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Are Your Headaches Caused by Astigmatism?

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Though there are many reasons why you may have frequent headaches, your vision may be playing a part. Headaches are a common side effect of astigmatism, a common condition that develops when your cornea has an irregular shape.

Tanya Lau, OD, is highly experienced in identifying astigmatism and recommends regular checkups to protect your eye health and ensure your vision is properly corrected.

Why astigmatism triggers headaches

When you have astigmatism, the shape of your cornea takes on a football shape, and your eye isn’t able to focus light equally on your retina. This irregularity results in blurry or distorted vision that forces you to strain your eyes to see things more clearly.

Frequent straining or squinting due to poor vision can overwork your eye muscles, triggering headache pain and tired eyes.  

In addition to astigmatism, you can develop regular headaches if you have other uncorrected vision issues, such as:

  • Dry eye
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness

Headaches can also result from more serious issues affecting your eye health, like cataracts or glaucoma.

Identifying the cause of your headaches

If frequent headaches are interfering with your daily routine, it’s important to schedule an eye exam either to rule out or confirm vision issues as the culprit. Dr. Lau can evaluate your vision and determine if your headaches are related to astigmatism or other eye issues.

Exams are not only important for identifying potential causes for your headaches, they also ensure you get the vision correction services you need to see clearly and prevent a worsening of your sight.

Options for correcting astigmatism

Even though astigmatism can interfere with your vision and other aspects of your health, the condition is easily correctable. Dr. Lau can recommend the best options for correcting astigmatism based on your overall eye health and personal preferences.

You can correct astigmatism with options like:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Refractive surgery

The goal of treating astigmatism is to increase the clarity and accuracy of your vision and reduce associated symptoms, like headaches, eye strain, and irritation.

Once you receive an astigmatism diagnosis, you can expect to schedule regular visits with Dr. Lau, who monitors the progression of your condition. Astigmatism can change over time, and you may need updates to your glasses or contact lens prescription to help you maintain good vision.

You can find a great selection of frames for your corrective eyeglasses and sunglasses or the right type of contact lenses to fit your lifestyle and improve your vision on-site at Mission Viejo Optometric Center.

In addition to performing routine vision exams, Dr. Lau can also provide you with useful tips to prevent headache-triggering eye strain, such as:

  • Using artificial tears
  • Wearing UV-protective sunglasses
  • Taking frequent breaks from the computer

In the event headaches are not related to your vision and are caused by other underlying health issues, Dr. Lau can recommend additional medical resources. It’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis for your headaches to protect your general health.

If your headaches are persistent or if it’s been more than two years since your last eye exam, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lau today, or use the convenient online booking feature.


Written by Dr. Tanya Lau

Dr. Tanya Lau of Mission Viejo Optometric Center in Mission Viejo, California was born and raised in San Francisco and has been living in Southern California since 2012. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and double majored in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and Psychology. She earned her doctorate in optometry at the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum in 2016. She completed her professional internships at Lawton Indian Health Hospital in Oklahoma, Palo Alto Veteran Affairs in California, and Camp Zama United States Armed Forces in Japan.
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