Migraine FAQs: Are eye exams conducted to diagnose migraine?
Often migraine symptoms involve vision changes, loss of vision, sensitivity to light or eye pain. Therefore it makes sense to undergo an eye exam to rule out an eye injury or other eye disorder that may be responsible. More than a century ago, migraines were thought to be caused by errors in eyesight, such as an astigmatism or eye strain.
Therefore doctors at the time thought the correct eyeglasses would cure the migraines. The reasons for the vision disturbances related to migraines are still mostly unknown.
Head pain is a common reason people seek eye examinations. A 2000 study in the U.K. found that 10 percent of the men and 23 percent of the women who visited the optometrist's office suffered from migraine.
As with all tests conducted on a migraine sufferer, an eye examination can't diagnose a migraine. However, the eye exam can give doctors and the patient more information to determine if something else is causing the migraine symptoms.
An eye exam can detect glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes-related nerve damage in the eye, eye infections, blocked tear ducts, astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, color blindness or other sight issues, abrasions or ulcers on the cornea, eye injuries or damage to nerves or blood vessels, and lazy eye (amblyopia)