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Why are headaches and eyesight problems related?

The causes of headaches and migraines are many and varied, but a common trigger is eyesight problems.

You might not immediately associate headaches with your eyesight and, instead, reach for painkillers to relieve the symptoms. Or, sadly, you may come to accept headaches as an annoying, draining part of life. The good news is that if it is your eyes that are the problem, then you can wave goodbye to painful, frequent headaches. To find out, start by getting your eyes tested.

So why are headaches and eyesight problems related? Well, headaches can be caused by squinting or straining your eyes to see clearer.

Many people don’t even realise when they are squinting to compensate for slowly declining eyesight, as over time it becomes automatic. But even a slight squint repeated enough times could lead to a headache. Especially if you work in a job where you spend long hours staring at a computer screen, a smart phone and/or small print in books, it’s likely that your headaches are being caused by eyesight problems. Why are headaches and eyesight problems related


Eyestrain and refractive errors

Eyestrain is caused by the tiny muscles in your eyes working harder than they should. Your lens and cornea combine to focus what you are looking at onto the retina at the back of your eye, creating clear images. When this system isn’t working 100% correctly (due to an eye condition or over-working) it may lead to blurry vision, sore eyes and headaches.

Refractive errors: common eyesight problems

Refractive errors are common eyesight problems that, if left untreated, may lead to headaches and migraines. Most refractive errors can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

The main refractive errors that can cause eyestrain and headache are:

  • astigmatism—causes blurry or distorted vision. This results from an irregular shaped cornea. If you have astigmatism, you’re likely to squint to focus your vision, which can cause headaches
  • hyperopia—commonly called ‘long-sightedness’. Objects at close range become difficult to see clearly. You may squint to try to see objects properly, causing headaches. Can occur at any age.
  • myopia—commonly called 'short-sightedness'. Objects at long range become difficult to see clearly. Has been strongly linked to improper reading habits, working at close distances for extended periods of time and working in poor lighting conditions.
  • presbyopia—occurs as you get older, and comes from a Greek word that means ‘aging eye’. As with hyperopia (long-sightedness) if you have presbyopia, you lose the ability to see objects clearly at close range. This is due to the decreasing flexibility in the eye with age. This can cause headaches.

See a doctor for headaches

If you are suffering from regular headaches, regardless of what you believe the cause might be, it’s vital to see a doctor to rule out any serious issues.

If the doctor believes that your headaches may be caused by eyesight problems, they will refer you to an optometrist.

Even if you already wear glasses or contact lenses, remember that your eyesight can change gradually over time and you may need to update your prescription to meet your current eyesight needs. Regular eyesight tests are important.

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If your headaches are being caused by a refractive error that can be treated with glasses or contact lenses, you can purchase contact lenses in our online store at the cheapest prices you will find anywhere. That’s the EYESONLINE guarantee.

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