How Astigmatism Causes Headaches

Headaches can crop up for any number of reasons, from problems with spring allergies to stress and tension. In fact, there are more than 150 different types of headaches, including headaches that are related to vision problems like astigmatism.

At Vision and Ortho-K Center, our optometrist Dr. Curtis Frank specializes in refractive errors like astigmatism with the goal of not only improving your vision, but also addressing the unwelcome side effects that often accompany these problems.

If you’re suffering from headaches and you’re also noticing a decline in your vision, the two may be related and stem from astigmatism. 

Understanding astigmatism

Astigmatism affects one in three people in the United States, which makes it a very common problem. At the heart of astigmatism is an irregularly shaped cornea, which is the clear outer layer at the front of your eye.

In a perfect world, your cornea and your lens are curved perfectly round, which allows light to come through and be focused equally on your retina. With astigmatism, your cornea has a more conical or oval shape, which prevents light from hitting your retina properly, often falling short of your retina or behind your retina. A misshapen lens can also have the same effect.

The causes of astigmatism include:

In some cases, your astigmatism may pose no problems at all, but if the curvature is great and it progresses, you’ll likely encounter problems.

Astigmatism and headaches

There are several symptoms that can develop due to astigmatism, including:

The reason why you may develop headaches is that your eyes are straining to focus and this effort can lead to eye strain and headaches.

The best way to find out whether your headaches are related to astigmatism is to come in so that we can perform an extensive eye exam to get to the bottom of the problem.

If we find that you have astigmatism and it’s severe enough to be causing vision problems and headaches, we typically recommend corrective lenses. You may also be a candidate for refractive surgery like LASIK, which we can determine once you’re here.

To get rid of your headaches and see more clearly, please contact our office in Boston, Massachusetts, for a comprehensive eye exam.

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