Headaches and Vision Problems

by Mar 18, 2020

Can your eyes or your vision problems be contributing to your headaches?  Some people may notice that visually demanding activities, like extensive reading or completing homework, can cause headaches.  While most of these eye or vision related headaches can be relieved with glasses, contact lenses, or eye exercises like vision therapy, some can indicate more serious health conditions.  If you are experiencing vision-related headaches, it is probably time to schedule an exam with your optometrist.  


Hyperopia and Presbyopia Can Cause Headaches

Refractive error is one of the most common causes of vision-related headaches.  Hyperopia, more commonly called farsightedness, is a type of refractive error where objects that are close are blurrier than objects far away.  If farsightedness is not corrected by glasses or contact lenses, it can cause headaches, eyestrain, or fatigue during reading or near work. Other symptoms of hyperopia can include falling asleep while reading, difficulty focusing, or excessive squinting.  Presbyopia is a vision condition very similar to farsightedness that begins to affect adults in their 40s. Presbyopia causes blurred vision while looking at near objects, and is usually easily corrected with reading glasses or bifocal lenses. Both hyperopia and presbyopia are simple vision conditions that can be detected during a routine eye examination.  Correcting these vision problems with options like glasses or contact lenses can prevent uncomfortable vision-related headaches.


Binocular Vision Problems and Dysfunction

In order to accurately and efficiently perform visual tasks, the two eyes must work well together and the focusing system of the eye must be strong and flexible.  Binocular vision problems can arise if this is not the case and the eyes are not working together properly. This wide range of vision problems frequently causes headaches during visually demanding activities, such as reading.  Sometimes, binocular vision problems can be fixed with a specialized pair of glasses. More frequently, these vision conditions require vision therapy to address the underlying problem. Completing vision exercises to strengthen the focusing system of the eye or promote appropriate binocular function can reduce symptoms like headaches or eyestrain.  If you suspect that binocular vision problems are the reason behind your headaches, talk to your optometrist. They can perform a series of tests to determine whether glasses or vision therapy are an appropriate treatment option for you. 


Understanding Health Concerns

Headaches can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including serious underlying health conditions.  It may be easy to associate these types of headaches with the eyes because the pain will commonly occur behind or above the eyes.  For example, some neurological problems such as tumors, aneurysms, increased intracranial pressure, or vascular issues can cause intense headaches that may even be accompanied by vision changes.  These sorts of problems must be addressed immediately by a medical professional. Other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes may also be contributing to headaches. An ocular problem known as acute angle closure, in which the drainage structure of the eye becomes blocked off and the pressure inside the eye spikes up to dangerously high levels, can cause headaches along with a red and painful eye.  If you notice these symptoms, seek help from an eye care professional immediately.  

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At Nittany Eye Associates, you will receive only the highest quality eye exam with our eye doctors in the State College, PA and surrounding areas. Call us at (814) 234-2015 or schedule an appointment online with one of our highly trained optometrists in State College. The next time you need an evaluation for headaches or other vision problems, be sure to Nittany Eye Associates where we put always put the care of you and your family first at our convenient locations in State College, Matilda, Spring Mills, Tyrone, and Lock Haven PA areas.



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