The Link Between Eyesight Issues & Migraines

Migraines—just the word itself can conjure up dread for those who suffer from these debilitating headaches. Pounding pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound—the symptoms can be truly awful. But what about the strange visual disturbances that sometimes accompany migraines? Are they a sign of eye problems or something else entirely?

The good news for people with uncorrected vision is that poor eyesight is not a typical trigger for migraines. Poor eyesight can be treated and corrected with regular exams and treatment by your vision doctor. At the same time, a generalist or neurologist may need to address many other contributing factors causing migraines.

Migraines cause severe pain, light and sound sensitivity, and nausea, often debilitating. Vision misalignment strains eye muscles, leading to constant battles to maintain alignment, like migraines. Binocular Vision Dysfunction triggers headaches and migraines by causing slight misalignment, forcing eye muscles to overwork and strain, even subtly, leading to painful headaches often mistaken for other conditions.

Atypical Migraines

Usually, a migraine provides its sufferer with a visual signal alerting them to the oncoming discomfort, while atypical migraines frequently start with throbbing head pain. Your atypical migraine symptoms may be the result of vision misalignment. By treating the vision alignment, we can provide you with the relief you need.

Sinus Headaches

The overuse and overexertion of your eye muscles constantly attempt to realign your eyesight, resulting in the same discomfort and pain as a sinus headache. By treating the vision misalignment, we relieve the constant pressure within your face and relieve long-term sinus headaches.

Muscle Tension Headaches

Your eye muscles constantly strain as your eyes attempt to realign themselves and create one clear image. This relentless stress and overuse of your eye muscles feel like a muscle tension headache for many of our patients. We relieve muscle tension headaches by eliminating this constant overuse of your eye muscles.

Visual Fireworks: The Migraine Aura

Many people who experience migraines are familiar with the aura – a collection of neurological symptoms that often precede the headache itself. These auras can manifest in various ways, but visual disturbances are some of the most common. Think shimmering lights, zigzag lines, or even temporary blind spots. These flickering phantoms can be pretty unsettling, but they are usually harmless and resolve within an hour.

Retinal Migraines: When Vision Takes Center Stage

In rarer cases, migraines can specifically target the eyes, causing a condition called a retinal migraine. Here, the visual symptoms take center stage, potentially affecting only one eye. You might experience temporary vision loss, flickering lights, or blind spots. Unlike the visual aura, retinal migraines are not always followed by a headache.

Living with Migraines: Finding Relief

If you suffer from migraines, it is crucial to consult a doctor to identify the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. Various options are available, including medication, lifestyle modifications, and relaxation techniques. Make sure to discuss all symptoms, treatment plans, and methodology with your general care physician, Ophthalmic provider, and/or neurologist. Here are some additional tips for managing migraines at home:

  • Become a Trigger Detective: Identify and avoid your personal migraine triggers, whether it is stress, certain foods, or lack of sleep.
  • Move Your Body: Regular exercise can be a powerful tool in preventing and managing migraines.
  • Fuel Your Well-being: A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help regulate your system and potentially reduce migraines.
  • Sleep is Essential: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. A regular sleep schedule helps prevent disruptions that trigger migraines.
  • Tame the Stress: Explore relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to help manage stress, a common migraine trigger.

Eye Care for Migraine

Even though poor eyesight is not a direct trigger, regular eye exams are still important for people with migraines. Uncorrected vision can lead to eyestrain, which can worsen headaches in general. An eye doctor can assess your vision, rule out any underlying eye conditions contributing to migraines, and recommend appropriate corrective lenses if needed.

The exact cause of migraines remains a puzzle, but researchers believe it involves overstimulation in the brain. Various factors, including stress, hormonal fluctuations, and certain foods, can trigger this overstimulation. While eye strain from uncorrected vision might not be a direct trigger, it can contribute to overall discomfort and potentially worsen headache symptoms.

Remember, this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about migraines or vision problems, contact Medical Eye Center for a personalized evaluation and treatment plan today. By understanding the link between migraines and eyesight, you can take steps to manage both conditions and improve your overall well-being.