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Can a Child’s Vision Cause Headaches?

Can a Child’s Vision Cause Headaches?

Yes, vision problems can cause headaches in children, just as they can in adults. When a child has difficulty seeing clearly, their eyes may have to work harder to focus, which can lead to eye strain and, subsequently, headaches. Here are some common vision problems in children that can cause headaches:

1. Refractive Errors: Refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism can all cause headaches. When the eyes cannot properly focus on objects, it can lead to eye strain and discomfort, which can manifest as headaches, particularly after activities like reading, using digital screens, or doing close-up work.

2. Eye Fatigue: Prolonged periods of reading or screen time without taking breaks can lead to eye fatigue and strain, which can result in headaches.

3. Binocular Vision Problems: Binocular Vision causes issues with the alignment and teamwork of the eyes, such as strabismus (crossed eyes) or convergence insufficiency, can lead to headaches, especially when trying to maintain focus on a single point.

4. Uncorrected Vision Problems: If a child has a vision problem that goes undiagnosed and uncorrected, it can lead to persistent eye strain and headaches.

5. Other Eye Conditions: Certain eye conditions, such as eye infections, allergies, or inflammation, can also cause headaches in children.

If a child frequently complains of headaches, especially in association with activities that require visual concentration, it's essential to have their vision checked by a children’s optometrist. Correcting any underlying vision issues through glasses, contact lenses, or vision therapy can often alleviate headaches and improve the child's overall quality of life. Regular eye exams are important for maintaining good eye health and catching vision problems early, especially in children.

If your child is experiencing headaches and hasn’t had a recent comprehensive eye exam, please contact one of our offices to schedule an exam. We accept Medicaid and most insurances.


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Leaders in providing high-quality and compassionate dental, vision, and orthodontic services to underserved children. Our providers are general dentists who treat pediatric patients.

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