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Headache - Can Eyestrain Be the Reason Behind it?

Dr. Tejas D. Shah 94% (25 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, Diploma in Ophthalmology , Fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad  •  30 years experience
Headache - Can Eyestrain Be the Reason Behind it?

Eye Strain is an umbrella term that denotes a number of symptoms that relate to the extended use of eyes as well as discomfort that may come from excessive smartphone and computer use. This condition may or may not lead to significant eye damage and is usually characterised by blurry vision, headaches and a feeling of dryness in the eye as you blink less which creates less tears. This may happen due to the extended use of the eye when you are following objects on a screen or staring at a screen for too long. So, is eye strain the cause of your headaches?

Find out more in this article.

Causes: Eye Strain or Asthenopia is caused by concentrating on visually intense tasks like reading from texts that have a fine print, the use of computers and other screens for prolonged periods, and trying to focus on objects in the dark. This can lead to distress of the muscles in this area which can also cause eye strain leading to a variety of symptoms including double imagery and even headaches and mild migraine like conditions.

Eye Muscle Imbalance: When there is eye strain which leads to headaches, it can also give rise to eye muscle imbalance which makes it difficult to concentrate with both eyes at the same time. In such cases, one may need bifocal glasses so as to fix the issue and prevent such debilitating headaches to remain on a persistent basis.

Diagnosis: Digital eye fatigue and ocular eye strain leading to headaches can be diagnosed by a doctor with the help of regular eye examinations. In any case, one should have the eyes checked at least once a year. This is especially important if your job involves sitting in front of the computer screen for prolonged hours.

Symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms of these headaches that are caused by eye strain. Apart from blurry vision which does not allow the patient to see properly and clearly without glasses, it can also cause headaches with symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light. Retinal or eye migraines do not necessarily have to come with headaches, but the pressure can be painful enough.

Treatment: To begin with, the best form of treatment for headaches born from eye strain includes prevention which can be done by getting plenty of rest and sleep even as we limit the hours spent in front of the screen. One can also lower the resolution of the screen and make it more ambient. Also, the screen should be placed at a considerable distance from the eyes. The doctor can also prescribe glasses and eye drops for better eye lubrication. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.

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