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How Long Does it Take for Eye Strain Headache to Go Away?

Headaches linked to eye strain aren't your typical headaches. Eye strain headaches are usually the result of prolonged activities that require intense eye use. Understanding the connection between eye strain and headaches is pivotal in determining how to manage and alleviate these conditions.


Causes of Eye Strain Headaches


Eye strain headaches can be attributed to a myriad factors. The most common cause is the prolonged use of computers, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. These digital devices emit blue light, which can lead to eye strain and subsequently cause headaches. Reading without pausing to rest your eyes, driving long distances, and exposure to bright light or glare can also result in eye strain headaches.


Another common cause of eye strain headaches is the improper prescription of eyewear or not wearing prescribed eyewear. If you're straining to see what's in front of you, it can lead to discomfort and headaches. Additionally, conditions such as presbyopia and uncorrected refractive errors can contribute to eye strain headaches.


Age can also play a role in the onset of eye strain headaches. As we age, our ability to maintain focus on close objects diminishes. This condition, known as presbyopia, can make tasks like reading a book or working on a computer more difficult, leading to eye strain and headaches.


Symptoms Associated with Eye Strain Headaches


The symptoms of eye strain headaches can vary from person to person. However, some common signs can indicate the onset of an eye strain headache. These include a dull, aching sensation in the eyes, sensitivity to light, and an urge to close your eyes or rub them frequently. You might also experience blurred vision and difficulty focusing.


In addition to these symptoms, an eye strain headache can cause discomfort in the areas surrounding your eyes. You might feel pressure at your temples, or pain in your forehead, eyebrows, or at the back of your head. It's also quite common to feel fatigued and have difficulty concentrating.


How Long Does an Eye Strain Headache Last?


The duration of an eye strain headache largely depends on the individual and the extent of eye strain. For some people, a short break away from the computer screen can help alleviate the discomfort, while others may experience headaches that last for several hours or even a whole day.

Typically, an eye strain headache will go away once the eyes have had ample rest. This could mean taking a break from the activity causing the strain, or it could involve getting a good night's sleep. However, if the strain on the eyes is continuous, such as with daily computer use, the headaches can become chronic.


It's also worth noting that the duration of an eye strain headache can be influenced by how quickly you take action to alleviate the strain. The sooner you respond to the signs of eye strain, the quicker your headache is likely to dissipate.


The Role of Vision Correction for Headache Relief


Vision correction plays a significant role in managing eye strain headaches. If you're experiencing eye strain headaches and wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, it's possible that your prescription is no longer correct. An incorrect prescription can force your eyes to work harder, leading to eye strain and headaches.


It's also possible that you may need vision correction and not realize it. Many people have slight refractive errors that go undetected until they begin experiencing symptoms like eye strain headaches. In such cases, getting a proper eye exam and prescription eyewear can significantly help alleviate these headaches.


Adjusting to a New Prescription


If it's determined that you need a new prescription to help manage your eye strain headaches, it's important to know what to expect. It can take some time for your eyes to adjust to a new prescription. During this adjustment period, you might experience some temporary eye strain, blurring of vision, or even dizziness.


However, these symptoms should subside after a few days. If they persist, it's essential to contact your eye doctor as this could indicate that your prescription needs further adjustment. Remember, the goal is to reduce eye strain, not to create more.




Eye strain headaches can be a nuisance, affecting your quality of life and productivity. However, by understanding the causes and symptoms, managing them appropriately through vision correction, and maintaining regular eye exams, you can significantly reduce their impact.


If you are experiencing headaches due to eye strain, schedule an eye exam with our professionals at Brandon Eyes in our Middleton or Madison, Wisconsin office. Call (608) 833-7256 or (608) 833-0301 to book an appointment today.

A30master none 9:00am - 5:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm 9:00am - 5:00pm Closed Closed (608) 833-0301 608-833-0302 6122 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705