Got Headaches? See Your Eye Doctor

Woman holding her face in painHeadaches are common, and in most cases, a small headache is nothing to worry about. However, persistent headaches may have a serious cause and shouldn’t be ignored.

Common, non-threatening headaches are often caused by lifestyle factors like alcohol, processed foods, lack of sleep, poor posture, stress and vision changes.

Headaches can also have more serious causes, such as dehydration, brain aneurysm, brain tumor, meningitis, concussion and stroke. Although you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that a bad or persistent headache is caused by a life-threatening problem, it is wise to see your doctor.

Correlation Between Vision Problems and Headaches

There are a number of eye-related problems that can cause headaches. If you suffer from a headache that won’t go away, schedule an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to rule out any serious eye conditions that might be causing your headaches.

Eye Strain 

Though it’s not serious, you may be straining your eyes in order to see clearly if your eyeglass prescription has changed or you have astigmatism or another refractive vision error. Eye strain is a common cause of headaches. A visit to the eye doctor for a new prescription or even LASIK laser eye surgery to correct vision problems can reduce headaches caused by eye strain.


This eye disease is characterized by a buildup of pressure inside the eye. There are two types of glaucoma: open angle glaucoma and angle closure glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma is the slow buildup of intraocular pressure over time and typically has no symptoms. Angle closure is the rapid buildup of pressure in the eye resulting in sharp pain, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. Angle closure glaucoma requires immediate medical attention.


Common symptoms of papilloedema, a condition in which the optic nerve swells with excess fluid, include headaches, blurred vision and double vision, though some people have no symptoms at all. Coughing or sneezing may worsen the pain of a headache associated with papilloedema.

If you suffer from severe or persistent headaches, a comprehensive eye exam may be able to rule out any serious eye conditions as the cause of your headaches. If you think eye strain is the cause of your headaches, a vision exam and prescription lenses should help ease your headache.

Contact Key-Whitman Eye Center today to schedule an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.