Add chronic dry eye to the list of risks associated in people who suffer from migraines.
The 10-year study found that — after accounting for certain medication use and other factors — people with migraine had a 20 percent higher risk of having dry eye disease. This was especially true for seniors.
What is Dry Eye?
Up 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 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. About 14 percent of Americans are affected by migraines.
What Could Be the Link?
According to the report, similar “underlying inflammatory processes” at the cellular level are known to play key roles in both dry eye disease and migraine.
“Inflammatory changes in dry eye disease might trigger similar events in neuromuscular tissue, leading to the development and propagation of migraine headaches,” the authors said. Or excessive dryness of the eye’s surface might work on key nerve pathways to help trigger migraines, they added.
The findings were published March 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.
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