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Headache Attributable to Disorders of the Eye


Sensory innervation to the eye and periocular area arises from the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve. Thus, ocular, orbital, and systemic disorders may produce head pain with ocular signs and symptoms. Whereas some of these entities have characteristic diagnostic features, others mimic primary headache disorders such as migraine and cluster headache. This article reviews common ocular and neuro-ophthalmic conditions that are accompanied by pain in or near the eye.

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This work was supported by the National Eye Institute 1K23EY015525 and a Research to Prevent Blindness Challenge Grant (Dr. Friedman).


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

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Correspondence to Deborah I. Friedman.

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Friedman, D.I., Gordon, L.K. & Quiros, P.A. Headache Attributable to Disorders of the Eye. Curr Pain Headache Rep 14, 62–72 (2010).

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  • Ocular pain
  • Trochleitis
  • Oculomotor nerve
  • Orbit
  • Inflammation