Millions of people worldwide women, men, children suffer from headaches. No ailment is so widespread. There is hardly anyone who has not suffered from headaches. Many people will just reach for a tablet, while others just sit it out until the pain goes away on its own. What many people don’t know is that a new pair of glasses can help. Many sufferers could be helped if they went to an Optometrist to get their vision tested. When you don’t see well and should ideally be wearing glasses, you will often suffer from headaches.
There are varieties of eye problems that can cause headaches. In some cases, the headache is caused by the person squinting and overworking the eye muscles in an attempt to better focus the vision. In other cases, problems of internal pressures and swelling within structures of the eye can ‘’refer’’ pain into other areas of the head.
Difficulties with vision, such as blurring caused by long-sightedness can be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Other disorders such as glaucoma need to be medically investigated and treated promptly. Once the cause of the eye strain is corrected the associated headaches should ease.
The cornea and lens work together to focus images on the retina at the back of the eye. Sometimes, the delicate mechanism fails and the small muscles of the eye are forced to work harder causing eye strain. The result is tired, aching eyes blurred vision and headaches. Most conditions can be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lens.
The main problems that cause eyestrain and associated headaches include:
Hyperopia or long-sightedness
Instead of focusing the image squarely on the retina at the back of the eye, the image is focused behind the retina. This strains the eye causing headache when left uncorrected. It is especially tiring for long-sighted people to hold images in sharp focus. In trying to see clearly the lens has to adjust (accommodation). The biggest problem is that many people are far sighted without knowing it because their eyes can compensate for it to a certain degree. The constant effort of straining to always see clearly causes headaches.
Here, the cornea is irregular which means that objects look blurry from certain angles. A person with astigmatism tends to squint in order to better focus their vision,this can contribute to headache.
The lens becomes hard and less flexible with age. Symptoms include difficulties in focusing closely, sore eyes, sluggish changes in focus when looking from one distance to another and headaches.
Glaucoma and Headaches.
Glaucoma, a group of ocular diseases characterised by high intra ocular pressure can cause severe headaches in some cases. Intra ocular pressure refers to the amount of pressure inside the eye caused by build- up of aqueous humour, due to insufficient drainage. The result is damage to the optic nerve.
Strabismus and Headaches
Less common but also a cause for headaches is an undiagnosed, but Latent strabismus. To see clearly, people with Strabismus must put their eyes under enormous strain to keep them parallel, which in turn causes headaches.
The good news is a perfectly fitted pair of glasses with spectacle lenses individually suited to the wearer can correct most of the problems. Headaches will then quickly be a thing of the past. Latent strabismus can also be treated with glasses that have prescription prism lenses.
If u think your headache may be due to eyestrain, it is important to have your vision checked by a qualified eye specialist. Some people who already wear prescription glasses may not be aware that their eyes may have changed a little over time. It is important to have your eyes regularly tested and your glasses or contact lens updated.
Where to get help? See your Optometrist.