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Eyes and Migraines

Many people with headache problems have pain in their eyes, behind the eyes or around their eyes and many of our headache patients have sensitivity to light so that they are not able to tolerate going out without sunglasses. Some cluster people tell us the pain is like “a red hot knife behind the eye”. Other migraine people will experience visual blurring, temporary loss of a visual field, sparks, zigzags, or other phenomena with their migraines.


Sometimes these symptoms are due to their migraine and other times there may be a problem with the eye itself, such as glaucoma. This is an area where the headache specialist and the eye-care professional collaborate.
Many people will not know that pain in this area can be caused by migraine and others do not know that good management of their vision can make their migraines less debilitating.


Many people’s headaches can be worsened by eyestrain, for example when they need to have better lenses or at least a good eye exam. Other people who use progressive or bifocal lenses will have neck pain because they are holding their head in an uncomfortable position while working long hours at a computer.

We often recommend that they see their eye doctor for computer glasses to allow them the comfort and flexibility the need. Others who have light sensitivity from migraine, known as photophobia, will benefit from prescription sunglasses or lenses which will adjust to bright lighting conditions.