One question Phoenix eyecare professionals hear very frequently is, “My new glasses/contacts are giving me headaches. Is my prescription wrong?”
In most cases, the answer to this is no. Usually, all it takes is a little time for your eyes to adjust.
It’s easy to forget, but your eyes are controlled by muscles, just like every other part of your body. And like all your other body’s muscles, too much overwork can cause them to hurt.
Eye strain is the straining of the muscles surrounding your eyes. Since these muscles surround your face and head, it can cause pain that turns into a headache.
Every time you change your prescription, it causes tiny changes to how your eyes react to everything. Every attempt to refocus, at first, is “wrong” and requires correction, because your eyes are still trying to focus through your old lenses. This causes your eyes to become strained.
To get through this critical period, most eyecare professionals suggest:
1 – Put them on first thing in the morning. If your eyes wake up to the new lenses, they’ll be less likely to hold onto the old ways of focusing.
2 – Take short breaks. If you get a headache, it’s fine to remove your glasses/contacts for an hour or so, but it’s better (as with athletic training) to “push through” the pain when possible, as it will shorten your transition period.
3 – Use standard painkillers. The same over-the-counter NSAID medicines, like Advil or Aleve, that work on other muscle pains will work on your eyes. In most cases, these eliminate the transition problems.
When should I contact a Phoenix optometrist?
If it’s been more than two weeks and you’re still getting headaches, it’s time to talk to your optometrist about the prescription. Actual prescription problems are rare, but they do occasionally occur. Sometimes they can point towards other, undiagnosed issues.
Otherwise, if the headaches are minor, there is probably no reason to contact your Phoenix eyecare provider.