I Keep Getting Headaches — Could I Have a Vision Problem?

Dec 01, 2023
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Headaches go hand in hand with allergies, illness, injury, stress, and lack of sleep, to name just a few culprits. But vision problems can also trigger head pain. Here’s the link between eyesight and headaches.

Headaches are tricky to trace because they’re a common symptom of everything from allergies and lifestyle choices to serious illnesses, injuries, and diseases. Several vision conditions can also trigger headaches, so if you have unexplained recurring headaches, it’s a good idea to get your eyes checked.

In Houston, Texas, there’s no better place for eye care than Vision Corner. We’re an independent practice, which means we have the freedom to spend more time with you at each appointment. We never overbook and rush you through; we take the time to listen, talk, and thoroughly evaluate your vision. 

If you’re having frequent headaches, Dr. Sophia Barnes covers all of the bases — expertly evaluating your visual acuity and checking your eye’s internal structures using advanced technology to determine the source of the problem. Here are several issues with your eyes that could be causing headaches.

Vision problems that can cause headaches

Headaches can be either primary (a condition unto themselves) or secondary (a symptom of another condition). There are hundreds of unique headache types, but the most common are migraines, tension, cluster, or sinus. Medication overuse and dehydration are also fairly common headache drivers.

Eyes deserve their own headache category because several vision problems lead to head pain. Here are the top five.

1. Eye strain

Reading, staring at a computer screen (computer vision syndrome), or concentrating on a hobby or project strains your eye muscles, leading to:

  • Dry eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches

Taking frequent breaks from your computer or task alleviates eye strain and allows your eye muscles to relax and resolve your symptoms.

2. Astigmatism

Computers, books, and hobbies aren’t the only culprits behind eye strain; untreated vision problems can make you squint and struggle to correct your sight. Astigmatism is one of the most common eye conditions leading to eye strain. It occurs when your cornea isn’t shaped properly, making it impossible to focus. It also leads to:

  • Distorted and blurry vision
  • Squinting
  • Tired eyes
  • Achy eyes
  • Poor nighttime vision
  • Headaches

Hard or hybrid contact lenses that fit your cornea’s unique contours can resolve your vision and headaches.

3. Ocular migraines

Migraine disease is complicated and involves several variables and multiple symptoms to varying degrees. Ocular migraines trigger specific symptoms, such as:

  • A blind spot in the center of your vision
  • Distorted peripheral vision
  • Single-eye vision disruption
  • Flashing lights
  • Severe eye pain
  • Headaches

The migraine attack constricts the blood vessels in the retina and behind your eyes, causing vision problems.

4. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes pressure within your eyes due to fluid buildup. As the pressure increases, it presses on your optic nerve and causes:

  • Eye pain
  • Halo-like images
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches

Most people don’t experience these symptoms early on, but Dr. Barnes can detect glaucoma before it progresses and damages your vision. 

5. Cataracts

As you age, your eyes’ lenses degrade gradually and eventually become cloudy. Struggling to adjust to the change, you may notice:

  • Fading colors
  • Glare sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches

Fortunately, cataracts develop slowly and are easily treatable.

If you suspect your headaches stem from a vision problem, don’t delay scheduling an appointment with Dr. Barnes. Book online or call Vision Corner in Houston for a comprehensive eye exam.