April Newsletter: Can Vision Therapy Reduce Headaches?

Woman holds her head in pain.

Tired of Living with Headaches? Vision Therapy Can Help

Frequent headaches are an unpleasant fact of life for far too many Americans. Throbbing head pain is more than just an inconvenience. Headaches can cause fatigue, light sensitivity, nausea, and dizziness in addition to pain. Vision therapy targets underlying issues that cause headaches, helping you avoid these symptoms.

Why Causes Headaches?

Every day, almost 16% of people worldwide experience headache pain, according to a narrative review published in the Journal of Headache and Pain in 2022. While most people notice an improvement in pain in just a few hours, others aren't so lucky. Depending on the type of headache, symptoms can linger for many hours or even days and may vary in intensity from mild to severe.

Fifty-two percent of people globally suffer from an active headache disorder, according to the article. If you're among the world's headache sufferers, you're probably wondering why you're one of the unlucky people who get headaches.

A stressful day at work could mean you end the day with a tension headache or a change in the weather might trigger a migraine. Unfortunately, headache causes aren't always obvious and may be related to subtle vision issues. You might be affected by a vision problem even if you have 20/20 vision or wear contact lenses or eyeglasses to improve your vision.

Vision problems that may cause headaches or migraines, include:

  • Eyestrain. Eyestrain cases have increased as more people use digital devices. A 2019 survey from The Vision Council revealed that more than 27% of people with digital eyestrain reported experiencing headaches.
  • Strabismus. Strabismus, commonly called "crossed eyes," happens when your eyes aren't aligned correctly. Alignments don't have to be noticeable to cause vision problems, like blurry or double vision and headaches.
  • Convergence Insufficiency. Focusing on close objects requires perfect coordination between both eyes. If both eyes don't turn inward at the same angle, you may develop a headache or notice blurry vision when you read.
  • Accommodative Insufficiency. If your eyes can't maintain their focus or struggle when switching focus from near to far objects, you may also develop headaches, in addition to blurry vision and eyestrain.
  • Eye Teaming Problems. Headaches can also occur if your eyes don't coordinate their efforts, which makes it more difficult for the brain to process the information it receives.
  • Amblyopia. Amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs when the brain ignores the information it receives from one eye. One of the causes of amblyopia is untreated strabismus.
  • Concussions. Headaches and blurred vision can last weeks or months after a concussion. Visual processing delays and damage to vision centers and pathways in the brain could be responsible for these symptoms.

How Vision Therapy Can Help You with Your Headaches

Your vision therapist conducts tests that assess your focusing, eye teaming, tracking, eye movement, and visual memory skills, in addition to other visual skills essential for good vision.

After making a diagnosis, your therapist creates a custom therapy plan designed to improve your vision and reduce your headaches. For example, if you have strabismus or amblyopia, your therapy plan might involve fun computer or virtual reality games that make it easier for the brain to recognize information from both eyes or help the brain improve control of the muscles needed for eye movements. You'll also participate in other activities that strengthen your visual skills, like memory games or activities that use a dangling ball to help you improve your focusing ability.

Vision therapy offers long-lasting results. In a study that explored the effects of the therapy in children with convergence insufficiency, researchers determined that most children maintained their results one year after therapy ended. The researchers' study appeared in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics in 2011.

Your therapy plan may also include visual aids, such as prism lenses. Prism lenses change the way light bends when it enters your eyes. The lenses keep light properly aligned as it enters your eyes, which makes it easier for your brain to combine the information from both eyes into one clear image.

Does life with fewer headaches sound appealing to you? Vision therapy could help you manage your headaches naturally. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with the vision therapist.


The Journal of Headache and Pain: The Global Prevalence of Headache: An Update with Analysis of the Influences of Methodological Factors on Prevalence Estimates, 4/12/2022


The Vision Council: The Vision Council Sheds Light on Protecting Sight - and Health - in a Multi-Screen Era, 1/7/2019


Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics: Effectiveness of Vision Therapy for Convergence Dysfunctions and Long-Term Stability After Vision Therapy, 2011


American Optometric Association: Video-Game Vision Therapy, 2/7/2018


American Academy of Ophthalmology: Computers, Digital Devices and Eye Strain, 8/8/2023



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  • "Wonderful office and staff, my son received vision therapy and we were very happy from the beginning to end!!!"
    Kristy B.