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Can't get glasses that don't cause headaches. Help?

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by acer2000, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am slightly nearsighted and require glasses for everything but working on the computer and reading. Over the past few years I have tried to get new glasses, but I can't get a pair that doesn't cause strain and pain. This is particularly a problem in my right eye. It almost feels like I am getting a migraine headache, but without the zigzags. Its like a pressure and pulling sensation that eventually can cause a migraine aura like problem. The thing is, if I take the glasses off it subsides. When I put them back on, I get the problem after a few minutes. If I put on glasses without prescription lenses in them, I don't have this problem (but can't see well) - so its not the frames.

    My prescription has been adjusted, I have tried with and without astigmatism (apparently I am on the border of needing it). Different lens materials don't help. It has been suggested that maybe I am sensitive to the curve of the lens or type of lens, but I don't know how to figure this out. I don't really want to have to buy 10 pairs of glasses and guess.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Anyone had similar problems? Would I fare better with contacts?
     
  2. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    I have a similar problem, constant eye strain related pain (and headache) - but I don't wear glasses at all.

    I got an eye check up recently. I was expecting to get reading glasses, but instead found one of my eyes is mildly short-sighted. But the optometrist did not want to prescribe glasses as the impairment was minor. (to be fair, I wasn't very impressed by the effect of the glasses). Apparently my near vision is 'normal'. But yet I suffer from eye pain all day, every day.

    I spoke with one of my friends about this a few days ago and he says that getting contacts were helpful for him in reducing the headaches - though he still suffers from some eyestrain related pain too. I think contacts are worth trying, but aren't a panacea.
     
  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    I had to get at least 6 different pairs of glasses, all with the same rx from 6 different places until I got a pair that didn't make my right eye feel like it was twisting in it's socket.

    I even got the exact same pair from the same placr with the same rx and it didn't work

    I still have no idea why. There are places online where you can get glasses and return them with no restocking fees.

    One thing that does help my eyes is preservative free drops. Especially when they hurt.

    I've found Tears Naturale from Alcon the best. You get the most drops per vial and they aren't too expensive. Maybe try that to start.
     
  4. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Hmm thanks for the suggestions. I had the same experience with the same place making glasses and having one pair be better and the other worse. Same prescription and everything. I once brought one pair which was working pretty well back because they were scratched and they re made them under warranty. Supposedly the same rx and measurements - same frame, but now my eyes hurt.

    I think this is related to my neurological issues probably, hypersensitivity to sensory stimulus. But I still need to find something that works so I can see.
     
    minkeygirl likes this.
  5. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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  6. ghosalb

    ghosalb Senior Member

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    After few tests my neurologist told me that it is due to fibro of muscles around our eyes. One has to strain eye muscles to focus with glasses or no glasses . He asked me to look at different directions and I found that it hurts more in certain directions. You will notice that some days it hurts more than others with same glasses and also it starts out pain free and increases as you keep reading or using computer. One option is to put your book or computer at an angle and/or distance which requires least eye muscles strain to focus.
     
    WillowJ likes this.
  7. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    I have seen several Optometrists and Opthamologists. They tweak the prescription a little each time but for the most part I still have the same issues. I suspect it has to do with the type of lens that is being used or the base curve, but I wonder if anyone can provide guidance on which lenses are less likely to cause issues in sensitive people? It is very inefficient to keep guessing and trying different ones. And of course, expensive. They will remake them a couple times but then they don't want to anymore.

    Its really very frustrating. I take off the glasses and the headaches, irritability, etc go away - but of course I can't see very well without them.

    Anyone ever try those exercises that are supposed to wean you off glasses? Is that legit? Maybe I can just be done with this for good. :) I'm only a -1.75 in each eye. Not very bad, but bad enough to need glasses. Ugh.
     
  8. SB_1108

    SB_1108 Senior Member

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    I had this same issue... I wasn't sure why I was having the headaches though I ended up going to a neurologist who wanted to do a spinal tap and put me in the hospital for a week. Very expensive and physically traumatizing!
    All because of my glasses!
    I ended up going back to an older pair of glasses which had a prescription that was less than what I supposedly should have had. It seemed that the "correct" prescription was too strong. Do you have an older prescription or pair of glasses that you can go back to from before this problem began.
     
