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Defective Vision - Can it be a Cause of Your Headache?

Dr. Prof M R Jain 90% (1206 ratings)
MS - Ophthalmology, MBBS
Ophthalmologist, Jaipur  •  59 years experience
Defective Vision - Can it be a Cause of Your Headache?

A common headache can have a number of reasons behind it, such as defective vision, hetrophoria or convergence deficiency, etc. Now, the question arises as to how they can cause headache. Read on to know more...

Q. Why should defective vision cause headache?

To attain a perfect vision, eyes with defective vision have to make sustained extra efforts, which results in headache. Even if the refractive error is very small, it can be the cause of headache. More prolonged the working and smaller the print, higher the incidence of headache.

Q. Can this occur at all ages?

Yes, it can occur at all ages. However, with age, the resistance decreases and hence elderly people are more prone to get headache. More the use of computer, mobiles, TV or prolonged studies precipitates headache

Q What is Hetrophoria?

Normally, both eyes always remain parallel, but in some cases, eyes have slight tendency to develop minor squint, may be convergent or divergent. This is called Hetrophoria or Latent squint. Such patients have to take extra strain to keep the eyes straight

Q. What is convergence deficiency?

For reading, both eyes have to converge and if there is weakness of convergence, extra strain has to be put on the eyes, which cause headache.

Q. What is the ideal method of refraction in young patients, I,e below 40 years?

Ideal method is to dilate the pupil with Tropicasyl plus drops. This has the advantage that the doctor can see the retina and Optic Disc. This is important to exclude any involvement of brain as the cause of headache. It also relaxes accommodation and hence provides correct refraction. In cases of Hypermetropia, it is extremely essential to dilate the pupil.

Q. What is the role of Autorefractmeter (a computer) in refraction?

It is a very important instrument to provide correct refraction, but it cannot be totally relied upon. Some opticians rely on it and give wrong numbers.

Q. What is acceptance Test?

You have refracted the eyes with Autorefractmeter or Streak Retinoscope but exact power is what a patient accepts. This is very important.

Q. What is astigmatism?

There is a difference in refraction in different meridians and it is important that a cylinder number is prescribed in correct axis. This is a difficult task and needs lot of experience.

Q. Is it important to correct astigmatism?

To relieve headache and strain on the eyes, it is very important that exact cylinder is prescribed.

Q. What is the role of exact centring of Optical Lenses?

.You may give correct number, but if the centre of the Optical lenses and cornea do not coincide, satisfactory results are not obtained. To dispense correct lenses is a big art and the Optician must be qualified and well experienced.

Q. Does the quality of lens affect the visual comfort?

Yes, it is important that quality of lenses should be good, preferable fibre lenses which are Ant reflect coated. Crizal coating with capability to block the UV rays are very popular.

Conclusion: Refractive errors are important cause of headache and needs proper examination of the eyes, preferably after dilating the pupil. Astigmatic error even if too small may be the cause of headache. Spectacle dispensing is an art and a patient must select proper optician. Spectacles if advised for constant use must be used constantly to get full relief.

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