There are many conditions that can lead to headaches, eye conditions amongst them.
Certain eye conditions can lead to minor pain as well as migraines. Some of those conditions include:
1. Optic Neuritis
Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a collection of nerve fibers located in the back of the eye that transmits visual information to the brain. People suffering from optic neuritis may experience loss of vision over a 7 to 10 day period and pain when moving the eye.
Optic neuritis can develop following illnesses such as mumps, measles, and even a common cold. The condition is most common among women between the ages of 20 and 40. After receiving an optic neuritis diagnosis, it’s recommended patients undergo a brain MRI to asses their risk of multiple sclerosis.
2. Ocular Migraines
Ocular migraines are tied to the blood vessels and the nerves in the back of your eye. These migraines can be painful and even lead to complete vision loss. Other symptoms include flashing lights, blind spots, and severe eye pain.
Patients who experience ocular migraines are at an increased risk of permanent vision loss. If blind spots don’t go away after 30 minutes, talk to your eye doctor as soon as possible. Since symptoms usually dissipate after 30 minutes, the best treatment is to stop what you’re doing and rest your eyes until the symptoms go away.
Eyestrains are a condition that has grown increasingly common as our dependence on screens has grown. Strains occur when your eyes grow tired from intense use. Typically, strains aren’t serious and go away after some rest.
Prolonged computer use is the most common cause of eyestrains. People who look at screens for two or more hours per day are at the greatest risk of eyestrains. It’s recommended that you take frequent breaks from your computer to let your eyes rest.
4. Retinal Migraines
Retinal migraines occur when a blood vessel in the eye spasms, leading to a reduction of blood flow to the eye. These migraines cause vision changes in one eye including flickering lights or even temporary blindness. Symptoms start gradually and can last up to an hour.
Retinal migraines are considered rare as 1 in every 200 people who get migraines will have a retinal migraine. Some causes include:
- Emotional stress
- Bright lights or loud noises
- Changes in sleeping pattern
- Excessive use of pain relievers
- Hormonal changes
People under the age of 40 and those with a personal or family history of migraines are at a greater risk.
5. Other Causes
Other eye conditions such as glaucoma, eye inflammation, and optic nerve conditions can also lead to headaches.
- Glaucoma – Typically, glaucoma is painless. However, an acute attack of angle-closure glaucoma can produce eye pain, blurred vision, and headaches
- Eye inflammation – Inflammation brings swelling, redness, and pain with eye movement. These symptoms can lead to headaches or migraines
- Optic nerve conditions – Optic nerves may become swollen if there is high pressure in the brain. This can cause headaches that are concentrated in or behind the eye. It may also cause loss of sight, blurred vision or double vision
It is highly recommended that you seek out professional advice from your eye doctor if you are experiencing any vision-related headaches. It’s important to get your eyes checked to rule out eye condition related headaches.