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Study: Children’s Headaches Rarely Indicate a Need for Eyeglasses

If your child gets recurring headaches and you think they might need glasses, you may be dead wrong. A study says children’s headaches are rarely triggered by vision problems.

Researchers say they have the first clear evidence that vision or eye problems are rarely the cause of recurring headaches in children, even if the headaches hit while the child is doing schoolwork or reading.

(RELATED: 6 Things to Watch Out For in Children With Headaches or Migraines)

No Significant Link – Even When Reading

The study evaluated medical records of nearly 160 children under the age of 18 who were being seen at the clinic for frequent headaches.

Researchers compared the exams of children with headaches to their earlier vision exams and other medical records. In 75% of the children, the vision test results were the same. No significant link was found between the headaches and a need for glasses.

Headaches Usually Resolve Over Time

Researchers also found that most of the headaches cleared up over time — regardless of whether the child got a new prescription for glasses or not. And those who did get new glasses were no more likely to have their headaches get better.

(RELATED: Migraines in Children: Is Your Child at Risk?)

While commenting on the study, Dr. Daniel Neely, a professor of ophthalmology at Indiana University, said that, “… it’s highly unusual to find something wrong with the eyes when a child complains of headaches.”

Most pediatricians will do some variation of the screening at every visit. Opthalmologists recommend children have a documented vision measurement by age 5.

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