Frequent headaches or migraines have many causes, including eye problems. Some headaches related to eye issues are due to overuse or environmental factors, while others can point to an underlying disease or condition. Here, the team at Island Eye Surgicenter explains how eye problems can lead to headaches.
Overuse and Environmental Factors
Overusing the focusing muscles of your eyes can lead to eye strain, which in turn can result in headaches. Eye strain is more common than what you may think as so many people are spending countless hours in front of computers and other digital devices. In fact, over 50 percent of people who use digital devices report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain, including headaches.
Headaches as a result of eye strain and overuse are usually benign. To reduce eye strain, give your eyes frequent breaks when working in front of a computer or using other digital devices. Try to remember to blink often, or follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Making changes to the environment around you can also help. Adjusting the lighting in the room and the brightness of your screen so they closely match can keep your eyes comfortable. If possible, avoid overhead lighting, which is typically harsher on the eyes than floor or desk lamps.
Eye Conditions and Diseases
There are a number of eye conditions and diseases that can cause headaches or migraines. These range from refractive errors like astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia, to more serious conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. If left untreated, cataracts and glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.
One less common eye condition associated with head pain is an ocular migraine, which is characterized by temporary vision loss or even temporary blindness in one eye. Ocular migraines are more painful than typical headaches and may be accompanied by blind spots and flashing lights. Symptoms usually last up to 30 minutes.
Because headaches can be a result of various eye problems, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly. Schedule an eye exam right away if you are experiencing chronic headaches, especially if your headaches are accompanied by other eye symptoms.
To book an appointment with one of the eye doctors at Island Eye Surgicenter, please contact our Long Island office today.