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Can Wrong Glasses Cause Migraines

Its All About Your Eye Muscles

How do You Know Your Glasses Prescription is Wrong?

Any time you wear glasses or contacts, your prescription changes the demand put on your eye muscles, says optometrist Eric T. Brooker, O.D., of the Advanced Vision Institute in Las Vegas. The muscles in your eyes are continually adjusting to focus. If they have trouble adjusting to the different demand caused by your new prescription, those muscles can become overworked, creating pain around the eyes and across the forehead and temples.

How Long Will It Take To Adjust To My New Glasses

Most issues related to adjusting to new glasses resolve on their own after a few days, but for some people, the adjustment period can take up to two weeks.

However, if you experience eye strain, distorted vision and especially headaches for more than two or three days, contact your eye doctor or optician. They may want to have you come in to take another look at your eyes, confirm that your glasses were made correctly or even recheck that your eyeglass prescription is right for you.

Your Glasses Are Scratched

Even if dings, scuffs, and scratches seem unobtrusive, they could be affecting your vision in ways you aren’t consciously aware of, which could lead to eye strain. If your lenses are scuffed or scratched, your best bet is to get a new pair. Crizal® lenses are glare, scratch, and smudge resistant to give you the clearest vision possible.

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Problems Adjusting To New Glasses

Whether you got glasses for the first time or you got a stronger prescription, new lens type or lens coatings, you may go through a brief time of adjustment before you can wear your new glasses in complete comfort.

During this time, you may experience issues with:

  • Distortion: Objects appear warped, bent, wavy or out of focus.

  • Depth perception: Trouble determining how near or far objects are.

  • Fishbowl effect: The feeling that what youre seeing is bent along the edges, as though youre seeing the world through a fishbowl.

  • Eye strain: Your eyes may feel tired as they work to adjust to your new glasses.

  • Headaches and nausea: Any of the above symptoms can lead to headaches, nausea and dizziness.

In most cases, the more you wear your glasses, the faster youll get used to them.

Adjust Your Child’s Eyeglasses

Find out how to escape when glasses cause headaches

Your child may be experiencing headaches because the eyeglass frames don’t fit their head correctly. To determine whether the fit of the frames might be causing your child’s headaches, pinpoint where the eyeglasses sit on their face.

Do the glasses slip down? Do they leave a red mark on their nose? Are they too tight on the sides? Do the glasses fit crookedly on your child’s face?

They may simply need a bit of adjustment to the nose pieces or stems. If you dont feel comfortable making these adjustments yourself, your childs eye doctor will be able to do a quick fitting for you.

SEE RELATED:How to adjust your glasses at home

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Sunlight And Other Bright Lighting

Being exposed to any type of bright light has been cited as the second leading cause of migraine with aura, and there is evidence that it may have a more profound effect on those who frequently experience auras with their attacks. Interestingly, researchers also took a more in-depth look and found specifically that sunlight as well as transitioning from dark to light environments were most likely to be problematic.

What Causes Ocular Migraines

Theyre thought to originate in a similar way as migraine headaches, by irregular electrical activity in the brain. Genetics play a role in who experiences migraines, and theyre also more common in women. Potential triggers include certain MSG-containing foods, harsh light, stress and changes in weather.

Although the root cause is the same, it is not known why some people experience migraine pain after visual disturbances and others dont or why the same person might experience both on different occasions.

It is quite common that as women get older, they might have fewer headaches and less pain but more of these auras, Dr. Estemalik says.

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What To Do If You Have A Visual Disturbance

If you are suffering from visual disturbances

  • Stop what you are doing. If you are driving, pull over as soon as you can do so safely.
  • Stay calm. Most visual disturbances will pass in 10-30 minutes and are not likely to be a medical issue.
  • Rest, often a cool dark room is most comforting.
  • Take paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac or naproxen whichever painkiller you have previously used comfortably and safely.
  • Record, write down what you feel and see. Take special note of whether or not the disturbance is affecting one or both eyes.

Then, when you get a chance, contact your Optometrist or GP to discuss how soon you should be checked. In most cases these symptoms are not urgent.

But if you have sudden loss of sight in one or both eyes, or in a section of your vision, seek medical advice immediately.

What Causes Migraine Pain

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Research is still ongoing, but migraines are thought to likely be caused by a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression . This is a process that happens in the brain, more specifically the cortex, when these brain cells are over stimulated.

This stimulation affects the production of serotonin and other brain chemicals. Serotonin then stimulates the trigeminovascular system. This system controls the brains blood vessels, causing them to swell.

Swollen blood vessels do two things:

  • Push on neighbouring nerves causing the sensation of pain.
  • Force the blood to travel through much smaller than normal spaces, making the pulsation of the blood more prominent.

With changes like this happening to the vessels inside our heads, it isnt all that surprising that people often describe the pain as throbbing or as a feeling of pressure inside their head.

