Headaches from Contacts? What You Should KnowAuthor: Dr. William Tullo
June 16, 2014
If you suffer from chronic headaches, your vision could play a role. It’s important to talk to your eye doctor or regular physician to rule out more serious complications. However, if your vision is causing headaches, here are some possible reasons why.
Vision-related headaches and contact lenses
People who wear contacts may experience vision-related headaches for a variety of reasons. There are two common, possible causes related to vision:
1. Gradual Onset of Presbyopia
Presbyopia is the loss of focusing ability as we age; this loss of focus creates a need for reading glasses. Oftentimes someone who has worn contacts for many years will develop headaches from the onset of presbyopia. Presbyopia affects most people and begins in the late thirties or early forties. This can be greatly affected by the amount and intensity of near work (e.g., sitting close to a computer screen) you are required to perform. Lighting, work distance and font size of print can all play a role as well. If you fall in this age range and have had no previous problems with your contacts, you might find relief through reading glasses. Talk to your eye doctor.
2. Astigmatism with Toric Contact Lenses
Toric contact lenses correct for astigmatism. However, contact lenses sometimes aren’t as effective at correcting astigmatism as glasses. A contact lens that rotates slightly on the eye can cause improper astigmatism correction. This can cause eye strain. If you have an astigmatism and experience headaches after wearing contacts for several hours, consider talking to your eye doctor about changing your contact lens prescription. Or, ask about other ways to correct your vision, including glasses or LASIK eye surgery.
Solutions for headaches from contacts
Only your eye doctor or a physician can pinpoint the cause of your headaches. However, if you suspect your vision correction is playing a role in your headaches, you have options. If the headaches are less frequent or less severe when you wear your glasses (as compared to when you wear your contacts), see your eye doctor to determine if the contact lens is not fitting properly. If you have fewer headaches on the weekends when not performing near work or if you experience more headaches later in the day, ask your eye doctor if reading glasses would be helpful.
Finally, if glasses and contacts are no longer correcting your vision comfortably, you might consider LASIK eye surgery. LASIK is a procedure that corrects your vision by reshaping the cornea. This popular procedure can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If you’re interested in LASIK, you should talk to your eye doctor or click here for a free LASIK information kit from TLC Laser Eye Centers.