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Can Migraine Cause Red Eyes

When To Seek Medical Attention

How To Get Rid Of Red Eyes | Top 4 Causes Of A Red Eye

Some symptoms which accompany a migraine can indicate a more serious condition requiring urgent medical attention, such as a stroke or meningitis. These include:

  • Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
  • A sudden, sharp pain which is unlike any pain that the person has previously experienced
  • Paralysis or weakness in one or both arms and/or in one or both sides of the face
  • A high temperature , combined with a stiff neck and possible seizures, which may, but do not always, present as convulsions, as well as confusion, double vision and a rash.

Seek urgent medical attention if a person experiences any of these symptoms.

Migraineurs With Dry Eye

Most of the studies on the link between migraine and dry eye syndrome have been fairly small, but there is a relationship worth exploring.

Several of these studies have found an increased frequency of dry eye syndrome in people with migraine compared to the general population, and this association seems to be even more significant in people who have migraine with aura.

One 2017 study looking at this link measured tear osmolaritya common test for dry eyes that shows how much salt content is in your tearsin 34 migraineurs. As with similar earlier studies, the researchers found that migraine , had a significant association with dry eyes. They also saw that as the frequency of migraines increased, so did tear osmolarity more salt can lead to further drying. In participants who had a shorter duration of head pain, there was also an association with higher tear osmolarity.

A 2015 study of 58 migraineurs found that those with dry eye had significantly longer migraine attacks and had been dealing with migraine for longer than those without dry eye.

Migraine attacks may be worsened when you also have dry eyes, and dry eye syndrome may contribute to continuing migraines, say researchers.

Procedures For Retinal Detachment Repair:

Depending on the location and severity of the Retinal detachment your Retinal specialist will decide what the best treatment option for you will be.

  • Laser photocoagulation: use of a laser to reattach the retina into place.
  • Cryotherapy : creates scar tissue to keep the retina intact.
  • Vitrectomy: removing the vitreous and replacing it with an optically clear and biologically inert substance such as gas or silicone oil. It is often required to lie face down for up to 2 weeks following a vitrectomy to ensure that the retina stays in place. Silicon oil will eventually need to be surgically removed whereas the gas bubble will absorb and our eye will naturally replace it with its own intraocular fluid.

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Pain Headache And Discharge

Can a cold cause eye discharge? Yes. With an upper respiratory infection, its common to experience nasal and eye discharge, headache, eye pain and swelling, a sore throat, and pressure in and around the eyes. Upper respiratory infections often resolve on their own and rarely require medical intervention. With an upper respiratory infection, its also common for people to have viral conjunctivitis, which is what will cause the eye discharge, swelling, pain, and discomfort. This type of pink eye does not require treatment or antibiotics and will usually peak at day three or four. To learn more, to read my guide on what causes eye discharge in babies and children.

Some Of The Strangest Migraine Symptoms Involve The Eye Like Red Eyes Or A Feeling Of Pressure An Expert Explains Why Some People Get Bloodshot Eyes

6 Health Concerns That Your Eyes Could Be Warning You ...

A migraine attack is a wandering beast. When an attack strikes, most of the body is thrown into pain, from the toes to the belly to the top of hair follicles. The sensation of your hair hurting or recoiling from a light touch is not uncommon when a migraine is in full swing.

Migraines begin in the brain, and since the brain controls the entire body, multiple systems in the body are affected. Some of the strangest, most visible, and most alarming symptoms take place near the brain in the eyes. Red eyes, bloodshot eyes, eye pressure – the eyes can take a beating during a migraine attack.

Sensitivity to light is a well-known migraine symptom, but recently a reader at Migraine Again asked us about a different eye-related issue. Tamika noticed that during some migraine attacks, she would experience red eyes.

It looked as though a blood vessel had burst and she wondered if migraine could be the cause. She was also curious to see if others have noticed similar eye redness.

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Symptoms Of Ocular Migraine

Symptoms of an ocular migraine can include brief vision loss or perception of white or dark areas obstructing the vision and sometimes moving into the peripheral vision.

I have personally experienced ocular migraines that are usually accompanied by a migraine headache.

Not everyone who experiences ocular migraines have headaches however, it is not uncommon for a headache to precede the visual aura.

About Dr Donald Mccormack

As an ophthalmologist, Dr. McCormack diagnoses and treats all eye diseases, prescribes eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems, and performs a wide range of clinical procedures and more complicated eye surgeries. He has special interests in treatments for dry eyes and glaucoma and has been a principal investigator in numerous clinical research trials for these conditions.

  • For an appointment, call

This article is not intended to substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician.

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Quick Lesson On The Anatomy Of The Eye

To understand flashes and floaters it is important to have an understanding of basic ocular anatomy. The eyeball consists of an anterior segment including the cornea, iris and lens and a posterior segment including the vitreous humor, the retina and the optic nerve.

