Are Vision Problems Causing My Headaches?

by Jun 10, 2020

Headaches can be caused by many things, from stress, to dehydration, to serious medical problems.  Many people also experience headaches that are triggered or worsened by their eyes or their vision problems.  These vision-related headaches can oftentimes be fixed with correction like glasses or contact lenses, but in some cases vision training or other eye exercises are needed to stop them.  If you are experiencing serious headaches, it is important to also rule out serious health conditions that could be causing them; your primary care doctor and your optometrist may have to work together to help relieve your headaches.  


Headaches and Hyperopia 

Hyperopia, more commonly called farsightedness, is a vision condition that frequently causes headaches and eyestrain if untreated.  Farsightedness causes objects that are up-close to be blury or out-of-focus, while distance objects are clear.  Those who are affected by farsightedness oftentimes experience headaches when performing up-close visual tasks like extensive reading, homework, or even computer work or viewing the phone.  Hyperopia can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam, and a pair of glasses or contact lenses can help correct the condition and reduce the number of vision-related headaches.  

Another vision condition, called presbyopia, results in acquired farsightedness and affects middle aged adults.  Most people begin to experience this condition in their 40’s, and it becomes more noticeable with age.  Presbyopia will also cause eyestrain and result in headaches if not treated.  Reading glasses, bifocals, progressive lenses, or multifocal contact lenses are all options that can help manage vision problems due to presbyopia, and will help reduce the frequency of vision-related headaches. 


Binocular Vision Issues

Many visual tasks require the eyes to work together easily and efficiently.  A group of vision issues broadly referred to as binocular vision problems can arise if the eyes are misaligned or do not move together accurately.  They can also occur when the focusing system of the eye is either too weak or overactive.  Binocular vision problems most commonly effect school-aged children and cause headaches and eyestrain, and may also cause difficulty focusing or comprehending reading material.  While glasses or contact lenses can sometimes reduce the severity of symptoms, many times children affected by these vision problems need treatment with vision therapy or eye exercises that are designed to strengthen the visual system and improve children’s binocular vision.  If your child complains about headaches, eye strain, or other vision problems while doing their school work, it may be time to see the optometrist. 


Headaches and Your Overall Health 

Headaches that affect the frontal area of the head, or occur behind the eyes, can easily be confused for eye pain.  But it is important to remember that some headaches can be a sign of more serious health concerns.  Some systemic health problems, like elevated intracranial pressure, or uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes, can cause severe headaches as well as vision changes.  Occasionally, those who suffer from migraines will associate visual disturbances along with their headaches.  In the worst case, headaches can be indicative of serious conditions like tumors or hemorrhages. If you frequently experience intense or severe headaches, talk with your primary care provider.

Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye disese. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to be evaluated for headaches because of possible vision problems. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler, provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.

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