Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why am I having sharp stabbing pains in my forehead above my eyebrows?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy am I having sharp stabbing pains in my forehead above my eyebrows?


About two months ago I started having these sharp stabbing pains that last a few seconds in my forehead above my eyebrows. Usually, on the right hand side. It will happen throughout the day and other days I won't get them at all. Some mornings I'll wake up with them. Sometimes I'll have these pains one after another for a few seconds. I've suffered from headaches and migraines my whole life and I can say, these pains do not at all feel like a headache or a migraine. Ibuprofen or Tylenol doesn't help them. I've never had anything like this before. What do you think this could be?


Sorry to hear about this persistent problem. There are many potential explanations for atypical facial pain, which seems to be what you are describing. So it is important to discuss it with your doctor. Atypical is the word that is used because it does not seem to fit nicely into a category such as headache, sinus infection, trigeminal neuralgia, or other common causes of facial pain. In these situations it can be tricky to determine what the specific cause of the problem may be, and it may take a visit to multiple specialists and may even require some imaging. While there are several different possibilities, your past medical history is vital to understanding your current problem in this regard. For that reason, if you have had sinus infections in the past, it may point to that underlying your current problem. On the other hand, your history of migraines in the past is the most likely clue to point to what could be causing your problem currently. Many patients can have atypical migraines that can present in many different fashions, and can be associated with some of the same symptoms as a typical migraine, namely, photophobia, nausea, and incapacitation. If these are present, it is often a sign of a migraine. Please speak with your doctor.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.