COVID-19 Policy/Procedures – We are currently open for routine eyecare.
Please click here to see our latest news with the ongoing situation.

alarm-ringing ambulance angle2 archive arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up at-sign baby baby2 bag binoculars book-open book2 bookmark2 bubble calendar-check calendar-empty camera2 cart chart-growth check chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up circle-minus circle city clapboard-play clipboard-empty clipboard-text clock clock2 cloud-download cloud-windy cloud clubs cog cross crown cube youtube diamond4 diamonds drop-crossed drop2 earth ellipsis envelope-open envelope exclamation eye-dropper eye facebook file-empty fire flag2 flare foursquare gift glasses google graph hammer-wrench heart-pulse heart home instagram joystick lamp layers lifebuoy link linkedin list lock magic-wand map-marker map medal-empty menu microscope minus moon mustache-glasses paper-plane paperclip papers pen pencil pie-chart pinterest plus-circle plus power pushpin question rain reading receipt recycle reminder sad shield-check smartphone smile soccer spades speed-medium spotlights star-empty star-half star store sun-glasses sun tag telephone thumbs-down thumbs-up tree tumblr twitter user users wheelchair write yelp youtube

What Do Eyes Have to Do With Headaches?

Frequent headaches could be a symptom of an uncorrected vision problem.

That’s right, if you experience a lot of headaches, it would be worth your time to schedule an eye exam. Not every headache is tied to a vision problem, and not all untreated vision problems result in headaches, but the connection between the two is significant.

Eye Strain and Headaches

Thanks to modern technology, we tend to spend hours a day looking at bright screens, and a common price we pay for these fabulous conveniences is digital eye strain. Typical symptoms include blurred vision, tired and aching eyes, difficulty focusing, and — you guessed it — frequent headaches.

Eye strain doesn’t have to come from screens, either. A vision problem like hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), or astigmatism tends to put a lot of strain on the eye as it attempts to compensate. In the case of astigmatism, the cornea is shaped abnormally, so it bends light in ways it shouldn’t, leading to a lot of squinting. That alone can sometimes contribute to headaches.

With hyperopia and presbyopia, the lens of the eye focuses images a little bit behind the retina instead of right against it, which makes nearby objects look blurry. Trying to read small print quickly turns into a headache, sometimes literally. The older we get, the less flexible the lenses in our eyes tend to become, so this can even happen to people who never needed glasses earlier in life.

Eye Problems Can Be a Headache for Kids Too

Kids with undiagnosed vision problems are as susceptible to frequent headaches as adults are. That’s just one of many reasons why every child should have a comprehensive eye exam with a real eye doctor, not just a school nurse with a big E chart. There could be a vision problem besides basic refractive errors (like nearsightedness or farsightedness) causing them headaches, but kids wouldn’t be able to make that connection for themselves.

The Wonders of a Correct Prescription

The changes in our vision tend to be gradual enough that they’re hard to notice. It might take months or years to really register how much harder it is to see distant details or read up close. Most people who experience headaches related to vision problems simply need an updated prescription for their glasses or contacts!

When Headaches Are Tied to Sight-Threatening Conditions

The connection between eyes and headaches isn’t always as simple as an outdated prescription. One symptom of glaucoma (an eye disease that involves the buildup of pressure against the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss) is headaches, and cataracts can also cause them. Cataracts develop as the proteins in the lens clump together, clouding the vision. Regular eye exams are essential for catching sight-threatening conditions early on.

An Eye Exam Is No Headache!

We all have busy schedules and it can be hard to find space for something like an eye appointment, but it’s worth it, especially for anyone suffering frequent headaches with no idea what’s causing them. Why not cross eye problems off the list of possible causes by scheduling your next eye exam?

We love seeing our patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.