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

Often times, when a child has reoccurring headaches, we think it's associated with potential vision problems. A new study from November 2012, provided the first clear evidence that vision or eye problems are rarely the cause of reoccurring headaches in children even when the headaches start while doing school work or at school. 

At the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the "retrospective study, which was conducted at the ophthalmology clinic of Albany Medical Center in New York state, researchers reviewed the medical records of 158 children under age 18 who were seen at the clinic for frequent headaches from 2002-11. All of the children received complete eye exams by the clinic's ophthalmologists.

No significant correlation was found between their frequent headaches and a need for vision correction. The researchers reached this conclusion by comparing the results of the clinic's exams of the children with headaches to the records of their previous eye exams and other relevant medical care. Eye health and vision test results remained unchanged from earlier exams for 75 percent of the children. Also, children who already had eyeglasses were not found to need new prescriptions at the time they were seen at the clinic for headaches. Although about 14 percent of the children reported that their headaches occurred while doing visual tasks like homework, and about nine percent reported visual symptoms associated with their headaches, a need for vision correction did not appear to be the primary cause or a significant factor in any of these cases, according to the study."

Although the study finds that headaches is not a reliable indicator for vision issues, it's a good idea to have your child undergo annual eye exams.

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