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If you’ve been getting a lot of headaches lately, you may assume that it’s just stress, your diet, or poor hydration. People get headaches for all kinds of reasons, and these are good assumptions most of the time. However, you may be experiencing headaches because you’re straining your eyes.

Vision problems often sneak up on us. Because they often develop over time, we don’t tend to notice that faraway objects are blurrier than they once were, or that shifting from focusing on a computer screen to focusing on a person across the room is a little slower or more difficult than it once was. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms, and one of the key symptoms of a vision problem is often a persistent headache.

HEADACHES DUE TO EYE STRAIN

If your eyes are in good health, the light reflecting off of the objects in your field of view will pass through your corneas to your retinas, and your optic nerve will transmit the image to your brain. If not, your eye muscles will try to make up for the cornea’s shortcomings.

After a time of constantly trying to focus – either consciously in a low-light situation or unconsciously due to the need for corrective lenses – you’ll become fatigued and develop a headache. The headache will usually be centered in your temples and right behind your eyes.

This kind of eye strain can be caused due to myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism (imperfections in the cornea). Fortunately, it can usually be remedied with corrective lenses or laser eye surgery.

People who are unaware of their hyperopia often experience headaches when reading, writing, and working on a computer for a long period of time. This is because their eye muscles are working extra hard when they need to focus on objects and people close to them.

GLAUCOMA

Believe it or not, a recurring and chronic headache could be a symptom of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease marked by an excess of pressure in the eyes, and if it goes undiagnosed, it will most often lead to permanent damage to the optic nerve, resulting in blindness.

With open-angle glaucoma, you will not usually experience any symptoms or pain, but with angle-closure glaucoma, you may actually experience blurred vision, nausea, and severe headaches. If you catch it early on, glaucoma can be treated with eye drops or a laser procedure and will not result in permanent vision loss.

If you have recurring headaches, make a mental note of when they occur and what you’re doing. If you are well hydrated and not prone to migraines, the cause may be vision-related. You don’t have to live with the pain of these “mystery” headaches. Instead, make an appointment with your eye doctor. The cure for your headaches may just be a prescription, or your headaches could be a symptom of a larger problem that can be fixed if you do something now, rather than later.

Call Silverstein Eye Centers today to make an appointment for an eye exam.

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