We’ve all been through it: A headache that seems to pop up out of nowhere and suddenly makes the most routine tasks unpleasant, even impossible. What many people don’t know is that visual problems can cause mild to severe headaches.
Read on to discover what triggers vision-related headaches and how we can help you find relief.
Visual Problems That Can Cause Headaches
If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, here are some eye conditions that may be causing your pain:
- Strabismus, also called visual misalignment or crossed eyes: when the eyes aren’t lining up with each other and produce images in double vision
- Binocular vision dysfunction: when the eyes’ line of sight don’t match, and the eye muscles strain to produce a focused image
- Presbyopia: commonly referred to as age-related farsightedness, when the eye’s natural lens thickens and becomes less flexible with age. Small text is harder to see up-close
- Astigmatism, farsightedness and nearsightedness: when a misshapen cornea produces blurred or distorted vision and difficulty seeing either near or far-off objects
A note of caution.
If your headache is severe, something far more serious may be occurring. A sudden, severe headache can be a symptom of a stroke or a sight-threatening eye condition that requires immediate medical care.
This can include:
Acute angle-closure glaucoma: This occurs when fluid pressure builds inside the eye, leading to severe headaches, eye pain, blurry vision, and seeing halos around lit objects.
Giant cell arteritis: This occurs when the blood vessels’ inner linings swell, restricting blood flow. Symptoms include decreased vision and throbbing pain in the temples.
Treating the Visual Problems At the Root of Your Headaches
A comprehensive eye exam by a neuro-optometrist is the best way to determine whether you have visual challenges that could be causing your headaches. This eye exam checks for so much more than visual acuity; it often evaluates eye tracking and eye teaming, focusing, depth perception, oculomotor control, visual processing, peripheral awareness, and visual-vestibular integration.
If the exam shows that visual problems are at the root of your headaches, Dr. George Fung will provide a comprehensive treatment plan to strengthen your visual skills. This might include specific optical lenses, vision therapy, and advice on effective lifestyle changes.
Vision therapy can help you improve the way your eyes and brain communicate by utilizing prism lenses, personalized eye exercises, and often, computer-based games. Doing so often improves balance, coordination, and cognitive abilities, and can also reduce eye strain and alleviate (or even eliminate) vision-related headaches.
If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, visit Dr. George Fung for a thorough assessment of your symptoms, and to determine whether they're being caused by visual problems. If so, we'll offer treatment to alleviate your pain. We’re here to look out for your vision.
Calgary Vision Therapy Centre serves patients from Airdrie, Calgary, Okotoks, Strathmore, and throughout Alberta.