Many causes can result in a headache, such as exposure to chemicals, illness, stress and tension, or injury. What many people may not know about headaches is that eye problems frequently contribute to this issue. Understanding how optometry affects the rest of your body can help you prevent and treat head pain.

Poor Vision

Whether you are nearsighted or farsighted, having a vision problem that is not properly corrected by glasses or contact lenses translates into squinting and overworking your eyes. The additional work that the eyes must do to see an image clearly often results in head pain. Farsighted optometry patients suffer this situation even more frequently since the eye’s efforts to see close up objects are more intense than the opposite issue.

Eye Strain

In these times of mobile computing, smartphones, and constant access to communication, it is often difficult to tear ourselves away from staring into a screen. The consequence is overworked and tired eyes, often leading to headaches. A good way to mitigate eye strain and give eyes a break is with the 20-20-20 rule. For every twenty minutes of screen time, look at a spot twenty yards away for at least twenty seconds. This allows your eyes to relax, your lens size to vary, and reduces the fatigue eyes may suffer. You can even find software and apps to remind you to take these much needed mini-breaks.


As people age, an unavoidable consequence is that nearby objects and print become more difficult to see. Similar to cases of near and farsightedness, the patient must try harder to focus. A headache is a likely outcome.


Glaucoma is a serious condition, usually related to increased intraocular, or inner eye pressure. It can result in severely diminished vision and even blindness if not treated promptly. Headaches are often a by-product of the high internal eye pressure. Regular eye exams are the best way to combat glaucoma as it cannot be prevented but is treatable through medication and surgical means.

A simple way to catch many of the eye conditions that produce headaches is through a normal eye exam. Many eye issues can be diagnosed early, minimizing the potential suffering that can be the outcome of these problems. Be sure to consult  your Phoenix doctor of optometry any time you notice a change in your vision, as well as on an annual basis.