Dry eye and migraines often overlap and exacerbate the effects of one another in some people. But is there actually a connection between them? Some studies have shown that there are in fact links between the two, and they share some similar trigger mechanisms that can cause the effects to last even longer. How can someone avoid or lessen the effects? Do you have migraines and dry eye at the same time? Vision therapy experts from Excel Eyecare OD PA share some info to help you understand the link between them.

Dry Eye and Migraines


Dry Eye and Migraines


There have been some studies on the possibility of dry eye and migraines being interconnected and making the effects of both more severe. In 2017, a study titled Tear osmolarity and subjective dry eye symptoms in migraine sufferers was made exploring this link.


To begin, tear osmolarity refers to the amount of salt content in a person’s tears. And tear osmolarity is a common test for dry eyes as the higher the salt content of your tears, the more prone your eyes are to dry eye. In their study, they had 34 migraineurs in the group, and during the observation, the migraine attacks were usually accompanied by dry eye. Additionally, the more frequent the migraine attacks were, the higher their tear osmolarity became.


To sum up, the study explored the link between migraines, dry eye, and tear osmolarity. And during the study, when migraines occurred, dry eye was also present, and the more migraines they had and the more severe it was, the saltier their tears became, making them more susceptible to dry eye.


There have also been studies on how LASIK eye surgery causes dry eye for a while after an operation but unlike chronic dry eye problems, dry eye caused by LASIK surgery goes away after a while and the eyes adjust with much clearer vision and stable tear volume.


Treatment for Dry Eye


If you’re experiencing dry eye partnered with migraine, you can lessen the effects of both by taking the standard medications against migraine and getting the proper dry eye prescription. The most common treatment for dry eye is the use of artificial tears, as dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t get the proper amount of lubrication they need. If your eyes lack the proper amount of tears, artificial tears are the best way to initially counter dry eye. They are available over-the-counter and come in liquid, gel, or ointment forms. If your eyes are constantly tearing up and leaving your tear reserves low or inadequate, getting help from an eye care clinic regarding tear duct plugs is the best course of action.


There are also other forms of treatment available, like a pair of special contact lenses that trap moisture called scleral lenses, or a technique called intense-pulsed light therapy that is known to help people with severe symptoms of dry eye. There’s also the new and state-of-the-art treatment called LipiFlow®, a treatment technique that boasts up to two years of consistent results.

Want to wake up in the morning with improved eyesight? We recommend getting an orthokeratology or a corneal reshaping technology treatment! Excel Eyecare OD PA provides premium eye care service packages and products that are aimed to keep you and your family’s vision clear and healthy! 

Our staff works hard to stay current on the latest advances in eye health and vision care to provide our patients with the most modern and progressive ocular assistance available. For any inquiries, you can reach us at (980) 319-1870 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment. We serve clients and patients in the state of North Carolina.