Can Eye Problems Cause Headaches and Migraines?

Many migraine sufferers also have vision problems, including vertigo, dizziness, eyestrain, and other problems. At the onset of headaches and migraines, individuals report pressure and swelling that contributes to their head pain. If you experience frequent headaches or migraines, get an eye exam to see if your headaches could be caused by your vision. There are a variety of vision problems that can exacerbate and even cause headache symptoms.

For those who experience headaches and migraines, there are eye problems that contribute to pressure and swelling in parts of your head, including squinting and straining to see. If you work all day at the computer, are in an overly bright or overly dim environment, or otherwise strain your eyes, your eyes could be causing headaches.

Vision Conditions that Can Cause Headaches

These are just a few common eyesight issues that can cause headaches if not treated by a doctor:

• Presbyopia — The lens of your eye is hard and inflexible, which makes it harder to focus.

• Hyperopia — Long-sightedness

• Astigmatism — An oddly shaped cornea, which if untreated, can require you to squint to see properly.

• Cataracts — A more serious condition, cataracts are when your eye lens is cloudy, causing your eye muscles to work harder and creating headaches.

• Glaucoma — With glaucoma, pressure builds up inside the eye beside it can’t properly drain fluid. This can not only damage your optic nerve but sometimes can cause blurred vision and headaches.

With regular visits to the optometrist, you can get diagnosed for these conditions and treat your eye problems and the headaches that may accompany them.

Digital Eye Strain, Fatigue, and Headaches

The prevalence of technology and screens can also cause headaches and migraines due to eyestrain. If you’re looking at screens, including computer monitors or smartphones, for over two hours at a time each day, you’ll likely experience digital fatigue or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

Digital devices cause more strain than printed materials because you blink less, which you need to moisten your eyes. For people who already wear contacts or glasses, you may be at more risk for headaches and migraines due to vision problems. Take breaks throughout the day to avoid too much eye strain. Optometrists recommend the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a break every 20 minutes and focus on something 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. This will help ease eye strain and hopefully prevent headache symptoms.

You should also go outside and get some natural light every few hours to prevent headaches from Computer Vision Syndrome. Spending time outdoors relaxes your ocular muscles and helps relieve visual fatigue.

If you’re experiencing headaches and migraines and suspect vision problems, go see your doctor today – your headaches might be related to a treatable vision disorder that could be helped by an optometrist or vision therapy.

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