Annual eye exams are a necessary part of maintaining good eye health. Besides checking for the overall condition of your eyes, your eyecare professional can sometimes spot symptoms of problems not normally associated with your vision, such as hypertension and diabetes.

For other conditions directly affecting your eyes, your eye care professional will look for signs of glaucoma, test your vision sharpness, determine your prescription for regular glasses, look to see how well your eyes work together, and check the fluid pressure in your eyes.  They may also dilate your eyes to conduct a full examination of your retina or to look for signs of any other serious health conditions.

Some patients have complained of headaches following an eye exam, though this is not a common occurrence. The reasons for such post examination headaches can vary from one patient to another, but there are some hypotheses as to why this can happen.

Irritation of the eyes

During a comprehensive eye exam, the provider may put drops in your eyes to facilitate a more thorough examination. While it is not common, sometimes these drops can cause your eyes to be irritated and your eyes will seem to be sore, and this discomfort can manifest itself as a headache.


If your doctor uses drops to dilate your eyes, your sensitivity to light will be greatly increased as your pupils are enlarged.  This sensitivity can last for a few minutes or much longer. In some patients who are predisposed to migraines, this light sensitivity can trigger a migraine headache.

Screen fatigue

During an eye exam, you will be asked to look at eye charts and digital screens. Much has been written about eye fatigue from staring at screens, as this can cause eye strain and headaches.

Eye muscle strain

During an eye examination, your doctor will conduct tests of your eye muscle coordination and in rare cases this can trigger a headache. Normally such headaches are not long lasting.


Many people suffer from what is referred to as “white coat syndrome.” This simply means that the presence of a medical professional in a white coat can cause anxiety in a patient, and the increased stress can often bring on a headache.

Although some patients complain of headaches after an eye exam, the instances are rare, and the headaches don’t last long.  If you’re suffering from such a headache for a prolonged period of time, you should consult your eyecare professional.

Since 1903, the Cheyenne Eye Clinic and Surgery Center has provided comprehensive eye care services to improve our patients’ sight and enhance their lives. If you are experiencing any problems with your vision, if you need a routine vision checkup, or if you want more information about us, check out our website or contact us at 307-400-4091.


Our Optical Department will close at 2:00 PM on November 20th to attend the memorial service for a dear friend and colleague. 

We apologize for the inconvenience.