Headaches

Headaches are a very common health complaint. They can have many different causes. Eye problems are sometimes a cause of headaches, but this is not usually the case.

CAUSES

The most common cause of headaches is scalp and neck muscle contraction. Tension, anxiety, strain, stress, fatigue, and depression may all bring about sudden or gradual muscle contraction and pain.

Migraine headaches are another common type of headache. Migraines are usually much more severe than muscle contraction headaches. They are caused by changes in the blood vessels and blood flow in the head.

Headaches can also be caused by many diseases and disorders affecting other parts of the body, including ear problems, jaw problems, sinus problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, nerve diseases, and even tumors.

Eye problems can cause headaches. For example, people who need reading glasses and who read for long periods of time without glasses (or with glasses that are too weak) can develop eye strain and headaches. Also, an eye misalignment problem can cause a headache when you are reading or doing close work. That is, certain eye muscles may be too weak to focus up close. This weakness is one of several eye problems that can often be successfully treated with vision therapy (eye muscle exercises/training).

TREATMENT

Treatment for headaches varies, depending on the cause. Proper diagnosis is important, so tell your doctor about any severe, frequent, or ongoing headache symptoms. Many people first consult an eye doctor about headache symptoms. In the event the headache problem does not appear to be related to the eyes, referral to a specialist is needed and additional testing, including an MRI image of the brain may be performed.