Total Vision Solana Beach
Blog Hero

Can Vision Problems Cause Headaches?

Book Appointment
Woman with a laptop having a headache due to digital eye strain

Vision problems can lead to other health issues, including headaches. Vision problems can come in various forms, so it’s important to visit your optometrist for comprehensive eye exams to stay on top of your visual health. 

Vision problems like eye strain, dry eyes, eye injuries, and even eye disease can result in headaches and can be challenging to manage. Your eye care professional can help you navigate vision problems through comprehensive eye exams and provide solutions. 

Let’s explore the different vision problems that can cause headaches and how your eye doctor can help.

How Eye Strain Contributes to Headaches

We all know what it’s like to deal with a headache. A bad headache can interfere with your productivity and leave you desperate to find relief. Sometimes, there’s no apparent cause of a headache, but vision problems can contribute. 

Headaches range in severity and can affect any part of your head. One cause of headaches can be eye strain, which occurs when you overuse the focusing muscles of your eyes. 

Common signs and symptoms of eye strain include: 

  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Dry eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

Digital eye strain is a type of eye strain specifically related to digital device use. It can also cause headaches. Digital eye strain occurs when you spend long periods of time on your smartphone, tablet, or computer without taking a break. 

Signs and symptoms of digital eye strain can include: 

  • Headaches
  • Sore, tired, burning, or itching eyes
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Difficulty concentrating

Digital device usage is one of the most common causes of eye strain, but one easy way to prevent it is to give your eyes periodic breaks during the day. 

Finding Relief from Eye Strain

The 20-20-20 rule helps give your eyes some necessary time off to relax and refocus. The 20-20-20 rule involves looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. 

You can also prevent eye strain by adjusting your workstation to reduce stress on your head, neck, back, and eyes. And adjust your screen brightness to match your environment, and reduce screen glare by placing your monitor away from bright light sources. 

Eye strain symptoms are similar to those of more serious eye conditions, so it’s best to visit your optometrist for regular eye exams if you suffer from any visual discomfort. Your eye doctor can rule out eye diseases, help correct vision problems, and give you advice for using your digital device comfortably. 

A farsighted man holding his book in distant while holding his glasses on the other hand

Other Vision Problems That Cause Headaches

Eye strain isn’t the only vision problem that can cause headaches. Your eyes are closely linked with your overall health, and other vision problems can contribute to headaches. 

Uncorrected Hyperopia

Hyperopia (farsightedness) occurs when the eye doesn’t bend light correctly, leading to the inability to focus clearly on nearby objects. Hyperopia can cause eye strain and headaches during close work due to this difficulty focusing. 

You may try compensating for your uncorrected hyperopia by forcing your eyes to focus harder, contributing to different symptoms like headaches.


Presbyopia is a vision condition that occurs when your eye’s lens goes through natural, age-related changes. These changes make it difficult to focus on close objects.

Similar to uncorrected hyperopia, you may find yourself compensating for difficulty focusing by forcing your eyes to work harder, resulting in headaches. Reading glasses can help correct your up-close eyesight and prevent headaches caused by presbyopia.

Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye disease occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the tears you have are of poor quality. 

Dry eye disease can be caused by:

  • Age
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Environment

Evidence suggests that dry eye symptoms appear to be more common among people with migraines or severe headaches. Although more research is needed, the environmental causes of dry eye disease, like high temperatures and low moisture in the air, can also contribute to headaches and eye strain. 

Eye Misalignment

Eye misalignment, or strabismus, generally develops in infants and young children, but adults can also have this condition. It occurs when there’s a problem with the eye’s muscles. 

Our binocular vision allows us to see the world and judge depth and distance. Each eye sends similar but slightly different images to our brain, which combines them to form one 3D image. But when the eyes are misaligned, the brain receives 2 different images, which can lead to double vision, confusion, and headaches depending on the severity.

Your Eye Health Comes First

Vision problems can contribute to the cause of headaches. It’s essential to keep a regular eye exam schedule with your optometrist so they can stay up-to-date with your visual development and monitor any vision changes. Book an appointment at Total Vision Solana Beach today for a comprehensive check-up to preserve your long-term eye health.

Written by Total Vision

instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax