Your Child's Headaches are PROBABLY NOT Caused By Their Vision
So says a NEW STUDY. "Many parents assume that frequent headaches mean their child needs glasses, so they ask their doctor to refer their child for an eye exam. But, according to a new study, vision or eye problems are rarely the cause of recurring headaches in children, even if the headaches usually strike while the child is doing schoolwork or other visual tasks." I completely AGREE, and have said this for years. MOST children who SEE FINE and go to their pediatrician complaining of headaches get a referral for an eye exam...and almost none of them need new glasses. Ok, I'm not mad about getting a referral (who would be?). But I often feel like the pediatrician is just "punting" the problem off on me b/c headaches in children are common and famously hard to diagnose and treat. I also feel like the parents are HOPING it's "their eyes" b/c that would be an easy/fast/cheap solution to their problem. It's almost never the case, and so the parents are often disappointed. Throw in that the kid feigns blur during the exam and I get the "are you sure?" and "how do you know?" questions from the parents. It is especially errr annoying (wish I had a better term here) to me for a patient who already has glasses (known refractive error) and sees 20/20 thru them to get referred back to me for another eye exam b/c they have headaches. It is really, REALLY unlikely that the glasses are the problem in those cases. In my opinion the vast majority of children do not need "reading glasses". I see this posted all over the net as if it were fact for children who complain of reading problems, headaches, etc etc. I even see a LOT of other O.D.'s (one in the article above) expounding on the need to test accommodation, etc. Ok does that exist in medicine? Sure. Is it COMMON, though? No...in my opinion it is probably NOT COMMON to have a pediatric lag of accommodation so great that reading glasses or bifocals are indicated. Somewhere in New York, some of my vision therapy teaching docs at S.U.N.Y. are having steam come from their ears haha. As I always say: "I am not the 'headache doctor'". If the MAIN COMPLAINT of your child is headaches, in the ABSENCE of blur...glasses are probably not the answer. Just my opinion, and it's my blog so I'm entitled!