Through the eyes of migraine: Ocular considerations



“The eye is intimately involved in the migraine process,” said Kathleen Digre, MD, at the annual meeting of the Headache Cooperative of New England. Specifically, she said, dry eye and photophobia are two symptoms that have biologic underpinnings, can be diagnosed, and can be treated. Dr. Digre is a professor of neurology and ophthalmology at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and is the current president of the American Headache Society.

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Dr. Digre explained that dry eyes and migraine could have a cyclical relationship where dry eyes provoke the migraine, and the migraine may provoke the feeling of dry eye, regardless of whether it can be objectively measured.

Regarding photophobia, Dr. Digre stressed the importance of an accurate diagnosis that rules out eye disorders and other causes of photophobia. She discussed the problem of patient overreliance on dark glasses and encourages a return to light to break the cycle of dark adapting the retina.

Finally, Dr. Digre discussed how proper treatment of migraine and any associated anxiety or depression can help resolve eye issues that may be contributing to migraine.

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