Headaches in eye diseases


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Headaches in eye diseases may be a symptom of a problem related to eye disease or other, often severe neurological problems.

In the case of vision problems, headaches in eye diseases are often associated with blurred vision, tension, oppression or swelling of the eye, which results in pain in various (mainly frontal) parts of the head.

Causes of headaches in eye diseases

Among the reasons for the problems associated with eye diseases include:

  • Convergence insufficiency eyes – difficulties in the convergence of both eyes at the same time, most often they combine with the problem on focusing on reading;
  • Mild insufficiency – the problem of the concentration of one eye while reading, it often requires reading glasses;
  • A migraine – periodic attacks of a vascular headache;
  • Strabismus – eye coordination problems;
  • Refractive vision errors as farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism;
  • Increased intracranial pressure – neurological condition;
  • Special conditions as albinism and nystagmus can cause problems with concentration;
  • Eye fatigue.

Headaches associated with the eyes often accompany children, and they are related to problems with convergence or limited eye tolerance to the effort involved with reading.

A headache in itself is not a disease, but one of the symptoms that are associated with one of the above conditions.

Symptoms linked to headaches in eye diseases

Each of the reasons mentioned above, they can cause problems in eye diseases, also has additional symptoms that may help in the diagnosis and effective treatment.

In the event of failure of the convergence of eyes, headache in chronic form can last for several months and may occur with a problem with the sharpness of vision and difficulty concentrating both eyes on reading the text. The problem may appear several times a week, but headaches most often appear in the morning or at night. There may also be a double vision. Similar symptoms may accompany milder weakness of the eyes, and headache, in this case, occurs most often during or after reading.

In the case of migraines, which are the most common form of a problem, they may be associated with vision problems. We can mention here, a migraine with aura, which may also show numbness in the extremities, as well as paralysis of parts of the face. Visual disturbances associated with a migraine headache usually last from a few to several dozen minutes. Problems of this kind may show visual effects such as color, brightness, flicker, etc., some patients describe a kaleidoscope-like effect. After migraine headaches with aura, we often need a calm, quiet place, preferably darkened.

When a migraine without aura, you may experience gastrointestinal disturbances preceding the attack of a headache, may also occur photophobia (aversion to light) and phonophobia (avoidance of noises and sounds). Complicated migraine headaches often affect the ability to move eyeballs, pain from the top of the head to the optic nerves, and may take up to several weeks chronically.

In the case of strabismus – misalignment of the eyes, headaches may be related to the emergence of double vision. Often they occur after an attack of the optic nerve which moves the eye muscles. On the other hand refractive errors, which also accompanied by a headache, additionally, they reveal problems with concentration, persistent eye fatigue, problems with visual acuity.

Eye disorders like albinism (reduced pigmentation in the eye) or nystagmus cause eye pain due to fatigue, primary motor instability, and other.

Diagnosis and treatment of headaches in eye diseases

To determine the cause of a problem, it is necessary to analyze the above symptoms, the history of the circumstances associated with pain, impaired vision or neurological problems. Critical is also a family history of the disease.


The doctor after the first test should be referred for more accurate testing, excluding other health problems not related to eye diseases. Incorrect positions of the head, closing the eyes, vomiting, redness or swelling of the eye – are symptoms that are important. Through the examinations of the eye, it is possible to identify the cause of the pain and find the best way to remedy it.

Treatment depends on the type of health problem detected. Eyeglasses, eye patches, changing reading habits (reading from a distance), eye exercises, beta blockers, or pharmacological measures are often helpful.

Complications in the treatment of a headache in eye diseases are relatively rare, but in the case of increased intracranial pressure, pain may not subside even after the treatments. It is necessary to control the pressure in the nerves of the eye because the lack of it can even lead to blindness.

To prevent headaches in eye diseases we should take care of their good condition, no eyestrain, and through regular eye tests, to diagnose the disease in the early stages. Besides, we should avoid factors that affect the appearance of pain such as stress, certain foods or medications.

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