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Waking Up With Eye Pain And Headache: Why Do You Experience This?

Pain Topics

The majority of us experience waking up with eye pain and headache at least once or twice in our life. The eye pain and morning headache usually go away on their own, but in severe cases, they are often signs of underlying conditions. Melbourne-based eye doctors from Armadale-eye.com.au can easily identify their causes and provide appropriate treatments respectively.


Causes of Eye Pain

Waking up with eye pain and morning headache is not a good way to start your day. Nobody would appreciate the stinging pain most especially if you plan to spend the day being a productive person. The reason why you feel eye pain after waking up differs, it could be due to sleep disorders or eye health conditions that you are not aware of.

Below are the reasons why you might experience waking up with eye pain:

  • elder woman with eye problemGlaucoma. Glaucoma is a very serious eye problem that needs immediate treatment. If neglected, it could result in blurry vision or worse, loss of sight. Some of its symptoms include morning headache, eye pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Corneal abrasions. Abrasions happen when you scratch your eye. Though it’s a minor condition, an antibiotic will still be needed to reduce pain.
  • Iritis. This is caused by inflammation resulting in eye pain due to infections, trauma, or issues in the immune system. Bad vision and eye redness are some of its symptoms as well.
  • Corneal infection. Touching your eye or leaving on contacts for a long period of time can cause bacterial infection. To avoid this, avoid touching your eyes with a dirty hand and always remove contact lenses before bedtime.
  • Conjunctivitis. This refers to the inflammation in the eye conjunctiva. It commonly caused by either a virus or an infection making the conjunctiva swell and get inflamed.
  • Stuck particles. Eye pain can happen if dirt, dust, or small particles gets stuck in your eye. You can rinse your eye with water or eye drops.
  • Optic neuritis. This is commonly associated with morning headache as it is linked to the never that connects the eyeball to the brain. Unexplained discomfort also takes place when you try to look from one side to another.
  • Sinusitis. Sinusitis is a common condition that is usually caused by an infection in one of the sinuses. You might feel moderate to heavy pressure at the back of your eye when this happens.
  • Stye. A stye is a small lump that often appears on the edge of the eyelid. This occurs when your eyelash, oil gland, or hair follicles are inflamed.

Aside from eye pain after waking up, you might also experience other symptoms along with morning headache:

  • Blurry or abnormal vision
  • Eye discharge
  • Strange particle sensation (the feeling of having something in your eyes)
  • Headache, either in the morning or during the day
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Pink or red eye
  • Involuntary tearing
  • Waking up with dried up discharge around the eye


Diagnosing Eye Problems

Before recommending any eye examination to you, your eye doctor will most probably do a thorough examination of your eyes first. You doctor has the right equipment and software to diagnose. The diagnosis often includes the following tests:

  • Slit-lamp examination. This is a device with bright lights used to view all the components of your eyes.
  • Dilating drops. Drops will also be used to dilate your pupil and help the doctor see clearly.
  • Tonometer. Glaucoma is often diagnosed by using this eye tool. It determines the pressure in the eyes.


Waking Up with A Headache

While eye pain and headache are usually correlated, waking up with a headache can also suggest that you have a medical condition that needs to be addressed right away. The reason why you experience a headache every morning differs, it could be due to an undiagnosed sleep disorder or other health conditions.

To help you understand, refer to the list of reasons why headache takes place after you wake up:

  1. trouble sleepingInsomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that has an impact on your sleeping patterns. Most of its cases include sleep deprivation since this condition prevents the person from getting enough sleep. you may insomnia if you exhibit the following symptoms:
    1.1 trouble sleeping at night
    1.2 waking up in the middle of the night
    1.3 shallow sleep
    Because of the lack of sleep, headache often occurs in the morning.
  2. Sleep apnea. Another sleep disorder that might cause morning headaches is sleep apnea. This is a condition where you stop breathing for some time while sleeping.
  3. Depression or anxiety. Many studies suggest that feeling depressed or anxious often leads to a lack of sleep. People who suffer from these mental illnesses are advised to seek professional advice to prevent its harmful effects on their general health.
  4. Bruxism. Another factor that we should look into is teeth grinding. Bruxism is the condition where the individual grind their teeth unknowingly during sleep. Severe conditions can cause headaches in the morning as well as toothache.
  5. Muscle strains. Sleeping without a pillow could cause the muscles in your neck to be strained. You may opt to change your sleeping position by using a pillow specifically designed for neck support.
  6. Side effects of medication or excessive use of alcohol. If you are new to certain drugs that are prescribed to you, give your body the time to adjust to its side effects, or much better, ask your doctor for a replacement. Headaches in the morning can also be due to heavy drinking which affects your sleeping pattern, this is commonly known as a hangover.
  7. Underlying health conditions. Hypertension and musculoskeletal diseases can also affect your good night’s sleep. Make sure to consult your doctor regarding your problems to receive proper treatments.


If you are experiencing symptoms such as eye pain or headaches every morning, it’s advisable to consult a specialist or eye doctor right away. Avoid self-medication to prevent complications from arising. Doctors will always know the correct treatment fit for your condition.

You may also opt to try trusted home remedies, but note that this should be temporary especially if the symptoms are getting worse day by day.

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