Can dry eyes cause headaches?

Published on
April 22, 2022

When a patient has dry eyes, their front ocular surface becomes unstable. Either the quality of their tears or the quantity of their tears make their eyes insufficiently lubricated. This can cause a variety of symptoms. The symptoms include burning and stinging sensations in your eyes, irritation, foreign body sensations, watery and teary eyes, a gritty feeling, blurry vision, and focus that goes in and out of focus. In some cases dry eye may also lead to headaches. 

Different theories about the connection between dry eye and headaches

When it comes to whether headaches are also a symptom of dry eyes, there are several different theories. When you have dry eyes, it affects your vision and you have to constantly blink to try to focus your eyes and keep the object of your focus clear. This may result in increased eye strain that may in turn cause headaches.

Other theories suggest that since dry eyes have an inflammatory component and headaches also have an inflammatory component, it makes sense that dry eyes may contribute to headaches. 

However, headaches are often the result of other eye conditions. Which is why it is important to understand that while there may be a connection between the two, it is important to have your eyes checked by an optometrist in order to fully understand the cause of your headaches. 

For example, dry eye and headaches can also both be side effects of medications, and some medicines, like isotretinoin (a popular acne medication), can cause both conditions.

Schedule an eye exam to get to the root cause of your headaches

There is no definitive answer to whether dry eyes cause headaches. There are just a few theories. For more information on the many research studies performed, please visit our website. Make an appointment at our Amplify EyeCare Manhattan office today so that we may properly diagnose, manage, and then treat your condition. You can call our office at (212) 752-6930 to schedule an appointment today. 

 

Testimonials


  • At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


    Cynthia Norton

  • Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


    Steve Fay

  • Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


    Mary K.

  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Peter G.

  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Kinkie F.

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