People with migraine may be at higher odds of also having chronic dry eye disease, a new research has revealed.
Findings from the study revealed that people with migraine had a 20 percent higher risk of having dry eye disease.
It showed that the relationship seemed to strengthen with age, especially for women, adding that for men aged 65 or over, having migraines nearly doubled the odds of also having dry eye disease, and women of the same age had almost 2.5 times the risk, the researchers said.
According to the study team lead, an ophthalmologist at the University of North Carolina, Dr Richard Davis, physicians caring for patients with a history of migraine headaches should be aware that these patients may be at risk for (concurrent) dry eye disease.
An optometrist who runs a clinic treating dry eye disease in Tucson, Ariz, Angela Bevels, stated that findings resonated both personally and professionally .
She said: “I suffered from migraine headaches for many years, when I also happened to have undiagnosed dry eye. I didn’t connect the two conditions at the time, but this new research makes me believe they may have been related after all.
“Reinforcing my impression is the fact that my migraines have drastically improved over the past two years, the exact amount of time since I’ve been successfully treated for dry eye.”
Background information in the new study stated that, anywhere from 8 percent to 34 percent of adults may be affected by dry eye. It’s a disorder of the tear film on the eye’s surface that “results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance” and other ocular issues that can really lessen a person’s quality of life, the study authors explained.
The new study couldn’t prove that one condition causes the other, but links between dry eye and migraine have been noticed for years, the researchers said.
“Underlying inflammatory processes” at the cellular level are known to play key roles in both dry eye disease and migraine,” the report said.
The authors said inflammatory changes in dry eye diseases might trigger similar events in neuromuscular tissue, leading to the development and propagation of migraine headaches, or excessive dryness of the eye’s surface might work on key nerve pathways to help trigger migraines.
Dr Davis and his colleagues concluded that, whatever the connection, doctors need to be on the lookout that a patient with one of these conditions is at higher risk for the other.