Dry eye syndrome is a complicated medical condition stemming from decreased tear production or increased water loss from the eyes’ surface. But did you know that it has been linked with migraines? Your trusted eye care center for dry eye and cataracts treatment takes a look at recent research about the correlation between the two.
Recent Studies on the Migraine-Dry Eye Correlation
In 2018, a decade-long study of nearly 73,000 people who received care at eye clinics in North Carolina revealed that people who had migraines had a 20% higher risk of having dry eye syndrome. That’s after accounting for medications and other factors. The correlation between the two was strengthened with age as patients 65 years or older with migraines nearly doubled the odds of experiencing discomfort and visual disturbance brought about by dry eyes.
A 2017 study of close to 100,000 U.S. veterans, primarily men diagnosed with dry eyes, also sought to look at the link between chronic pain conditions like migraines and dry eyes. It found that the eye condition was more common in individuals experiencing chronic pain disorders than those without.
The Exact Link Between Migraines and Dry Eyes
Even with the recent medical studies about the matter, there is no breakthrough yet that proves that one condition causes the other. Experts, however, have numerous theories, with the two conditions sharing certain mechanisms.
The proponents of the 2018 study, for instance, postulated that dry eye syndrome creates inflammatory changes that might trigger the same in neuromuscular tissues, leading to the pain and discomfort associated with migraines. In other studies, the component of genetics was identified in both conditions, which means they tend to run in families.
Treating Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is not something you should ignore. If you feel like there’s something in your eye, have an urge to itch, experience blurred vision or become sensitive to light, you need to visit your eye doctor. Because it can be painful and uncomfortable, it could hamper your ability to perform daily life activities.
Fortunately, a comprehensive eye examination can help determine symptoms of the condition and find suitable treatment plans. At Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, we offer advanced treatments to help you gain relief from dry eye. These include topical eye drops, prescription eye drops, dry eye vitamins, lid hygiene and MiBoFlo®.
Our eye care center also helps athletes with sports vision training and provides co-management and treatment for individuals who have undergone LASIK surgery. We serve Virginia residents, including Falls Church and the surrounding communities. Call (703) 573-1200, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.