What To Do When Your Eyeglasses Give You a Headache
For those of us who wear eyeglasses, we’ve all been there – suddenly your head starts to ache or you start having regular headaches from your eyeglasses but you are not exactly sure why. In some cases, the fix is something simple that you can do to minimize the chance of getting another headache from your glasses. Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing pain and what to do when your eyeglasses give you a headache.
Sometimes the cause of headaches for eyeglass wearers is as simple as a prescription change. If you did not have headaches with your old eyeglasses and recently got a new pair, it may be as simple as the prescription change. Even if you did not have a change in prescription, double check to see if it has changed by accident. For instance, you may have gotten the wrong prescription (don’t worry, it does happen) or there was a slight change in astigmatism degree. Either can cause you to experience headaches with your new glasses. In fact, it is always a good idea to check your prescription before you leave the office just to make sure that if nothing has changed, the numbers remain the same. If there is a change, you are able to ask the doctor why before you even leave the office.
How About Work Habits?
Do you notice getting a headache while working and then it seems to go away when you’re away from work? If so, it may not actually be related to your work habits at all. Sure, you might think it’s stress when it can be as simple as the glasses being stronger than you need or the face that the anti-glare feature is something you didn’t get. There are those who are a bit sensitive to a close up focal plane when wearing glasses that correct vision at 20/20 or higher and staring at a computer screen all day may cause some eyeglass wearers issues with headaches. One way to get an idea of this being the problem is if you are not getting headaches at further distances or a less close up focus. If so, it may be your prescription.
Sometimes It’s the Eye Muscles
Wearing eyeglasses puts strain on the eye muscles, especially if you have recently changed prescriptions or are new to wearing eyeglasses. According to optometrist Eric T. Brooker, O.D., of the Advanced Vision Institute in Las Vegas, “The muscles in your eyes are continually adjusting to focus. If they have trouble adjusting to the different demand caused by your new prescription, those muscles can become overworked, creating pain around the eyes and across the forehead and temples.”
Change is Good Yet…
When you need to change prescriptions there is a reason for that and it benefits your vision but with change to your eyeglasses, it also changes how your eyes react to things. Like mentioned in the “check your prescription” section, these changes, no matter how small, cause your eyes to react differently and with having to refocus constantly till your eyes are used to it, it can cause you to get a headache.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to alleviate some of the headaches if they are not related to the wrong prescription or that you need anti-glare coating for work purposes. Even if they are, there are ways to fix that as well but for headaches not related to those problems, here are a few tips.
One way to help minimize the headaches is to put your glasses on as soon as you awake. This helps because it is like your eyes waking up to the lenses and they will focus better than having to do it later one when your eyes are already focusing a certain way.
If you are getting regular headaches then it is fine to just take a break and remove your glasses for a while – preferably an hour or so. However, if you want the transition to take a shorter amount of time, if you can stand it then don’t take so many breaks and simply power through if possible. This makes the transition period to your new glasses much shorter than if you take many breaks.
Use Over the Counter Painkillers
To help with the transition period, there is nothing wrong with taking an over the counter painkiller. Anything that is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) like Motrin, Advil, or even plain aspirin will help alleviate some of the muscle pain and since pain from eyeglasses is eye muscle pain, it will help relieve you from a bit of the transition period headache.
As with any type of pain that seems abnormal or lasts longer than a week or two, check with your eye doctor and see if there is any other type of problem going on. A wrong prescription can cause pain and your prescription might need tweaking a bit or it my be one of the more simple reasons that is easily fixed. Some headaches or normal and will subside after a short period of time. If not, call your doctor.
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