Many people believe that eyestrain causes their headaches. This seems possible given the amount of time people spend reading, working on computers, watching TV and playing video games. Although refractory errors may contribute to headaches, other factors such as posture, stress and long periods of concentration may be involved in these types of headaches. Rarely is eyestrain itself the sole cause of headaches.

If eyestrain is suspected, the first step is a complete ophthalmological exam. Any visual abnormalities should be corrected with glasses or contacts since refractive errors could produce eyestrain. After this has been addressed, the use of either a polarized (anti-glare) screen such as is used for computers, or the use of tinted eyeglass lenses (even if they are not corrective lenses) is recommended. Pay attention to proper posture, especially when working on the computer. Take frequent short breaks including stretching your neck, arms, and back. Try closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths!

Eyestrain may be a trigger for migraine or tension-type headaches. If the headaches persist, see your healthcare provider.