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Report: Vision Problems Rarely Responsible For Headaches in Children


Parents of children who are susceptible to headaches often turn to their optometrist for support but a new study out this week reveals that vision problems are rarely responsible for headaches in children – and getting glasses won’t help solve the problem.

The study was presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting by researchers at the ophthalmology clinic of Albany Medical Center in New York. In the report, the authors evaluated the medical records of almost 160 children under 18 years of age who had been to the clinic because of regular headaches.

The experts compared the exams of children with headaches to their earlier vision exams and other medical records. 75 percent of the children had the same test results compared to their previous exams. Even if the child experienced headaches while performing visual tasks (reading, doing homework etc) there was no link found between the headaches and a need for glasses, the researchers concluded.

“We hope our study will help reassure parents that in most cases their children’s headaches are not related to vision or eye problems, and that most headaches will clear up in time,” said Dr. Zachary Roth, who led the research team. “The information should also be useful to family doctors and pediatricians in caring for children and parents who have this common health concern.”

In most incidences of headaches in children, the problem resolved over a period of time, regardless of whether the child received a new prescription for glasses. Likewise, children who received a new prescription were no more likely to reduce the frequency of their headaches in the future.

Read the full summary of the report here: American Academy of Ophthalmology

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