Also Check: Cortical Spreading Depression Migraine

Adjusting To New Eyeglasses

Can new glasses cause headaches? Indeed, a brand new pair of glasses is equally responsible for causing a headache. Since your eyes and brain are habitual of wearing old prescription eyeglasses or not wearing eyeglasses at all, a change in the prescription may cause headaches for many people. This occurs because the brain becomes wired to view the objects according to the old prescription. Whereas, the first pair of prescription eyeglasses or an alteration in the existing prescription brings changes in the degree of the focal point. As such, the eyes take some time to adjust which may lead to a headache.

Glasses Without Digitally Advanced Coating

How to fix it?

To protect eyes against the harmful UV rays, glares and blue light rays, always buy eyeglasses that provide a digitally advanced coating on the lenses and possess anti-UV, anti-glare and blue light block properties. This will prevent eyes from unnecessary strain and the harmful effects. The UV rays, glares and blue light may also cause grievous medical conditions such as macular damage, cataract, retinal damage and migraine. To protect eyes, hide them behind the shield of advance coating glasses.

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What Happens When You Get New Glasses

During your eye test, your optician will have done a number of tests to check how well you can see at varying distances and will have recommended glasses to help with any difficulties you have.

Generally, people are short-sighted, long-sighted or have an astigmatism. These can be easily treated with a pair of glasses with some corrective lenses that will help you to see clearer and will make your eyes feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Finding Ocular Migraine Relief

Headache From Not Wearing Glasses Nearsighted

rebound headachesdating back to the mid-1980sAxon Optics migraine glassesResources:

  • NHS Choices, NHS,
  • Retinal Migraine Is an Oxymoron : Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. LWW, Oxford University Press,
  • Anonymous . Arizona RETINA Project,
  • Carson-DeWitt, Rosalyn, and Colleen Doherty. What to Know About Retinal and Ocular Migraines. Verywell Health, Verywellhealth,
  • Doyle, E, et al. The British Journal of Ophthalmology, Copyright 2004 British Journal of Ophthalmology, Feb. 2004,
  • Most Cases Labeled as Retinal Migraine Are Not Migraine : Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. LWW, Oxford University Press,
  • Nichols, Hannah. Retinal Migraine: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment. Medical News Today, MediLexicon International,
  • Ocular Migraines Explained All About Vision . All About Vision,
  • You May Like: How To Get A Migraine

    Wearing The Wrong Prescription Eyeglasses: Not As Bad As You Think

    As we referenced above, your actual prescription is going to have a collection of numbers and math signs. Every single character is important and provides information that can sufficiently correct your vision. Because of this, there may come a situation where either your eye doctor incorrectly writes out your prescription or you incorrectly input your prescription when purchasing eyeglasses online. Things happen.

    Wearing eyeglasses with the wrong prescription, however, is not going to weaken or damage your eyes. To understand why, it is helpful to get a better sense of how prescription eyeglasses actually work and how they correct your vision. While you dont necessarily need to know or remember all of the details here, describing this process in more detail can give you more context on why having the wrong eye prescription isnt going to damage your eyes.

    This is where corrective lenses come in. When these lenses are placed in front of your eyes, the focal point of your vision is adjusted. It is adjusted in order to compensate for your eyes inability to focus on incoming images onto your retina. While the placement of the focal point depends on the particular issue that you are encountering , this is generally how corrective lenses help you see more clearly.

    In sum, wearing the wrong prescription eyewear is not going to cause actual damage to either of your eyes. You are going to be fine, even if you suspect that some type of damage is occurring.

    Never Heard Of Vision Therapy Or Neuro Optometry

    Research shows that vision is more than just seeing clearly, but current optical treatment plans overlook how vision really works. Dr. Cameron McCrodan, OD, FCOVD, shares his journey in neuro-visual optimization through the eyes of his patients.

    Learn more by downloading a free digital copy of his book below.

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    Why Does A Migraine Affect Vision

    While the exact causes of migraine and aura are not fully understood, we are aware of what happens to the brain after a migraine is triggered. The cortical spreading depression or over-stimulation of the brain has a flow on effect.

    This sudden intense activity in the brain cells is like if all the lights in a city were turned on at once. Then it is followed by a drop-off of activity in that area of the brain. Like a power cut, a blackout in one suburb of the city. The decrease in activity spreads across the top layer of the brain . Like a power outage that gradually spreads from suburb to suburb, until the whole city is in a black out. The drop off starts in the visual areas of the brain , then travels to the body sensation part of the brain , then to the areas important in processing sound .

    If there is a loss of activity in the visual areas of the brain, our eyes will still gather information important for sight, but our brain confuses the information and what we see will be distorted, disrupted and weird! When trying to get a grasp on ideas like this, it helps to remind ourselves that the eyes do not see. The eyes gather visual information about the outside world. This is then packaged into electrical and chemical messages that get sent along nerves to the occipital lobe in the brain. This information is then processed into something our brain can understand like a beautiful sunset or a busy city street.

    Eyeglasses With Wrong Prescription Lenses

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    If you wear prescription eyeglasses to correct any eyesight disorder like nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, astigmatism or Diplopia, then it is very important to wear the glasses following the right prescription. The reason being a wrong prescription lens in your eyeglasses not only causes a problem in focusing on the object but also leads to a headache. You must be thinking as to how can wrong glasses cause headaches, can too strong glasses cause headaches or can weak glasses cause headaches?

