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The Link Between Migraines and Glaucoma

The Link Between Migraines and Glaucoma

Your head is throbbing, yet again, and your vision has lost some of its sharpness. Is it a migraine or glaucoma? Could it be both? Determining the answers to these questions can be deeply important for providing appropriate treatment and, in the case of glaucoma, preserving your vision. 

At Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Melanie Frogozo, Dr. Swati Kumar and their expert team diagnose and treat glaucoma to preserve your vision. Take a few minutes to learn more about glaucoma and the potential link between this condition and the intense, recurrent pain of migraines.

Glaucoma basics

Glaucoma is a progressive condition that damages your optic nerve, usually as a result of fluid buildup within the eye. Rather than draining out, as it’s meant to, that fluid gathers and exerts pressure on your eye. As a result, you can experience a range of symptoms, such as:

Among several types of glaucoma, the two most common are angle-closure glaucoma, which can bring on sudden attacks, and primary open-angle glaucoma, which causes slow, gradual symptoms.

While most anyone can develop glaucoma, it’s more likely if you have other vision problems, are over age 40, have used prescription steroids for a long time, or derive from African, Asian, or Hispanic descent. Migraines are another potential risk factor.

The link between migraines and glaucoma

While more research is needed, many people who suffer from migraines seem to hold a greater risk for eye conditions, such as glaucoma. 

Regardless of how tightly these conditions are linked, maintaining normal blood pressure is important if you have either condition, given that migraines and glaucoma have been linked with low diastolic, nighttime blood pressure readings. 

By taking steps to avoid or manage migraines, you could sleep better and potentially keep mild glaucoma from becoming far worse. You may benefit, for example, from avoiding common migraine triggers, such as aged cheese and skipping meals. 

It’s also possible for glaucoma to be misdiagnosed as migraines, or vice versa, since both conditions can impact your vision and bring on other similar symptoms, such as pain and nausea. For these reasons, eye exams can be especially important if you’re prone to migraines. 

To learn more about glaucoma and migraines, call Alamo Eye Care at 210-469-9744 or text us at 210-403-9050. You can also request an appointment through our website.

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