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can tight glasses cause headaches?

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I've been wearing glasses since I was about 7 years old (I am now 26). I wear glasses from the moment I wake up until I go to bed (except in the shower).

I've had this problem for a very long time where the glasses leave a dent in my head. I can clearly see it in the mirror whenever I have just taken off the glasses and can also feel it when I move over it with my hand. Aesthetics-wise, it doesn't bother me, but I feel that it gives me a headache at times, especially when it's warm or I've just done some heavy exercise. I think that the heat causes the veins in my head to expand, but they are unable to because they are pressed shut by my glasses. When I take off my glasses and feel the dent when it's hot or I've just done a workout, I can feel the veins pulsating easily. I usually get a headache, but it feels relieved when I take off my glasses for a bit. Is this perhaps a psychological effect or my tight glasses be causing headaches? I've had similar problems with other frames in the past.

I have taken my glasses to the store halve a year ago explaining my problem, but the people there didn't really say much. They just took it to some other room, came back after 5 minutes, said they adjusted it a bit (I personally couldn't see a difference) and charged me 5 euros. It didn't solve the issue I had at all but it did make me 5 euros lighter.

EDIT September 2016: I notice this topic is gaining a lot of attention. The problem is actually solved now; the tight frames did in fact cause the headaches. At the time I posted this question I was wearing a metal frame that was not wide enough for my head (for 8 years). It's true that a skull is supposed to have those dents along the head, but the tight frames made it much more distinctive.

3 months ago I bought new glasses and I specifically looked for a frame that felt both comfortable and sturdy on my face. The frame now goes along the skin of my head instead of pushing it in. I no longer have the headaches which used to be so common for me. The trade-off is that it doesn't sit as tightly on my face as before, but I can run without my glasses falling off.

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asked Jun 16, 2017 in Health by Bye Binks

4 Answers

0 votes
Try some contact lenses, or a monocle, and see what happens.
There are also pince-nez glasses. Better yet, try sport glasses that have an elastic headband -- you could perhaps put the elastic headband across your ears, which would decrease the pressure on your scalp. Or take some old glasses, remove the over-the-ear frames, and attach an elastic loop to each side, then put the loops over-and-around your ears. That would probably press on a different part of your scalp
answered Jun 16, 2017 by Audrey
0 votes

I don't wear glasses much (only to read) and I feel that same groove. I also feel other grooves on my head, for example I can feel a groove over either temple going somewhat vertically for quite a distance - all the way to the top of my head, actually.

I think what you (and I) are feeling is a suture.

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Between the plates or bones in our heads (separate in utero and infancy) are sutures which form slight depressions in our skulls which we can feel with our fingertips. Although they are similarly located on everyone, there is a degree of variation (on some skulls, for example, the squamous suture (between the pink parietal bone and the mauve temporal bone, the one I think we are feeling) is less curved posterior to the eye. I can clearly feel my lambdoid, coronal, and sagittal sutures (not shown) as well. So, I think this is what you're feeling and seeing.*

This is, I would guess, why the people you explain this to don't say much. That dent is pretty much there on everyone (note, I'm not saying a lifetime of tight glasses don't make their mark. I just don't think that dent is unique to people who wear glasses.

The question about headaches from tight glasses is therefore separate.

The problem with that question is that both headaches and refractive errors requiring glasses are very common conditions in the general population. People often associate glasses and headaches.

However, there isn't a very strong correlation between refractive errors and headaches.

Is this perhaps a psychological effect or my tight glasses be causing headaches?
I think it's safe to say that you might be projecting the cause of your headaches onto your glasses. The only way to tell for sure is to switch to contacts and see if this relieves your activity-associated headaches.

Headaches are very common and very often benign. However, if you're concerned, or perceive a change in the frequency or severity of your headaches, or they are associated with other symptoms, you should seek medical attention.

answered Jun 16, 2017 by Mattias
0 votes
Constant headache? Due to glasses?
I've had constant headaches everyday for the past few weeks. The headaches aren't bad enough to take pain medication like paracetamol, but painful enough to be annoying and quite noticeable. It hurts vaguely behind my ears, but generally everywhere in my head.

They started maybe a week or so after getting new glasses.
I have deduced that the headaches are due to either tiredness, stress, or my glasses.

I've noticed the sides of the glasses are quite tight, could it be tight enough to cause headaches? I wear my glasses all the time so might explain the constant headache.

Has anyone every experienced this before?

Please don't give any stupid answers, I'm tired of having headaches.
And I can't visit the optician for a few weeks to check my glasses. :(
Update: There are indentations from the arms of the glasses, just in front of my ears, going to where the ends end. (If that makes any sense!)
The indentations don't hurt if I press them, but when I wear glasses, the pain is kind of around that area behind my ears, sometimes radiating up a bit.
Update 2: There are indentations from the arms of the glasses, just in front of my ears, going to where the ends end. (If that makes any sense!)
The indentations don't hurt if I press them, but when I wear glasses, the pain is kind of around that area behind my ears, sometimes radiating up a bit.
answered Jun 16, 2017 by Rose
Well, we can't tell if your glasses are too tight, but if the temples ( arms) are leaving an indentation on the sides of your head, or even making the area tender to touch , then there is your answer.

While there could be other reasons, a frame that fits too tight could be the cause.

They could easily be too tight on the sides of your head without being too tight on the ears.
0 votes
Why do I get a headache when i were glasses or a headband? It seems to come from where they hit behind my ears
answered Jun 16, 2017 by Claudia
It sounds like the glasses or headband are irritating the muscles around the ears.
The temporalis muscles are in front and in back of the ears. Some people are more sensitive and compression by glasses or a headband may cause these to tighten and lead to pain. You may try adjusting the tension on the glasses or headband or decrease the amount of time wearing them.

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