How are Headaches and Vision Connected?

Aug 22, 2022 | Eye Health

Headaches and vision

Did you know that headaches can be a symptom of an uncorrected vision problem? Of course, not every headache is a result of uncorrected vision problem, and not all uncorrected vision problems cause headaches, but if you suffer from frequent headaches, it may be time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

Eye Strain and Headaches

Digital Eye Strain

Many of us now spend hours in front of a computer every day for work, and most of us are spending time looking at mobile devices and phones every day. Spending all that time in front of various screens can cause eye strain, which in turn causes fatigue, blurry vision, and even frequent headaches.

Uncorrected Visual Acuity Problems

Uncorrected visual acuity problems like astigmatism, hyperopia, and presbyopia can also cause eye strain because you’re squinting and straining to see which can cause headaches. Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, occurs when the eye focuses images behind the retina instead of directly on it, so close objects look blurry. This of course makes reading smaller print hard to do and can cause eye strain and headaches. Presbyopia happens to all of us as we age, even if we’ve never needed eyeglasses before, and so for people over 40 or so, it becomes harder to focus on near objects which can cause eye strain and headaches.

Adults aren’t the only people who can develop frequent headaches because of uncorrected vision problems. If a child has frequent headaches, an undiagnosed vision problem could be the culprit, even if they can see the eye chart at the pediatrician’s office or at their school with no trouble. Comprehensive eye exams with a qualified eye doctor can uncover vision problems in children which are causing headaches and difficulty in school.

An updated prescription can make a big difference. For most people, changes in vision are so gradual that we may not notice we aren’t seeing as clearly as we used to. Most of the time, if headaches are connected to vision problems, a simple updated prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is all that is needed.

Headaches as a Symptom of Sight-Threatening Conditions

Unfortunately, sometimes experiencing headaches can be a symptom of more serious eye diseases which can lead to vision loss. Headaches can be a symptom of glaucoma, as this disease is characterized by a buildup of pressure against the optic nerve. Cataracts can also cause headaches.

Schedule Regular Comprehensive Eye Exams

Detecting a visual problem is hard for us to recognize on our own. If you haven’t found an explanation for getting frequent headaches, consider scheduling an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at one of our convenient locations with a qualified, expert optometrist at Pathway Eye.