Why Do My Glasses Give Me a Headache? [3 Reasons Why]

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If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like your glasses always give you a headache then you’re not alone. Many people have experienced this problem, and it can have different causes. Fortunately, your eye doctor can help narrow down the cause and have you seeing comfortably again. 

Why do my glasses give me a headache behind my ears

The reasons why your glasses may be giving you a headache can vary. Some people connect it to blue light from digital screens, but the problem here is actually digital eye strain. You can fix this by following the 20-20-20 rule. You may also experience headaches due to new glasses or an improper fit.

Why Do My Glasses Give Me a Headache?

You can experience headaches related to vision and glasses for a number of reasons. This can include digital eye strain, getting a new pair of prescription glasses, or your glasses not fitting correctly. Talk to your eye doctor if you experience headaches over a prolonged period of time to see if they’re related to your glasses.

1. Digital Eye Strain

Many people are becoming concerned about how much time they spend looking at digital screens, and for good reason. Smartphones and tablets have made digital screens nearly inescapable, not to mention the computers we use at work. This has led many people to question if the blue light from those screens is bad for their vision.

Fortunately, the blue light emitted by our digital devices isn’t dangerous for our eye health. In fact, your eyes are subjected to more blue light at your average retail store. This is because recent iPhones only produce about 625 candelas per square meter while retail stores produce around twice as much. For more context, the sun produces 10 times as much as an iPhone.

The real problem with digital devices is digital eye strain. Whether you wear glasses or not, people tend to blink less when looking at digital screens, which can make your eyes feel:

  • Dry
  • Itchy
  • Red
  • Watery

Along with headaches, you may also experience blurry vision, double vision, as well as shoulder and neck pain. 

You can fight headaches and other symptoms of digital eye strain in multiple ways. One of the most popular tricks is known as the 20-20-20 rule. It’s quite simple. All you need to do is:

  1. Every 20 minutes
  2. Look at something 20 feet away
  3. For 20 seconds

This ensures that your eyes get a break from the computer or anything else that may require your attention. It gives them the opportunity to relax, refocus, and regain their moisture through blinking. You can also take steps to cut down on glare from your devices, such as anti-glare screens and better lighting choices. 

Click here for more tips on fighting digital eye strain!

2. New Glasses

New glasses giving me headache and nausea

New glasses require your eyes to learn how to work in a new way. Whether you’ve never worn glasses before or you had a different prescription, your eyes have learned how to compensate for poor vision. Now that you wear glasses or have new prescription lenses, your eyes have to learn how to compensate in a new way. This can put a strain on your eye muscles and cause headaches.

As Dr. Brieann Adair of NYU Langone Health explains, “I would liken it to carrying a backpack that’s really heavy. Sometimes you don’t even notice that you’re straining [and] your muscles are really tight. Then once you remove that backpack, it feels weird to get back into that relaxed posture.”

It’s important to know that this adjustment period will pass. Some people actually give up and never give themselves time to adjust, which isn’t going to help with headaches. Instead, it can help to ease into your new glasses. Dr. Adair recommends wearing new glasses for three to four hours and then taking a break for a couple of days. This gives your eyes plenty of time to adapt.

For signs that it’s time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, click here!

3. Incorrect Fit

Sometimes you may experience headaches due to the fit of your frames. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Sliding down your nose
  • Being loose around your ears
  • Pinching the bridge of your nose
  • Being too tight around your temples
  • Incorrect pupil distance measurements

If you find your glasses sliding down your nose then you may have a low nose bridge. You can fix this by adjusting the nose pads, or by choosing horn-rimmed or rectangular frames. Looseness around your ears can be fixed by having them adjusted by an eye care professional. You can also opt for a smaller pair of glasses that fit your face better.

Glasses that pinch the bridge of your nose indicate that your nose pads aren’t set correctly. Ask your eye doctor to adjust them to the correct position or ask about using a different material for the nose pads, such as acetate or silicone. You should also consider lighter frames with a wider bridge so they stay in place and fit more comfortably. 

If your glasses leave marks around your cheeks then they are too tight around your temples or ears. This can be fixed by having your eye doctor adjust the temple arms. However, you may need to buy a new pair if you continue to experience headaches and discomfort. 

Eye strain can also be caused by incorrect pupil distance (PD) measurements. This is the distance between your pupils and it can be just as important for fit and comfort. This is why it’s so important to have a professional make the measurements. You can come to our optical shop in Morristown to be fitted by Dr. Tilley.  

Is it time for your regular comprehensive eye exam? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

You can experience headaches from your glasses for a variety of reasons. While some may think it’s from blue light, this is actually due to digital eye strain. It’s also possible to get headaches from wearing glasses if they’re new or don’t fit correctly. Your eye doctor can help you correct these problems so you never wonder “why do my glasses give me a headache” ever again.

Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN. Give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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