Headache and Eyes - Background Knowledge Asthenopia

External influences

Asthenopic complaints can have different causes:

  • Excessive stress on the healthy eye, for example due to long close work in too short a working distance, work on the VDU workstation with unsuitable glasses
  • prolonged work under unfavorable lighting conditions such as insufficient lighting, incorrectly mounted luminaires, twilight, poor light and shadow contrast, too intense exposure to light, glare or irritating reflexes

No or insufficiently corrected refractive errors of the eye and muscular asthenopia

  • Uncorrected or insufficiently corrected refractive errors or incorrect corrections can lead to cramping of the inner eye muscles. The complaints are to be remedied by an optimal compensation of the ametropia.
  • Disturbed eye muscle balance (heterophoria) can cause double vision. To avoid double vision, individual outer eye muscles are overstressed. Typical of "muscular asthenopia": Discomfort disappears when an eye is temporarily switched off by, for example, masking it with a frosted glass foil, and in cases of muscular asthenopia correction by prismatic lenses can be helpful in some cases the eye muscle balance is concerned, so a therapeutic process that can have serious side effects if used improperly, the care of a patient with prismatic lenses is reserved exclusively to the ophthalmologist.

Nervous asthenopia

If none of the external causes caused by refractive errors or impaired eye muscle balance are explained as an explanation for asthenopic complaints, it is usually a purely functional problem triggered by nervous states of exhaustion or mental stress. Also, only the ophthalmological diagnosis can be shed light on that, excluding organic causes. To investigate the symptoms, a study in cycloplegia may be useful. For this, the ciliary muscle is temporarily released medicinally. This dilation of the pupil leads to a temporary disturbance of the reading ability and the driving ability.

Further data on headache and eye

According to a survey of German ophthalmologists, an average of 12.9 patients per week come to the ophthalmologist exclusively or predominantly for headaches - extrapolated to all ophthalmologists in Germany that is 2.5 million headache patients per year. According to a survey in France, patients experience daily headaches

  • 19 percent to the ophthalmologist
  • 13 percent to the neurologist,
  • 11 percent to the gynecologist,
  • 9 percent to the ENT doctor.
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