Vision and Headaches

October 1, 2022

Headaches are a very common occurrence for a lot of people. There are so many causes of headaches it can be hard to tell what is causing yours. Sometimes you can just treat a headache with some over-the-counter pain medication but if your headaches are occurring frequently, it could be a good idea to try to find out the root cause. In some cases, headaches can be linked to your eyesight. If you are someone who doesn’t get a regular eye exam yearly, there could be small changes in your vision that are straining your eyes, and consequently your head.

Main Causes

While an exact cause of Headaches and Migraines related to eye problems has not been found. There are a number of factors that could cause headaches.

  • Eye Strain
  • Near and Farsightedness
  • Presbyopia
  • Dry Eye

How do you know?

It is really hard for you to be able to tell if your headaches are connected to vision issues. Since there are many reasons aside from vision problems that can cause headaches, you can try ruling out some of the other reasons. Make sure you have had enough water, eaten enough and if you have been out in excessive heat find a cool place to bring your body temperature down.

A severe cause of headache due to vision problems is called a Retinal Migraine and can also be referred to as an Ocular Migraine. Some theories as to how this happens are that possibly the arteries or veins in the eye become narrow, or it could be genetics. A “Retinal Migraine” can be identified by some telltale signs:

  • Flashing, sparkling or twinkling lights
  • Temporary blindness
  • Blind spot
  • Pulsing or throbbing pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting

What can you do?

The first line of defense against eye-related headaches is to get a regular eye exam. This will catch any changes in your eyesight early so that you can properly address them with glasses or contacts.

Your eye doctor will assess the following to see if you fit the criteria for this type of headache:

  • Does the headache cause blindness in one eye?
  • Does the headache spread gradually for 5 or more minutes?
  • How long do the symptoms last?

If diagnosed, your doctor will discuss the treatment options available. It will differ from person to person so we highly recommend making an exam appointment to determine the best solution for you.

 

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