Headaches and Eye Problems

Do eye problems cause headaches?

Headaches are a very common health problem. They can have many different causes. Sometimes, but not usually, eye problems are a cause.

What causes headaches?

The most common cause of headache is scalp and neck muscle contraction. Tension, anxiety, strain, stress, fatigue and depression can cause sudden or gradual muscle contraction and pain.

Migraine headaches are another common type of headache. Migraines are usually much more severe than muscle contraction headaches. They are caused by changes in blood vessels and blood flow to the head.

Headaches can also be caused by many diseases and disorders that affect other parts of the body. For example, ear problems, jaw problems, sinus problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, nervous diseases, and even tumors and aneurysms can cause headaches.
Rarely, eye problems cause headaches. For example, if you need reading glasses and read for a long time without glasses or with glasses that are too weak, you may experience eye strain and headache. Also, you may have a headache from reading or doing close work if your eyes are not aligned. That is, certain eye muscles may be too weak to focus up close.

How are headaches treated?

Treatment for headaches varies, depending on the cause. The proper diagnosis is very important, so tell your ophthalmologist if you have severe, frequent or constant headaches. If it seems that your headaches are caused by eye problems, a new glasses prescription may be the treatment you need. If your eyes are not aligned, exercises of the eye muscles or a special attachment to your glasses, called a prism, can sometimes be useful.

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