  9. alkt

    alkt Senior Member

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    had eye pain for 23 years told by doctor it was part of c f s . oddly enough before the eye pain i had never thought about the muscles surrounding the eye.still have the pain gets worse the more i read.if i push past it to long it feels like being stabbed by a hot knitting needle right in the optic nerve fortunately that pain passes quickly if i keep my eyes closed and do not attempt to read again for an hour or so.
     
  10. panckage

    panckage Senior Member

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    Not sure if it might be the issue but on one of the investigative shows (60min?) a few years ago they found out that glass stores made glasses with the wrong prescription very commonly. When the glasses were checked and brought back the stores were still often adamant that there was nothing wrong with them!

    Edit: according to this article as of 2012 68% of prescriptions prescribed are WRONG!! :O
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2100778/So-thats-new-specs-giving-headache.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
    alkt likes this.
  11. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I did these years ago and they did work. I was able to cut my prescription in half but I didn't keep up with it as it takes about 20 minutes every day. Now I wish I had!
     
  12. Living Dead

    Living Dead Senior Member

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    That's interesting. Can you share your original prescription?

    I will give some general advice from my experience.

    1. Opticians claim we will "adjust to the new glasses". In my experience, this is false. Either the glasses are fine, or they are not. Think of it: If eyes could adjust they wouldn't need glasses in the first place.

    2. Make sure you got the correct angle on astigmatism. Even expensive opticians think a difference of 7 degrees from glasses vs prescription is ok. Ask them to measure and give the exact difference. IMO if it's 5 degrees that's already too high.

    3. When asked which circles are clear and round, if shown one cluster of blurry round circles, and one cluster of crisp "squarey" circles, I always choose the blurry picture. Else I believe I will get too strong astigmatism correction. Obviously this is if both pictures look equally good/bad. Else, choose the rounder and clearer circles.

    4. Make sure prescription is "balanced" for both eyes. Close one eye. Close it and open the other. If the size of things changes (everything looks bigger in one eye), one eye needs a stronger/weaker prescription to compensate.

    These next 2 points are super important and no one tells you:
    5. Make sure glasses are positioned correctly in the height direction. If you don't look out through the center of the classes it will be uncomfortable. Some opticians measure how the frames sit on your nose and relocate the center accordingly, but don't count on it.

    6. "Vertex distance" should be small. This is the distance from your eyeball to the glass. The smaller the better. This varies between different frames, and some have adjustable nose pads. The best is contacts, but since you take them off when doing close up activities they probably won't work for you.

    7. Make sure the glasses are large enough, so you don't have to struggle to not see outside the frames.

    8. Specific advice for your case: If you tried all of the above, ask for a one notch weaker prescription. Things will be blurry, but it's a lot better than eye strain! :)

    9. Also, see an optometrist to check for hidden/latent strabismus.

    It's not the type of lens that is causing your problems. I promise.

    The very best lens is the most expensive one, unless you are indoors in a soft light environment. For -1.75 in a softly lit area the best lens type is, ironically, the cheap ones without glare protection.
    With -1.75 outdoors (your case) you should chose the cheapest with glare protection. You'll wast your money on the more expensive ones.

    Also, I suggest you try alternative "eye exercises" (specifically "palming"). Even if it doesn't improve your prescription, it can make you tolerate glasses better.

    I hope this helps.
     
    WillowJ likes this.
  13. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    No idea at this point. This was years ago.
     
  14. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    I've had this theory that the process of arriving at a correct prescription wears out my eyes, thus I end up with one too strong for most days.

    The bend of the lens is an interesting thought.

    I always get the anti-reflective (AR) coating because it cuts down on a specific problem that I have (seeing afterimages), and seems to help with the glaringness of things in general. I have this built in as a prescription so they cannot forget to offer it to me. My doctor hoped it would make insurance cover, but I'm not sure that it does.

