Can headaches be caused by eyesight?

The Link Between Eyesight and Headaches: Understanding the Connection

For many, a headache is just an occasional nuisance. However, when they become frequent, it prompts the search for underlying causes. One lesser-known, yet significant factor contributing to headaches is our eyesight. Let’s delve into how vision problems might be the culprits behind those persistent pains.


1. Refractive Errors

Errors in how our eyes focus light on the retina can lead to blurred vision. Common refractive errors include:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia (age-related focus dysfunction)

Symptoms: Eye strain, squinting, and subsequent headaches, especially after prolonged visual tasks.

Solution: A comprehensive eye exam can identify refractive errors, which can typically be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses.

2. Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Our eyes need to work together for clear, single vision. When they don’t, it’s termed binocular vision dysfunction.

  • Symptoms: Double vision, eye strain, and headaches, which often intensify with reading or other close-up tasks.
  • Solution: Vision therapy or special eyeglass prescriptions can help correct the alignment of the eyes.

3. Eye Muscle Imbalance

An imbalance in the eye muscles can put strain on them, leading to discomfort.

  • Symptoms: Difficulty focusing, eye fatigue, and headaches.
  • Solution: Vision therapy exercises or corrective lenses can help address the imbalance.

4. Digital Eye Strain

In our increasingly digital world, many of us spend hours in front of screens.

  • Symptoms: Dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. This collection of symptoms is often termed “computer vision syndrome” or “digital eye strain.”
  • Solution: Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, consider computer glasses with blue light filtering capabilities.

5. Glaucoma

This eye condition is marked by increased intraocular pressure.

  • Symptoms: In its early stages, glaucoma may have no symptoms. However, as it progresses, it can cause severe eye pain and headaches, along with vision problems.
  • Solution: Regular eye check-ups are vital to detect and manage glaucoma early.


Eyesight issues can undoubtedly manifest as headaches. If you find yourself grappling with unexplained or recurrent headaches, it might be time to look into the health of your eyes. A visit to the optometrist not only safeguards your vision but might just provide the solution to your headaches.


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