The vitreous humor is composed of a transparent gel-like substance that fills the space in the eyeball between the lens and the retina, this helps to maintain the structure of the eye by providing shock absorption and support to the retina. The vitreous humor must be clear so that light can pass through it. According to a Caltech thesis, the vitreous humor is ~ 99% water and 0.9% salts 0.1% divided between protein and polysaccharide components.

The vitreous is enclosed in a clear membrane called the hyaloid membrane, which is attached to the retina in several areas.

As we age, the vitreous humor becomes more liquid, a process termed syneresis. Syneresis of the vitreous humor can cause it to shrink and collapse as well as pull away from the retina. This process can cause us to perceive floaters or wispy shadows in our vision and sometimes flashes of lights, due to pulling on the retina.

The separation of the vitreous humor from the retina is called a Posterior Vitreous Detachment .

Migraines Are Often Predictable

Ocular Migraines

Many people can tell when they are about to get a migraine. It can start as a mild headache, which becomes more intense over time. Up to 24 hours before the onset of a migraine, people can also develop food cravings or mood swings. They may also experience increased yawning or start retaining fluid.

Sometimes migraines, which usually develop in the morning, are preceded or accompanied by visual cues, including flashes of lights and wavy lines. People may also develop blind spots or tunnel vision. These headaches, known as migraine with aura, account for only about 30 percent of migraines.

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Testing For Allergies As A Headache Trigger

Q. In an article entitled Allergy and Headache, I read the following: There are many individuals who have respiratory allergies that contribute to or cause headaches arising from their nasal passages or sinuses. Examination and diagnostic tests can isolate and specifically help to resolve these problems for most patients.

At times migraine and other headache patients may get headaches related to allergic problems like these. They may even provoke an increase in their normal headaches or migraines because the allergic headaches lead to reflex contraction of scalp and facial muscles, increased pain, and other physiologic changes that provoke their headaches.

Can you give me more information about the types of diagnostic tests I should be requesting? Which doctor performs these tests?

A. Even though allergies are seldom responsible for headaches, I would recommend you talk to an allergist. He or she is the one who would do allergy testing. Also you would need a CT scan of the sinuses and an MRI of the brain.

George Urban, M.D. Chicago, IL

How Common Are Puffy Eyelids With Migraine

Up to 70 percent of adults living with migraine also experience autonomic symptoms.1 The autonomic nervous system regulates certain body processes that are involuntary, such as heartbeat, blood flow, digestion, sensation, and breathing.

Autonomic symptoms are related to these processes, like dizziness, swelling of tissues, blurry vision, heart rate disturbances, and digestive troubles. Puffy eyelids can look like the swelling of the eyelid that occurs with allergies, which may lead to initial misdiagnoses. Other autonomic symptoms include droopy eyelid, watery eyes, facial flushing, red or bloodshot eyes, nasal congestion, and ear fullness.1

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Why Do Puffy Eyelids Occur

The pain sensors in the covering of the brain are often affected by migraine, and these nerves are related to the autonomic system, which then causes the autonomic symptoms. Puffy eyelids, like many other migraine symptoms, do not occur in every one or with each migraine.

Eyelid puffiness is thought to be more common in cluster headache, so when it occurs with migraine, the person may be misdiagnosed with migraine instead of cluster headache. Since puffy eyelids are associated with things like allergies and tiredness, it is a symptom that people may not associate with migraine and therefore, not report it to their doctor.1

Other Types Of Headaches

Can Anxiety Cause Watery Eyes

There are other types of headaches that arent classified as migraine or a tension headache. A cluster headache is an intense headache with one to three painful episodes, or clusters, each day, which tend to recur at exactly the same time.

People who have cluster headaches report the pain to be severe and searing, with the center of the pain typically located behind one eye. These may also be accompanied by red, teary eyes, something that isnt common in migraines or tension headaches. This type of headache is more common in men than women.

A sinus headache isnt actually a headache. Instead, its a painful response to nasal congestion or runny nose. You may experience pain across your forehead and cheeks when the sinuses are inflamed or irritated. This pressure may feel like a headache and cause symptoms of a headache.

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Triggers For Eye Pain

Some of the common triggers for migraines and the accompanying eye pain are stress, flashing lights, poor sleep, loud noises, and changes in weather. One MyMigraineTeam member said, The only trigger I can identify so far is rain. Every darn time!

Food sensitivities can also cause migraines. The most common food triggers include aged cheese, nuts and nut butters, tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine, and onions and garlic. Certain food additives, such as artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate , and nitrates also can trigger migraines.

MyMigraineTeam members report a variety of food sensitivities that can bring on migraines and eye pain. Many members find that their food triggers change with age, and that they have to go through a process of trial and error to eliminate foods that cause migraines. According to one member, Peanut butter was never a trigger. Then suddenly I got a migraine every time I ate it, so I have avoided it for about 10 years. I love it, so I have slowly been adding it back in and it is not triggering.

Alcohol sensitivity can also cause migraines. Between the rain and a thimbleful of champagne and a few sips of chardonnay, I was sick, a MyMigraineTeam member said.

