If you regularly suffer from headaches, you may think that you’re either just not getting enough water, you’re stressed from work, or that you spend too much time staring at the computer screen. Some or all of these things may be true, but your headache problems may actually stem from an issue with your eyes.

    Drinking plenty of water and reducing stress should be on your immediate to-do list, but you should also be aware of the other ways in which problems with your vision can cause headaches. If you haven’t had an eye exam in the last two years, you’re already overdue for an appointment, and getting your eyes examined now could save you a lot of headaches in the future.


    In a perfect world in which you have perfect vision, your lens and cornea would be able to focus light onto your retina and you would never feel eye strain. In the real world, if the lighting is poor, or if you are farsighted, or have an astigmatism, your eye muscles will have to work to bring objects into focus.

    After too much time spent straining, your eye muscles grow tired, and you experience eye strain. Now, this could be due to a difference between the light on your computer screen and the light in the rest of the room, or it could be due to an astigmatism or another error in your vision. If it’s the latter, an eye exam and the correct prescription for glasses will end your headaches.


    In the case of glaucoma, aqueous humour builds up in the eye due to lack of drainage. If left untreated, pressure will continue to build until the optic nerve is damaged and vision is partially or completely lost.

    If you’ve suddenly experienced a severe headache with the pain centered in our behind one or both eyes, along with blurred vision, nausea, or watery eyes, you may be suffering from angle closure glaucoma, and you need to call your ophthalmologist for an appointment immediately. Glaucoma can be treated without resulting in any vision loss if caught early. Ignoring your symptoms will not make the situation any better.


    Vertical heterophoria is a condition in which your eyes are either at slightly different heights or otherwise have difficulty staying vertically aligned with one another. This can be caused by a concussion or other head trauma, abnormalities in your eyes, or abnormalities in the muscles around your eyes. Much like in the case of nearsightedness or farsightedness, to correct the resulting double vision that the condition causes, your brain will force your eye muscles to work overtime to pull your eyes into alignment.

    Your ophthalmologist can treat vertical heterophoria by prescribing lenses with built-in prisms that effectively realign your vision for you without overworking your eye muscles.

    In conclusion, if you suffer from chronic headaches, it may not be stress; it may be your vision. Make an appointment with your eye doctor today, and you might find permanent headache relief tomorrow.

    Posted November 11, 2014 by Silverstein Eye Centers
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