Glasses are supposed to help you, not hurt you. But if you recently started wearing glasses for the first time, or your prescription changed significantly, you may experience uncomfortable, glasses-induced headaches. Your eyes have to relearn how to look at the world through a new prescription, and your visual system and muscles are forced to work differently than they did before.
Although glasses-induced headaches are usually temporary, they can be a big disruption to your daily routine. Read on as Dr. Ivan Stein of the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey suggests strategies to minimize the pain.
Prevent or Reduce Eyeglass Headaches
Wear your new glasses often: It’s tempting to ditch your new glasses and reach for the old ones when a headache hits. But try to wear your new glasses as much as possible, so your eyes can quickly adapt.
Rest your eye muscles: Throughout the day, take 15-minute breaks to take off your glasses and sit in a dark room. This allows your eye muscles to temporarily relax without focusing on anything.
Use cool compresses or take over-the-counter pain relievers: It doesn’t hurt to use tried-and-true headache cures. Apply a cool compress to your eyes or take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Ask yourself if your frames fit properly: It may not be the lenses of your glasses that cause your headaches —it may be the frames. Poorly fitting frames can put pressure on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears, causing headaches.
Protect yourself from digital eye strain: The glare from computer screens puts stress on your eye muscles and can cause or exacerbate headaches. If you work on a computer or spend prolonged periods of time in front of digital screens, have an anti-reflective coating applied to your lenses. Try to blink often during computer work and give your eyes frequent breaks from staring at the screen.
When to Follow Up With a Doctor
If your headaches do not go away after a week or two, consider following up with your eye doctor. At that point, an underlying issue with the way the glasses were made may be to blame for the headaches. Your prescription may be stronger or weaker than what you actually need, or your glasses may have been made based on incorrect measurements.
If you have had your glasses checked out by your eye doctor but you continue to suffer from chronic headaches, it is time to be evaluated for other possible causes. Call or email the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey to talk with our team about your symptoms and find a solution.