A study Reports a Relationship Between Dry Eye Disease and Migraine Headaches

A study, conducted by seven medical researchers in 2019, focused on the question of the relationship between DED (dry eye disease) and migraine headaches. This study found that the participants (more than seventy thousand patients) were more prone to dry eye diseases because of migraine headaches, and their chances of developing eye problems were 20% higher than others. In addition, if you want to know more about dry eye disease and migraine headaches, then Healthwire can be a good source for you.


The objective of this particular study was to measure the strength of the relationship between dry eye disease and migraine headaches.

Data Collection Method

This research was a case-control study that included seventy-two thousand and nine hundred and sixty-nine participants who were older than eighteen, and data was collected from May 1, 2008, to May 31, 2018. These participants were patients from the University of North Carolina healthcare facilities. After the completion of data collection, the researchers began to analyze the data on June 30, 2018.


The base population for the following study was 72969 patients which included 31205 women and 41764 men. Men were 57.2% and women were 42.8% of the following study. In addition, 7.3% (5352) participants were diagnosed with migraine headaches and 13.2% (9638) were diagnosed with dry eye disease.

The results of this study explain that patients with migraine headaches are at a high risk of developing a dry eye disease. 


The findings concluded that patients with migraine headaches are more prone to develop a dry eye disease than other general population. In addition, these results may not be a reflection of cause and effect but the results are quite clear that headaches associated with migraine increases the risks of dry eye diseases.

Here we need to know what is migraine headaches and dry eye diseases?

Migraine Headaches

A migraine, for most people, is a headache that causes a pulsing sensation along with severe throbbing pain, and people, usually, experience this pain on the single side of the head. Migraine attacks or headaches come with extreme sensitivity to sound and light, and even it can come with vomiting and nausea.

The attacks of migraine in many people last for hours and may last for days, this pain can be severe enough to disturb your daily activities of normal life.


Medical researchers, especially neurosurgeons, say that the exact reasons and causes of migraine headaches are not known; however, they think that several changes in your genes and brain can be a common cause of migraine headaches.

Many scientists, for years, believe that migraine attacks occur due to changes in blood flow in the brain, but many of them now believe that this may contribute to pain and it is not the starter of migraine. The thinking of neurosurgeons is that overactive nerve cells tend to send out signals that may play a role in triggering the trigeminal nerve which gives sensation to the face and head.

This process releases chemicals such as calcitonin and serotonin and this makes blood vessels swell in the brain. In the end, neurotransmitters in the brain may cause pain and swelling or inflammation.


Headaches associated with migraine attacks occur in stages and these stages can be:


Before starting a headache or migraine attack, almost sixty percent of people may experience these symptoms:

  • Lack or loss of appetite
  • Mild to moderate changes in mood
  • Increased sensitivity to light or sound
  • Bloating
  • Increased thirst
  • Food cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation


The symptoms associated with it involve your vision and they start over a period of five to twenty minutes and may last less than an hour. You may experience these:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Complete blindness for some time
  • Hallucinations (things that are not there)
  • Numbness or tingling on the one side of the body
  • May also cause some changes in smell and taste

Here is also some detail about dry eye disease:

Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye disease, according to an ophthalmologist, is a common problem of the eyes that occurs when tears in one or both of your eyes are unable to provide enough lubrication to your eyes. There are several reasons associated with unstable and inadequate tears. For instance, if you are not able to produce increased-quality tears, then there are chances of experiencing dry eyes.

The inability of making tears can cause a number of problems including swelling or inflammation and damage to the surface of the eyes.

Dry eye diseases are really uncomfortable for many people and dry eye can burn or sting. There are some reasons that may contribute to dry eyes such as traveling on an airplane, looking at a computer screen over a period of time, and staying in an air-conditioned room.


Dry eye disease and migraine attacks both can be disastrous for anyone; therefore, it is important to tackle migraine because it may increase the risks of dry eye disease.

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