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Why Do My Glasses Give Me a Headache?

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A young man sitting at a desk with his laptop pushing his glasses up to rub his eyes with his fingers.

Wearing glasses that are the wrong prescription can give you blurry vision, but did you know that it can also cause headaches? If the prescription of your eyeglass lenses is too strong or too weak, it can cause your eyes to work harder than they need to, which can lead to eye strain and headaches.

An incorrect prescription isn’t the only reason your glasses may be giving you a headache. Your glasses may also cause you headaches if they fit poorly or if you’re adjusting to a new prescription. 

Your headaches may also not be directly caused by your glasses but rather by the activities that you do while wearing them. Digital eye strain commonly occurs during prolonged periods of screen time and can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches. 

If you’re experiencing headaches while wearing your glasses, it may be time for an eye exam. Your eye doctor will be able to provide you with a new prescription or look for any other underlying conditions that may be contributing to your headaches. 

Why Do My Glasses Give Me a Headache?

There are a number of reasons why your glasses may cause you to get a headache. Determining the cause of your headache is the best way to find effective relief and prevent future headaches.

You’re Wearing the Wrong Prescription

One of the most common reasons your glasses may give you a headache is an incorrect prescription. Most people wear glasses to correct a refractive error, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, in order to see clearly. However, wearing glasses that are not your exact prescription can cause your eyes to work harder than necessary, leading to eye strain and headaches. 

There are a wide range of reasons that your vision may change, including age, certain medical conditions, and lifestyle factors. It is important to ensure that your prescription is up-to-date by attending regular eye exams. In most cases, eyeglass prescriptions are valid for up to 2 years, however, you may need more frequent prescription changes depending on your specific visual needs. 

Your Frames Don’t Fit Properly

The lenses are not the only potentially headache-causing part of eyeglasses. Another reason why glasses can cause headaches is related to the fit of the frames. If your frames are too tight or too loose, they can cause discomfort and pain that can eventually result in a headache. It is essential to ensure that your eyeglass frames are fit appropriately and adjusted correctly for your unique measurements. 

You’re Adjusting to New Glasses

If you’ve recently got a new pair of glasses, it can take a few days or even weeks to fully adjust to your new lenses. Your eyes may take some time to adjust to a new prescription, and during this adjustment period, you may experience distorted vision and headaches. This can be especially true if your prescription has changed significantly or if you have multifocal lenses

While tempting, it is important to avoid wearing your old glasses. As discussed above, wearing glasses that are the wrong prescription can cause more harm than good—and that can mean more headaches. 

If you’re finding that you’re not adjusting to your new glasses, even after a week or 2, it’s important to consult with your eyeglass retailer and eye doctor. It may be necessary to re-evaluate your glasses to ensure that they are the correct prescription and fit. 

You’re Straining Your Eyes

It’s important to note that getting a headache while wearing glasses may not always be related to the glasses themselves. One potential cause of headaches is digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome

If you’ve ever experienced a headache after long periods of looking over spreadsheets on your work computer or scrolling through emails on your phone, it may be a symptom of digital eye strain. 

In addition to headaches, digital eye strain can also cause: 

  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Digital eye strain is primarily caused by prolonged periods of screen time. This is because while using digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, you’re more likely to focus your eyes intensely for long periods of time—which can cause your eyes to become strained. In most cases, digital eye strain can be prevented with environmental and lifestyle changes. 

A man trying on glasses at an optic store while being assisted by an optometrist.

How to Prevent Headaches

If you’re experiencing headaches as a result of wearing your glasses, here are a few steps you can take to alleviate the problem and prevent future headaches. 

  • Make sure your prescription is up-to-date: Regular eye exams are an important part of monitoring for vision changes and ensuring that your prescription is up-to-date for your current vision needs. If you’re experiencing headaches while wearing your glasses, it may be a sign that your prescription is too strong or too weak and needs to be updated. 
  • Choose the right frames: The fit of your frames can also contribute to headaches. Make sure that your frames fit properly and are adjusted correctly for your head size. It’s always a good idea to try on eyeglass frames prior to purchasing them. 
  • Take breaks: Make sure to give your eyes regular breaks throughout the day, especially during long periods of screen time. The 20-20-20 rule can be a good guideline for preventing digital eye strain: for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. Making adjustments to your body positioning and workspace may also help to prevent digital eye strain. 

In order to prevent headaches while wearing glasses, it may be necessary to first understand what is causing your headaches. In addition to the potential causes discussed in this blog, there are a wide range of other factors that can contribute to headaches. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, it is a good idea to consult with your eye care and healthcare team. 

Get Glasses That Work for You

Your glasses should provide you with the vision correction that you need to see the world clearly. Book an eye exam with the experienced team at Pack & Bianes Optometry to get an accurate and up-to-date prescription. After your eye exam, we’ll help you find the perfect pair of frames to fit your unique vision and lifestyle needs.

Written by Total Vision

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