity of the eyebrows. If the mucous membrane in the paranasal sinuses swells, this creates a feeling of pressure on the facial bones and on both the structures above and below. One structure can be the terminal branches of the facial nerve, which can respond to the irritation with pain in the eyebrow area.

Another cause can also be the irritation of the facial nerves in the area of ​​the middle ear, which is less ventilated due to a swelling of the mucous membrane caused by a cold.

Read more on this topic at: cold

Pain in the eyebrow when landing the plane

A painful eyebrow on landing can be removed by a irritated facial nerve in the area of ​​the middle ear to explain.
When an aircraft is about to land, the pressure inside the cabin increases, creating one Negative pressure in the middle ear. This Negative pressure irritates the facial nervebecause it is located in the petrous bone just like the inner and middle ear. In response, he may project pain onto his terminal branches in the area of ​​the eyebrows. The pain is therefore not explained by a local pain effect in the area of ​​the eyebrow, but as Projection for the irritation of the nerve in its course through the skull.

Concomitant symptoms

The accompanying symptoms can be varied. With a sinus infection, purulent discharge from the nose is typical, as is a stuffy nose and a feeling of tightness. Fever and a general feeling of illness can also occur.
Headache can either be the trigger for the pain in the eyebrow or an accompanying symptom. With a migraine, nausea and photophobia can occur alongside the pain. Fractures of the face can show a wide variety of symptoms in addition to pain, depending on where the bone is broken. There may be visual disturbances and pinching of nerves near the eye.
In complicated cases, fractures in the area of ​​the nose can cause cerebrospinal fluid to leak from the nose and bleeding may occur. Conjunctivitis is characterized by a reddened eye. Furthermore, patients report a feeling of foreign bodies and they are also afraid of light.
In the case of glaucoma, however, severe pain in the eye area and nausea and even vomiting are typical. In addition, visual disturbances can occur and abnormalities in the pupillary reaction appear.

Pain in the eyebrow with headache

On the one hand, headache can occur in isolation or it can be an accompanying symptom of another illness or trauma. In the case of sinusitis, the mucous membrane swells due to the inflammatory reaction. This creates increased pressure there, as the skull bones cannot give in to the swelling. This increased pressure, in turn, can lead to headaches. Headaches can also be an accompanying symptom in the context of trauma to the head, for example in the event of a fall.


The prognosis is very dependent on the underlying disease or injury. A sinus infection heals on its own in the vast majority of cases after four weeks at the latest. Only a small percentage of the disease becomes chronic and the prognosis is negatively affected.
If the pain is triggered by facial fractures, the prognosis depends very much on which bone is affected, how complicated the break is, and for some fractures such as a complicated nasal bone, how quickly treatment was initiated. Therefore, it is not possible to give general information on the forecast, as this can be very variable.


Pain in the area of ​​the eyebrow can have many different causes, and the diagnostic and therapeutic measures are just as different. Therefore, further medical clarification should be carried out with this symptom.