Can LASIK Reduce Headaches?

By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on September 13, 2016

LASIK is one of the most popular elective surgeries in the history of medicine for good reason. Since its inception, more than 20 million people have undergone the procedure in the United States alone, and the vast majority of those patients have achieved unaided vision of at least 20/40, while more than half have achieved unaided vision of at least 20/20. In recent years, with the introduction of wavefront mapping technology and the IntraLase® system, LASIK has become even safer and more reliable in terms of the results it is capable of producing.

The most obvious benefit of LASIK is improved vision, of course, with the possibility of being able to see clearly without the need for contact lenses or glasses. However, what many people do not realize is that LASIK potentially offers a range of benefits beyond improvements to vision. For example, LASIK can offer relief to people who suffer from certain types of headaches.

When patients ask, “Can LASIK reduce headaches?” during consultations at his Washington, DC eye care center, Dr. Andrew Holzman’s answer is generally, “It depends.” While LASIK should not be seen as a cure for headaches of all kinds, it can help to relieve certain types of headaches - or, more accurately, the vision improvements made possible through LASIK can help to relieve certain types of headaches.

Are you a good candidate for LASIK? To find out, please schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Holzman at one of five regional TLC Laser Eye Centers today.

How Can LASIK Help to Relieve Headaches?

Headaches and migraines have only become more prevalent in the United States in recent years as an increasing number of people have started using computers at home, in schools, and on the job. According to, approximately 45 million people complain of headaches each year in the United States, representing 16.54 percent of the population.

Perhaps not coincidentally, more than 150 million Americans currently use corrective eyewear to correct refractive errors, while approximately 37 million wear contact lenses and more than 20 million have undergone LASIK. This does not account for the estimated millions of undiagnosed and untreated refractive errors that exist in people of all ages.

Untreated and undertreated refractive errors can cause people to strain their eyes, relying on squinting to bring objects into clear focus. Many of these people do not even realize that they have vision problems; however, over time, their diminished vision may begin to manifest non-visual symptoms, including headaches and migraines. These headaches and migraines can become increasingly frequent and severe, and the sufferers may not realize that a simple eye exam could explain their underlying cause.

In the sense that LASIK can resolve refractive errors, and custom LASIK can correct even higher order aberrations, or the minute flaws in the shape of the cornea that are unique to each individual eye, it is entirely possible that people who suffer from headaches caused by eye strain will experience relief after undergoing LASIK.

Learn More about LASIK and Headache Relief

To learn more about whether you might benefit from LASIK, please contact Dr. Andrew E. Holzman today.

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