Área Oftalmológica Avanzada Dr. Vergés . C/Dalmases 42, 08017 Barcelona     |     93 551 33 00     |     info@cverges.com
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Headache is one of the most common diseases that occur among our population. The proof is the multimillion-selling treatments to solve this problem. Most people believe that a headache is usually irrelevant and is often the result of stress and stress of every day's life. Many people believe, wrongly, that the eyestrain and spending longtime before computers are the most common cause of headache; a fact that we know is not true.


Almost all headaches can be divided into the following groups:

1. Muscle Contraction

2. Migraine

3. Diseases of the head, eyes, ears, teeth, etc.

Headaches secondary to muscle contraction are the most common type. The pain results from the tension of the muscles of the neck and base of the head. Often the pain is not felt around the contracted muscles. Instead, pain can be felt in areas of the forehead or temple or eyeball. This can cause confusion about the reason for the pain, its origin; when it appears in the temple, you might think that there is something wrong affecting this region. Yet, the problem usually comes from the muscles of the neck.

Headaches due to muscle contraction may arise from a temporary increase in every day's stress, which could happen at work or at home. The pain may be the result of sleeping or working in a bad position, or having to face a demanding job for a longer period than usual. In these cases, however, the headache is usually temporary and is often relieved by a simple analgesic or massage. 

Headaches caused by ocular disorders, usually by excessive fatigue, manifest the same way as headaches of muscle contraction, but they are clearly related to vision. Almost all kind of headaches are more intense when there is a major effort of the eyes. Those headaches caused by eyestrain appear only when the eyes are forced excessively in an activity that requires a high degree of attention, especially if there is no proper lighting or inappropriate eyeglasses that need a new prescription.

Some headaches due to muscle contraction are long lasting and are related to emotional feelings such as depression. In other cases, they may occur because of arthritis in the neck, or a chronic state of high tension or anxiety.

The migraine headaches are the second most common cause of headache. This type of pain is usually caused by dilation of the walls of blood vessels in the head. Many people seem to be prone to this type of disorder. The migraine headaches are inherited and affect one person out of ten. For this reason, even children can have migraine headaches.

Patients find it difficult to understand why migraine can cause various symptoms that can vary from one person to another. In some cases, an intense flash of light can trigger a headache. While some people perceive thin flashes of light without developing headache, in some other people both symptoms are associated. Also headaches can occur without other symptoms.

However, there are some common features of migraine headaches. The pain tends to be discontinuous and is often more intense in one side of the head (hemicrania), and occurs frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting; it is often not associated with significant complications. Migraine can occur after a sudden increase or decrease in the level of stress. For example, a senior executive who begins a postponed vacation can suffer a migraine. 

Headaches caused by an eye disease are usually perceived in the eyes or on the forehead where the disorder occurs. Often, these headaches are associated with other symptoms, such as blurred vision, halos around lights or extreme sensitivity to light (photophobia).

Headaches, caused by any disorder in ear, in teeth, in jaw joint or in facial nerves, are usually different from the common headache. This difference helps to determine the cause.

Headaches can also be caused by high blood pressure. The blood pressure measurement is helpful to assess if headaches are lasting or repetitive. 

The headache caused by a brain tumor or brain disease is fortunately less common and this pain can be of different nature. For example, there may be a less sudden pain, or an increasingly intense headache over several weeks or months. The headache intensity may vary depending on the body position, some times when the position of the head is downward, it can be more notorious. This is often associated with other symptoms such as numbness, dizziness, weakness or seizures. Most of these symptoms as well as the headache tend to worsen over time.


Because headache is a common problem, it is advisable to conduct a detailed medical examination when headaches are frequent or chronic. Your GP can help determine the cause of the headache. Many symptoms point out to the eyes as responsible of the headaches, thus many people think that the eye specialist should solve the problem. The ophthalmologist, as a physician, is able to detect and diagnose this disease, and differentiate between purely ocular causes, such as the need for glasses or other causes.

Eyes are usually not the cause of headaches; new eyeglasses will not help relieve the symptoms. If there is an eye disorder, the ophthalmologist should diagnose and treat it. If there is another possible cause, he /she will refer you to a neurologist or internist.



The treatment of headache is naturally determined by its causes. If there is a significant medical condition, it needs a medical (or surgical) treatment. If the cause is depression or anxiety, therapy is in hands of the psychiatrist or your family doctor.

Because headaches are so common, the doctor shall determine upon an "in-depth" screening, if the headache is a symptom of a possible disease. If not, the information provided can help the internist or neurologist to guide the most appropriate treatment program. 


The ophthalmologist may be helpful in diagnosing the cause of the headache, but the pain does not usually come from the eyes; the ophthalmologist can help in the diagnosis by ruling out other problems or by finding them during the routine test of the back of the eye. Occasionally, the cause will be in the eyes: the need of eyeglasses or an inappropriate eyeglasses graduation. The solution is simply a change in the prescription glasses.




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