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Migraine Raises Risk of Dry Eyes

The chronic dry eye is a common disease in which natural tears fail to adequately lubricate the eyes, thus affecting its functioning and lessening a person's quality of life.

Updated:March 10, 2019, 5:58 PM IST
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Migraine Raises Risk of Dry Eyes
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Suffering from migraine? You could be at higher odds of having chronic dry eye disease, says a new study.

The chronic dry eye is a common disease in which natural tears fail to adequately lubricate the eyes, thus affecting its functioning and lessening a person's quality of life.

The study showed that people with migraine had a 20 per cent higher risk of having dry eye disease, the HealthDay reported.

For men, aged 65 or above, having migraine nearly doubled the odds of dry eye disease, and risk in women of the same age was almost 2.5 times.

The association between migraine and dry eye was found to be more among the elderly, particularly for women due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives and menopause, the researchers said.

"Physicians caring for patients with a history of migraine headaches should be aware that these patients may be at risk for concurrent dry eye disease," said Richard Davis, ophthalmologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US.

For the study, the team examined 73,000 adults.

The findings, published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, showed 8-34 per cent of adults may be affected by dry eye disease.

Further, 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 team noted.

Excessive dryness of the eye's surface might work on key nerve pathways to help trigger migraines, they added.

In addition, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems, exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates, and long-term use of contact lenses can also lead to dry eyes, the study noted.

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