Can Eye Strain Cause Headaches?

Many of us know that having a headache can ruin our day. It can trigger sharp or throbbing pain. There are several causes of headaches. But one uncommon cause is eye strain.

can eye strain cause headaches

How can eye strain cause headaches? Is it from the use of a computer for too long? Let’s find out here.

Eye Strain Headaches 

Eye strain can happen to anyone. If your eyes focus on the light that’s too dim or bright, it can cause eye strain.

Overusing your eyes can cause them to get tired causing eye strain. The symptoms are the following:

  • Sore eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Water eyes
  • Neck or backaches

When experiencing eye strain, it doesn’t mean that you have injured or damaged your eyes. The pain will subside after resting your eyes for a few minutes, hours, or even days.

Can Eye Strain Cause Headaches Every Day? 

eye strain headaches - causes

Eye strain headaches can disrupt your everyday activities. You will find it difficult to focus on your work.

Treatment for eye strain headaches depends on the kind of headache you feel.

There are three common types of headaches.

  • Tension
  • Cluster
  • Migraine

Migraine is the most debilitating among the three.

Compared to other headache types, eye strain headache is mild.

Eye strain typically develops after prolonged eye activity. That is, you get a headache after focusing on something for a long time.

It means that an eye strain headache won’t occur if you have not been reading or watching something for a long period.

It also won’t develop after waking up.

You have an eye strain headache if the pain gets better after you rest your eyes.

Furthermore, this type of headache doesn’t cause digestive discomfort, unlike other types of headaches.

The pain is around or behind your eyes. It feels sore or tired.

Main Causes of Eye Strain Headaches

The cause of your eye strain depends on what you did before you experience the symptoms. But here are the most common ones.

Looking at Digital Screens for a Long Time 

It’s also known as digital eye strain. Eye strain in this situation is the result of blinking less often.

When you blink less often, it can cause dry eyes and irritation.

The strain worsens when there’s excess glare or reflection on your screen. Poor posture can also worsen your eye strain.

Then, if you don’t take a break from the use of digital screens, you will develop digital eye strain.

Focusing on a Single Activity 

It’s not only digital screens that can cause eye strain headaches. If you focus on one task for a long time, like reading a book or long-distance driving, eye strain headaches can develop.

Vision Issues 

If you have vision problems, they have to be corrected. You might need to wear prescription glasses to help you see things clearly. Now, if you’re already wearing a pair, you might need different prescription glasses.

Vision problems can cause eye strain headaches because they cause your eyes to work harder to form a clear image.

How Do You Get Rid of a Headache and Eye Pain? 

You can get rid of your eye strain headache by resting your eyes for a few minutes or hours.

You may use artificial tears to alleviate dry eyes. But you need to ask your ophthalmologist if it’s a good idea for you.

How to Prevent Eye Strain Headaches? 

Blue Light Protection Glasses

eye strain headaches - blue light protection glasses

People may argue about the use of a pair of blue light protection glasses. But many people swore by it

It’s especially true if you spend more than 12 hours a day in front of a digital screen. Staring at your digital screen for too long can cause you to blink less often, leading to dry eyes and eye strain.

Furthermore, prolonged use of digital screens may mean overexposure to harmful blue light.

Although blue light exposure is needed to regulate the circadian rhythm, too much of it is harmful.

The use of a pair of blue light protection glasses can help your eyes relax while it reduces digital eye strain.

Frequent Breaks 

As mentioned earlier, prolonged use of digital screens can cause eye strain. That’s why experts recommend taking frequent breaks.

That is, every 20 minutes a day, you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Blink Often 

eye strain headaches - blinking less often

Because blinking less often can cause dry eyes, you need to make an effort to blink as often as you can.

Blinking is the natural best way to moisten your eyes. However, you may also choose to use artificial tears.

Don’t Use Digital Screens in the Dark 

When you stare at a screen in the dark, your eyes need to work too hard to focus. It can lead to eye strain and headaches.

Read: Can Menstruation Cause Fever?

Treating Eye Strain Headaches 

eye strain headaches - when to talk to your doctor

You can relieve your eye strain headaches by closing your eyes for several minutes or use artificial tears.

Most eye strain headaches can be treated without medical intervention. However, if your headaches persist after you make those necessary changes to your habits. you should see a doctor.

It’s especially true if the headaches are associated with the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vision changes


Can eye strain cause headaches? Yes, it can. Eye strain headaches, however, are milder than other types of headaches, like migraine and tension headache.

There are remedies you can try and things you can do to prevent eye strain headaches. One is to wear anti-blue light glasses. You may find them here and get free shipping worldwide.

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