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.
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.