    The answer is YES. Wearing wrong prescription eyeglasses lead to an inability of the eyes to focus on the object. If the power strength is weaker or stronger than that mentioned in the prescription, let us say that you wear eyeglasses with power strength of -3 dioptres to correct nearsightedness and the wrong prescription glasses carry power strength of -4 dioptres. Do you think this will help you in providing clear vision? A big NO. Because, in the first place, the wrong prescription eyeglasses will not help your eyes in focusing on the object. Secondly, due to regular use of such wrong prescription lenses, the eyeglasses will be strained as they try hard to focus on the object. Third, as the eyeglasses are highly stressed, the muscles and nerves inside the eyes feel tired and this leads to an unwanted headache.

    How to fix it?

    Replacement of prescription lenses will not only provide a clear vision to you but will keep the unbearable headache away.

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    The Abcs Of Ocular Migraines

    Migraine sufferers, we see you . We hear you . We feel you . And we want to help.

    Migraines are the worst. Theyre up there with root canals and income tax audits. One of the hardest things about migraines is determining the root cause, which is different for different people and identifying the individual triggers that bring one on in the first place.

    Many people dont know it but migraines can actually impact vision. When this occurs, its called an ocular migraine.

    What About Tinted Glasses For Migraine

    If youre prone to migraine attacks, you may be concerned that a new eyeglass prescription will trigger them.

    If so, talk to your doctor about getting tinted lenses designed to filter out harmful light wavelengths, such as those caused by fluorescent lighting or the sun. These light wavelengths have been shown to trigger migraine in some people with this condition.

    Also Check: Are Retinal Migraines Dangerous

    Eye Conditions That Trigger Blurry Vision And Migraines

    Homeeye careEye Conditions That Trigger Blurry Vision and Migraines

      An American Migraine Study conducted in 1999 says that in the U.S., 38 million people are living with migraines, out of which 44% people suffer from migraines due to vision changes and blurred vision.

      Its normal for our vision to deteriorate as we age. However, not many people realize that their eyesight may have gone from bad to worse with age.

      When we have trouble seeing, we may either squint or hold things too far or too close to them. While doing so, we may weaken our eye muscles and nerves without the slightest inkling that we may be having a bad eyesight.

      The result can be blurry vision and migraine. Read on to understand what cause migraines that are vision related.

      Headaches From Having The Wrong Prescription

      3 Signs Your Eyeglass Prescription Is Incorrect

      Headaches are the most telling sign of a wrong prescription. Have you ever worn someone elses glasses and suddenly felt dizzy with your head throbbing? You likely dont have the same prescription as your friend.

      However, when you get a new prescription, the headaches wont come on as quickly as wearing someone elses prescription. When your prescription is wrong, its probably off by the slightest amount. But, this amount is enough to give you headaches.

      What you want to look for is frequent headaches a few days after youve started wearing the new prescription. If you notice the headaches happen when youre wearing your glasses or contact lenses, but suddenly disappear when you take them off, then you may need a different prescription.

      The wrong prescription can cause your eyes to strain as they try to adapt to the lens theyre seeing through. When this happens, youll get frequent headaches while wearing the prescription.

      However, if youre prone to headaches, you can test your eyes by wearing your glasses at different times of the day. If youre prone to those midday headaches after hours at work on a computer, dont wear your glasses at this time. Wear them during a time you know you normally dont get headaches. If headaches show up at that time, you may need to head back to the eye doctors office for another evaluation.

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      Your Glasses Are Out Of Fashion

      When it comes to glasses, technology and fashion go hand-in-hand. Newly developed manufacturing techniques and materials are constantly changing fashionand affordability. Many people wear styles they had to settle for because the style they really wanted was too expensive at the time. But what cost a pretty penny years ago may now fit your budget, allowing you to finally get the look you always wanted.

      Symptoms And Causes Of Eye Strain Dizziness

      Dizziness in the eyes is a bit different. It’s more focused in one area and is generally accompanied by blurry vision. Eye dizziness is often caused by eye strain from excessive technology use without breaks. While sitting in front of a computer, try to follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look up from the screen and focus on an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

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      Vertigo Is Another Sign Of Wrong Prescription Glasses

      Vertigo is more than simple dizziness. While dizziness can be cured by just lying or sitting down, vertigo is much more severe. It is defined as the feeling of being unbalanced while sitting or standing and is often lasting. Even though it is often associated with inner ear problems, it can also be caused by blurred vision and requires medical attention. If you already have the condition of vertigo, wearing wrong prescription eyeglasses will only worsen the symptoms.

      Depth perception is the ability of the human eye to see in three dimensions and judge the distance of an object. It is crucial for our survival as without it we increase the risk of injuries. Vertigo caused by wrong prescription eyeglasses can also affect your depth perception. In case you are already diagnosed with vertigo and notice that your prescription glasses are worsening your symptoms, consult your eye doctor and consider correcting the prescription lenses.

      Also, if you dont have vertigo, but are suddenly experiencing the symptoms of this condition after wearing new prescription glasses, see your eye doctor immediately to get your prescription fixed.


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