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Link Between Vision and Headache

Sometimes, a headache affects vision such as seeing double or seeing blurry images only.  Sometimes, it can cause pain in and around eyes although the headache has no relation to vision issues.  Sometimes, it can be a sign of vision changes that necessitate a professional eye examination.

Headaches Causing Eye Issues

When you have a headache, your eyes may be affected because of the proximity of the two areas.  If you have one of these two types of headaches, then you are more likely to feel the pain in your eyes, too:

Migraines are aptly considered the worst types of headaches because of the wide range of mild to severe symptoms that accompany each attack.  One of the eye-related symptoms is intense pain in and around your eyes that can last as long as the attack itself.

Aside from the pain, the migraine attack can be preceded by the so-called aura; some patients, however, may not develop the characteristic severe headache after the aura symptoms.

  • Cluster Headache

In a cluster headache, the severe pain around the eyes appears in clusters or pattern that may or may not radiate to the neck and shoulder; the latter is known as referred pain because the source of the pain is in another area.  It is as severe as migraines, even more severe in many instances because it can occur daily for several months at a time.

Pain around the eyes is not the only eye-related symptom of a cluster headache.  You can experience eyelid droop, red eyes and changes in pupil sizes as well as tearing with perhaps nasal drainage to add to your misery.

In both types of headaches, you should work with your doctor in finding the best combination of medications, diet and exercise, and lifestyle habits for its effective management.

Eye Issues with Headaches

And then there’s the other side of the coin- eye problems with headaches as a result.  Seek your doctor’s advice when you think one of these eye-related health issues are lessening your quality of life.

  • Eye strain

When you strain your eyes to see the small print on the computer and smartphone for prolonged periods, then your eyes will likely suffer from eye strain.  The result: fatigued eyes that result in a headache concentrated around or behind the eyes.

  • Farsightedness

It can result in a brow ache, a headache located in the frontal area.  You are subconsciously compensating for your farsightedness by focusing harder, thus, the headache.

  • Presbyopia

This refers to the difficulty in focusing on nearby objects (i.e., when reading, the words appear blurry), a condition that affects all men and women after the age of 40.  Your eyes will compensate for their lack of focusing power by squinting that, in turn, results in a headache.

More severe eye issues with headaches as a symptom include giant cell arteritis, a medical emergency that can lead to blindness when left untreated;  acute angle-closure glaucoma, a rare type of glaucoma; and ocular ischemic syndrome, a condition characterized by chronic lack of blood flow to the eyes.

The bottom line: Never dismiss your vision issues and your headaches.  See your doctor for appropriate medical intervention.

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