Headaches can occur for many different reasons. While most people associate them with being subjected to lots of loud sounds or high levels of stress, you may be surprised to discover that problems with the eyes can be just as instrumental in causing persistent headaches and even migraines. Here’s how.
What Is Eye Misalignment?
Eye misalignment is a fairly common condition that can affect both adults and children, although it is most often picked up during childhood eye exams. It occurs when the eyes are not lined up properly and point in slightly different directions. The misalignment can shift from one eye to the other, and there is no set direction in which the eyes should point.
Eye misalignment can be caused by many things. In many cases, the condition is congenital, but head and eye injuries, and damage to the eye muscles during surgery can also cause eye misalignment. Health problems like diabetes, thyroid disease, strokes, and brain tumors can all trigger eye misalignment.
Understanding Eye Movements
There are six muscles that attach to the outside of the eye that enable us to move it. Although these muscles are very small, they are extremely fast and precise and enable us to make diverse eye movements every easily. This includes tracking moving objects, scanning a room or a page for specific information, and even blinking. The muscles are also responsible for subtly adjusting the position of each eye in order to produce a single, clear, binocular image. This is important because our eyes actually see two different images and it’s only with the help of the muscles that these can integrate into a single image.
Unfortunately, when you suffer from eye misalignment, the muscles around the eyes have to work much harder to try and bring the two separate pictures viewed by each eye into alignment and prevent double or blurred vision.
How Does Eye Misalignment Cause Headaches?
If your eye misalignment goes untreated, the muscles around your eyes will be working overtime to try and correct your vision every moment that you are awake. This places them under strain for as much as 75% of each day. Over time, this stress and strain starts to cause a range of symptoms, which can include persistent headaches. In addition to headaches, there are also a wide range of other effects associated with eye misalignment, from blurred vision, neck strain, and dry eyes, to feelings of dizziness and anxiety.
Fortunately, there are treatments that can help to correct visual misalignment so that your symptoms are reduced or even eliminated. The most popular and effective treatment is to incorporate prism into glasses lenses. The prism automatically bends the light seen by one of your eyes and aligns it with the image seen in the other, putting them both on the same plane and creating a single, clear picture. It can take time to make small adjustments to the level of prism incorporated into the lenses and create the best possible improvement in your symptoms.
For more information about eye misalignment and how it can be a key cause of persistent headaches, please call Clarke Eyecare Center in Wichita Falls, Texas at 940-905-0700.