Systemic Eye Diseases

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 headaches is scalp and neck muscle contraction. Tension, anxiety, strain, stress, fatigue, and depression may all bring about 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 the blood vessels and blood flow in the head.

Headaches can also be caused by many diseases and disorders affecting other parts of the body. For example, ear problems, jaw problems, sinus problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, nerve 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 develop eye strain and a headache. Also, you may have a headache from reading or doing close work if your eyes are misaligned. 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. Proper diagnosis is very important, so tell Drs. Bellotte if you have severe, frequent, or ongoing headaches. He or she will try to determine the cause and proper treatment.

If it appears that your headaches are caused by eye problems, a new glasses prescription may be the treatment you need. If your eyes are misaligned, eye muscle exercises or a special attachment to your glasses, called a prism, can sometimes be helpful.

How can I help prevent headaches caused by eye problems?

Make sure you have regular checkups with Brent Bellotte MD at West Boca Eye Center.