    Also be sure the glasses are sitting where they will usually sit. In order to get them comfortable on my ear, mine slide down my nose a bit, and they tend to measure pushed up where they never stay. But lately I forget to check where they are sitting. This might be why I don't like my new reading glasses.
     
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  15. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I went to a kids ophthalmologist and they suggested that I had trouble with convergence. They gave me a few exercises to try to see if I could train my eyes to converge better. One involved holding a stick as close as I could to my face and trying to focus without seeing double, another involved alternating close and near focus, and the last involved using a prism in front of my lens to force my eye to compensate. Its hard to tell if they help or not, but the prism exercise does seem to be helping some.

    One thing I couldn't get them to answer is why, after wearing glasses for almost 15 years, would this become an issue? Since I am also concurrently ill with ME/CFS, I wonder if this is a feature of the illness - or if new onset convergence problems indicate another illness I should investigate?
     
    alkt likes this.
  16. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I'm very short-sighted and can't wear contacts... I have the thinnest lenses I can get but I quite often get pain from my glasses... For me it's mostly due to the weight on my nose or around my ears or head. I now use a slightly lower prescription than my actual measured one, and that has been very helpful in reducing the eye strain. Interestingly my astigmatism has improved since I had to give up work. The optometrist reckoned this was probably due to less computer work and reading allowing my eye muscles to be less tight and strained!
     
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  17. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Some of my problem is I think that my migraines effect my vision. Then, when I am in the pre- or post- migraine phase my glasses can trigger another headache. I think my prescription must change when I am having a migraine because when I'm not I have a lot less of a problem. So who knows what my prescription really is? My eye exams may have been done when I was resolving or starting a headache, it can take days....
     
    alkt likes this.
  18. Living Dead

    Living Dead Senior Member

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    Good, that's the type of help I meant when I said "optometrist".

    Convergence is only a problem when you look up close. In that case, I think it's better to take your classes off, if that solves the problem. If that makes things too blurry, you can get an extra pair of glasses with about -0.75 for "medium range" use. Use the full strength glasses only when looking far away.

    I think this problem is caused by CFS.
     
    alkt likes this.
  19. dazzammm

    dazzammm

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    are you saying the right prescription is not always the best prescription and eye strain is caused by having the right prescription?

    ive had eyestrain for 10 years. its mainly a discomfort in my dominent eye with the pain in the forehead and roof of the eye socket. its given me lines on one side of my forehead ;o)

    been to many opticians, optometrists, opthamologists and spent £1000s in that time with no success - on the whole i find them an arrogant bunch of people who dont listen to you and want your money and get you out the door as quickly as possible.

    makes my job of looking at a computer screen all day difficult.

    with most other symptoms you can ignore it to a certain extent. with eyes you are reminded of your problems every waking moment. and then you get into the vicious circle of eye problems = depression/anxiety = eye problems.

    do people have light sensitivity along with the pain?
     
    alkt likes this.
  20. Living Dead

    Living Dead Senior Member

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    Yes. Or more accurately, that the normal "right prescription" (distance prescription/DV) is the prescription for distances above 6 meters. If you're looking at anything closer (walls, objects), then it's actually the wrong prescription.

    Optimally, the glasses would switch prescription 1000 times a second depending on whether you are looking at something close up or something far away. With a weaker prescription when you look at things close to you. Obviously this is not possible. :p You can only have one prescription per glass.

    Also, it seems like some people simply can't tolerate the distance prescription, and feel better with a weaker prescription. The best prescription (measured by comfort) is weaker. Not sure why. A relative of mine (non CFS) has a less-than-smooth cornea, this makes him intolerant of the "right" prescription. There could be other reasons.

    You need reading glasses for close up work, not a distance prescription. Sit as you normally do when you work. Then lean back 10-25 cm. If the screen is still crisp and clear, your prescription is too strong. It should become blurry.

    Also, the "palming" I mentioned above can help with eye strain. You turn off all lights, cover your eyes with your palms (google it to see pictures of how) and think of black. Many instructions tell you to try to see black, but this is wrong. Just think of black. Just 5 minutes every day can help, although you're supposed to do it for 30 minutes or something.
     
    alkt likes this.

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