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How Headaches and Vision Are Connected

If you suffer from frequent headaches, it might be time to schedule an eye exam.

For many people, headaches can be a symptom of uncorrected vision problems. This doesn’t happen in all cases of uncorrected or undiagnosed vision problems, and of course not all headaches are caused by vision problems, but the connection is a significant one — just one more reason why regular eye exams are important!

Effects of Eye Strain

In this age of technology, many of us spend hours and hours on a work computer or a smart phone. As convenient as these devices are, they are also the main culprits behind eye strain, which has symptoms like tired, aching eyes, blurred vision, and even frequent headaches.

But even if your screens aren’t the problem, eye strain still might be. Uncorrected visual acuity problems like astigmatism, hyperopia, and presbyopia can all put a lot of strain on the eyes. With astigmatism, the cornea is an abnormal shape, bending light in strange ways and causing a lot of squinting, which can contribute to headaches.

Hyperopia or farsightedness occurs when the eye focuses images behind the retina instead of directly on it, making close objects appear blurred. This can make reading smaller print a literal headache. The same applies to presbyopia, which can affect many people who have never needed glasses before. As we age, the lenses in our eyes become less flexible, which makes it harder to focus on near objects.

These Problems Aren’t Unique to Adults

If a child has frequent headaches, undiagnosed vision problems could be responsible, even if they read the letters on the big E chart in the school nurse’s office with no trouble. Comprehensive eye exams with the eye doctor will determine whether there are any other vision problems causing headaches or difficulty in school, and then we can plan the best way to treat them.

An Updated Prescription Can Make a Huge Difference

For most of us, changes in our vision can be so gradual that we may not notice that our glasses aren’t helping as much as they used to for quite a while. In most cases where headaches are connected to eye problems, a simple updated glasses or contact lens prescription may do the trick.

Headaches and Sight-Threatening Conditions

Unfortunately, not every case of headaches related to eye problems is as simple as needing a new prescription. Headaches can also be a symptom of glaucoma, an eye disease characterized by building pressure against the optic nerve that leads to vision loss. Cataracts, too, can cause headaches. Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of the eye, gradually obscuring vision.

Keep Up with Your Eye Exams

You might think that you would notice if you had an eye problem, but our eyes and brains work hard to compensate when something goes wrong, so it’s harder to recognize than you might expect. If you haven’t found an explanation for your frequent headaches, it might be a good idea to cross eye problems off the list by scheduling your next appointment with us.

Thank you for being our patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Important Insurance Changes

Dear patients, After much consideration, we are making a change with Vision Service Plan (VSP). As of October 1, 2021, Redmond Eye Doctors is moving from "in-network" to "out-of-network". The continuing changes in your VSP insurance and restriction placed on us as providers has been frustrating. We considered many options, and the choice was clear. Being independent of managed care plans will allow us to provide the level of care you have come to expect from Redmond Eye Doctors, without restrictions or limitations from your vision insurance. While we may not be "in network" with VSP, we want to take care of you! We offer many discounts to patients when payment is made on the date of service.

  • Discounts on routine vision exams that includes a comprehensive eye health check and glasses prescription.
  • Discounts on glasses made with quality, independently owned frame manufacturers and lens labs. 20% OFF your first pair, 30% OFF all additional pairs.
  • Seasonal specials - like our Annual SunSational Sale and Computer Blues Sale.

We are happy to provide all the forms and receipts to self-submit for out of network reimbursement. Also, vision plans have no effect on medical visits such as dry eye treatments, diabetes exams and glaucoma checks. We are still part of most major medical plans. For more information on how this will affect your specific situation, please call us at 425-885-7363.