Most people know that an Eye Doctor can help with glasses, but some don’t know that an Eye Doctor can help manage headaches. In this article I will discuss how an Optometrist can help patient’s manage headaches. This article will talk about eyes causing headaches and what can be done to help.
What I look for
I have had quite a few patients coming in over the last few days talking about headaches and I thought it would be a good topic to discuss. I am going to walk you through a little bit of my thought process when it comes to headaches. There are typically four ways patients describe headache pain. They are sharp, dull/ache, throbbing, and pressure. If the pain is sharp it is probably due to nerve issues. If it is dull/ache then it is probably due to muscular issues. The pain can also be throbbing. If it is then it is probably due to cardiovascular issues. Lastly, if the pain is pressure it is probably due to a sinus issue.
Eye Strain Headache Symptoms
I am going to try to not bore you here with medical jargon, but I will need to at least bring some of it into the conversation. The Trigeminal nerve is the main nerve that can cause the eye strain headache symptoms. This nerve leads to the very front of the eyes and helps with the eye alignment. This nerve doesn’t know how to distinguish if the irritation it has is from eye misalignment/ muscles or dryness. So, sometimes when people have dry eyes it can actually give a symptom of a headache. This eye strain headache location is typically right behind the eyes. Either pain right behind the right eye, pain behind the left eye, or pain kinda between the eyes. If resting the eyes can provide some of the eye strain headache relief then it could be an eye muscle issue.
Headaches Due to Eye Problem Symptoms
- Dry eyes
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Double vision
- Fluctuation in vision
- Blurry vision
- Spots in vision
Dry Eyes and Headaches
The mild irritation that is there bothering the eyes all day from dryness can cause headaches. This typically is a right between the eyes kinda dull ache that just irritates you. The first line of defense against dry eyes are artificial tears or eye drops. You can find my favorite by clicking this Amazon link.
Activities that Can Show Eyes Causing Headaches
Once I have that idea in my mind I like to ask about activities that make the pain worse. Is the pain worse with reading, bending over, bright lights, eye movement, heat, physical activity? If it is a dull pain that gets worse with reading then reading glasses will potentially help eliminate some of the headaches. If it feels like pressure behind the eyes then it could be something as simple as taking some good allergy medications or it could be something significantly more serious like pseudotumour cerebri also sometimes called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. The throbbing cardiovascular type could be from dehydration, so think about drinking some more water. If it a sharp nerve type pain that gets worse with eye movement it could be multiple sclerosis or that you need to talk with a Chiropractor.
If the headache is a new kind or worsening definitely talk to a medical professional like us or your primary care physician about the headache. After all, your eyes aren’t the only thing that could be causing the headaches.
Sometimes the headaches can be a dull throb between the eyes on the front part of the head. Typically, these are related to either the glasses prescription needing to be updated or too much time on electronic devices.
Conclusion of Eyes Causing Headaches
As a chronic migraine sufferer myself I am always learning as much as I can about headaches to try and help me with mine.
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