Eye Strain and Headaches: When Should You See a Doctor?

Eye Strain and Headaches: When Should You See a Doctor?

Have you ever felt pain behind your eyes after concentrating too long on a task? It could be an eye strain headache. Depending on the cause, headaches range in severity from a dull, throbbing pain to a sharper severe ache. Multiple factors play into what can cause a headache, and one of the factors is eye strain. If your work involves prolonged screen use then you’re more prone to constant eye strain and headaches, but how do you know if your headache is related to eyestrain? Read on to find out. 

What Does an Eye Strain Headache Feel Like?

There are different types of headaches, and the ones that occur under extreme stress are the tension-type — which hasn’t got anything to do with vision. Similarly, headaches that appear just after waking up or sleeping aren’t related to eye strain either. 

It’s essential to recognize the differences between these headaches and those caused by eye strain since the treatment differs for each type. 

An eye strain headache usually occurs when you focus too long on a particular object and the muscles around your eyes become sore. It can initially be an one sided headache or it can be present all over. 

What Causes Eye Strain and Headaches?

Now, to understand the cause of an eye strain headache, you need to consider what you were doing before your symptoms developed. Let’s examine some common causes of eye strain headaches.

Prolonged Use of Digital Screens

Looking at a digital screen for an extended time is the most common cause of eyestrain headaches, and this is because when you look at a screen constantly, you tend to blink less often. Eventually, this leads to dry eyes, causing further irritation and headaches.  Commonly known as the computer vision syndrome, this probably ranks highest among the causes for eye strain. 

Prolonged Attention on a Task

Eyestrains aren’t always due to continuous screen use and can sometimes even occur due to continued focus on a single task — like long-distance driving, reading a book, drawing or sewing. 

Vision Problems 

Uncorrected vision can cause eye strain headaches because your eyes will need to focus harder to form an image leading to eye strain. You may have to use prescription glasses, or if you’re already wearing them, a change in prescription can probably help.

Too Bright or Too Dim Lights

Stepping into bright, sunlit areas can cause a sudden impact on the eyes or even straining to see in dim light can have a similar effect. 

Some of the other factors that can worsen the condition include:

  • Glare on your screen
  • Exposure to dry air indoors
  • General stress and fatigue

How Do You Get Rid of a Headache and Eye Strain?

Prevention is easily one of the more effective ways to combat eye strain, but treatments are available for those who take precautions and still suffer from them. Here are a few other things that can help relieve eye strain and headaches. 

  • Taking over the counter painkillers
  • Resting in a dark and quiet space
  • Placing an ice pack or towel on eyes
  • Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated

Your eye strain treatment begins with speaking to an eye doctor to test your vision and perform an eye exam. You can consult an Ophthalmologist at Prasad Netralaya, Mangalore and Udupi’s most trusted eye care hospital. Our expert doctors are here to make sure you receive quality eye care and treatment. Call us at +919513596565 or book an appointment if you wish to visit in person. You can also book a teleconsultation