The eye is one of the reasons that we sometimes get the headache. The fatigue of the eye is one of the most common causes of headaches. There are various other eye diseases that can cause migraine, chronic and recurring headaches. It is important to identify and understand why eye is a cause of headache and try to minimize these factors and save our head from terrible pain. This article explains why the eye is a major cause of headaches and it also suggests a number of ways to cure the headache.
Eye and Headache – Symptom 1: Pain above the eye
If the headache pain starts from the area above the eye and then extends in the back of the head, then most probably it is a migraine headache. Contrary to what most people believe, the migraine headache can sometimes be extended across the skull (in 1 / 3 of cases). In that case the migraine pain is more intense than the simple headache and is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. This type of headache displays some warning signs – for example, shortly before you will experience flashes and illusions of stars (the so-called aura). The cause of the headache is the dilation of blood vessels in the brain.
Eye and Headache – Symptom 2: Headache due to vision problems
One of the reasons why eye is a cause of headache is due to eye tiredness, the need of eyeglasses or a wrong prescription given for eye vision problems. All these symptoms create troubles in our vision, sometimes without really understanding it. The symptoms of this type of headache are more intense when working long hours in front of a computer screen or when you read for a long time.
The pain becomes even more intense when we ignore vision problems with myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia. In these situations the pain from headache is milder and we also feel our eyes heavy. A more intense headache is also caused by glaucoma, because it raises the pressure inside the eye. In more detail the major causes of eye headache due to vision problems are:
Hypermetropia: In hypermetropia the object of the image is formed behind the retina. The patient sees blurred and has difficulty to see objects that are far away or too close. The muscle of the eye that regulates the pupil to properly focus on the image of the objects in cooperation with the cornea, works harder to achieve a correction of vision. This extra effort is a cause of headaches.
Presbyopia: This mainly affects people in the age range of 40-45 years. Due to increasing age, the lens of the eye loses its ability to adapt. In adapting the lens creates the clear vision for both distant and nearby objects. After 40-45 years of age, the lens of the eye is gradually hardening, gradually loses its ability to adapt and thus creating farsightedness. As a result we may also experience eye pain and headaches.
Astigmatism: In astigmatism, the cornea of the eye does not have a smooth shape. When the curvature of the front surface of the cornea is not the same in the two main axes (e.g. vertical and horizontal), then you experience astigmatism. The patient from certain angles sees objects blurred and distorted. The headache is caused due to constant movements of the eye muscles.
Glaucoma: In glaucoma, the pressure in the eye increases. The gradual increase of pressure of the liquid in the eye is causing damage to the optic nerve. The glaucoma in some cases can cause severe headaches.
Myopia: In myopia, the image of the objects is formed in front of the retina. The vision is blurred for distant objects while for near objects it is good. The efforts of the eye to correct the problem are causing headaches.
Also another reason why eye causes headache is linked to intraocular inflammation. This is viewed as a nuisance around the eye or a migraine headache. Sometimes for unknown reasons we feel a headache when we are exposed to a very bright light. If the light bothers you, or when you read for a long time you get a headache, try to close the light for a while and keep your eyes open in the dark or put your palms in front of your eyes and ensure that you are blocking light but at the same time keeping your eyes open in the “darkness” you have created.
Eye and Headache – Symptom 3: Headache due to computer use
If the headache pain occurs over and above the eye, and reflected in the front and temples then it is likely to be due to a refractive anomaly from the excessive use of the computer or a long time.
Many people complain of headache pain and inconveniences in their eyes after many hours in front of the computer screen. The eyes may be slightly irritated (i.e. slightly red), you have a sense that a foreign body is in your eye, the bulbs of the eye feel heavier, tears, and the vision gets blurred. All these phenomena are often quite real. But let us see what happens.
The continuous dedication to the screen makes us flick our eyes less and less. This causes the lacrimal film, which is covering our eyes to evaporate more easily and this in effect creates a situation of a slight dryness in the eye. This is exacerbated if the micro-climate in which we are is not good (drought environment, cold or too hot, bad lighting).
Besides that many times when we spend a lot of hours in front of the computer we experience headaches or dizziness. This is due to the body position we use to sit in front of the computer. A continuous and steady body position, especially if the computer is higher than the level of our head is causing problems in our neck and this creates headaches and dizziness. Also, when our eyes constantly change focus from the keyboard – to the screen – to our documents, this movement makes our eye muscles tired and as a result we end up with a headache and dizziness.
Eye and Headache – Cure and Self Treatment
- Avoid noise and strong smells, that situation often aggravates the headache.
- During the time of crisis, sit in a quiet dark room in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and lean your head backwards. Try to relax and empty your mind from any thoughts. You can also wear a sleep mask if available.
- During the period of a headache you can also take a simple pain reliever to get relieve from the pain. These are available with out a doctor’s prescription.
- Do not forget, if you have a refractive anomaly, to wear glasses when you see TV, reading or working with the computer.
- When you watch TV, you must be at least 3 meters away from the television.
- The various researchers recommend no more than 4 consecutive hours in front of the computer, making breaks of 10-15 minutes.
- Keep a distance in front of the computer about 40 cm.
- Adjust the computer screen to be slightly below the level of our eyes.
- Make sure you have the proper and adequate lighting when working with the computer in order to avoid annoying reflections. The special filters have little effect.
- Try a light neck massage, this will help loosen the muscles around the neck and give you relief from headache.
- If you feel like you have sand in your eyes, wash your eyes with cold water, or use artificial tears. It is effective, safe and you can use them as many times as you want.
- Visit the eye doctor regularly to check your eyes and try to avoid sitting many hours in front of the computer screen or watching TV.
- Keep what you read away enough from your face and stop reading every 10 minutes to focus on something that is not near you.
- If the headache from the eye is continuous, you should visit your eye doctor, as you may have a problem with the eyes (for example, a glaucoma) that needs medical treatment.
- Your doctor may give you some specialized medicines. According to experts, the faster you take these medicines, the more effective will be the cure from the headache
Finally, remember that if the headache symptoms continue to bother you, visit your doctor who is the only person who can give you advice and special treatment if needed.