What Causes Ocular And Visual Migraines

The exact cause of an ocular migraine can be difficult to pinpoint. But it’s believed they occur for the same things that cause migraine headaches.

Migraine headaches have a genetic basis, and some studies say that up to 70% of people who suffer from the disorder have a family history of migraine.

According to the World Health Organization , migraines are caused by the activation of a mechanism deep in the brain that leads to release of pain-producing inflammatory substances around the nerves and blood vessels of the head.

Studies have shown changes in blood flow to the brain during ocular migraines and migraine auras . But exactly why this happens remains unclear.

Common migraine “triggers” that can cause a person to have a migraine attack include:

  • Certain foods

  • Caffeinated drinks

  • Artificial sweeteners

Stress and lack of sleep also can trigger an ocular migraine or visual migraine.

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Readers Reveal Their Strange Eye & Migraine Symptoms

Tamika is not the only one to notice red eyes and wonder about a migraine link. We asked the Migraine Again community on our Facebook page if they have experienced something similar, and we got some great responses. Although migraines themselves do not cause burst blood vessels in the eye, it turns out many of our readers have noticed migraine symptoms in their eyes.

No two migraines are the same, just as no two people who get migraines are the same. We have some similarities, though, as our reader comments show.

Migraines are complex, and the symptoms are far-reaching. Because the eye and eye socket are so close to the brain and the nerves that are involved in an attack, people experience many symptoms involving the eye.

Some of the migraine symptoms that are most noticeable are red eyes, bloodshot eyes, and burst blood vessels in the eye. Migraines can cause redness, but, luckily, they do not directly cause burst blood vessels.

Visual Impairments Associated With Migraine Can Happen With Or Without A Headache

The ONLY Ocular Migraines Solution That Works Consistently (3 Simple Steps)

Ocular Migraine is a term that has been used to refer to a number of migraine subtypes that are characterized by a variety of visual disturbances including visual loss, blind spots, zig-zag lines, or seeing stars. Unlike other forms of migraine, they may occur without any accompanying head pain. Its not uncommon for a single patient to experience a wide range of visual symptoms. Heres what you need to know to better understand the migraine subtypes that affect vision.

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What Are Some Home Remedies For Red Eyes

Here is a list of what helps red eyes that you can do at home:

  • Apply compresses. Cool compresses are generally better for relieving irritation. But warm compresses sometimes feel more soothing and can help remove eye crust.

  • Avoid allergic and irritant triggers, such as animal dander, pollen, and chemical fumes.

  • Change sheets and towels frequently.

  • Take a break from contact lenses.

  • Use over-the-counter artificial tears and other eye lubricants. For frequent use, buy the preservative-free form.

  • Use OTC antihistamine eye drops to treat .

  • Use decongestant eye drops for short-termâthree days or lessârelief of redness. Using these products for longer than the recommended time can result in rebound redness.

  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.

Other Forms Of Eye Redness Seen In Covid

In March 2020, CNN reported that a nurse at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, noticed redness around the eyes in some elderly residents who had developed COVID-19.

Twenty-nine people associated with the nursing home died from coronavirus complications, including 18 residents of the nursing home.

“It’s something that I witnessed in all of ,” Chelsey Earnest told CNN. “You can describe it like allergy eyes. The white part of the eye is not red. It’s more like they have red eye shadow on the outside of their eyes.”

“But we’ve had patients that just had red eyes as the only symptom that we saw, and go to the hospital and pass away in the hospital,” Earnest said.

Despite this observation from an early outbreak of COVID-19, this type of red eyes doesnt appear to be a common or reliable symptom of the disease.

“In terms of a red shadow around the eyes, not on the white of the eyes, there is not enough data currently to suggest this is a symptom of COVID-19,” Dr. Sonal Tuli, a clinical spokeswoman for the AAO, told

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Treatment Of Retinal Holes Tears Or Retinal Detachment:

  • Observation: If asymptomatic, treatment may not be necessary and close observation would be recommended.
  • If a patient is symptomatic, treatment with laser or cryotherapy is recommended.
  • If the tear is large or a patient presents with a retinal detachment immediate surgical intervention is required and would be performed by a Retinal specialist.

A Reader Suggests Solutions To Computer Screens Triggering Headaches


I would like to reply to the Readers Mail question in the May/June 2005 newsletter titled Computer Screen Triggering Migraines. Yes, CRT computer screens can and do trigger migraines in susceptible people. But you can reduce this or avoid it altogether by setting your refresh rate to 75mHz or higher, assuming your monitor and video card will allow it, or by switching monitors.

I suffer from migraines and notice a huge difference between the monitors at work and my monitor at home. I did a lot of research before purchasing my monitors. All of them are Viewsonic brand, which I feel is the best and the only one Ill trust my eyes to for CRT-style monitors. The difference in monitors is so great that I can work on my computer at home for 14 hours straight with no migraines, but cant work on a Hewlett-Packard monitor from work for more than one or two hours without triggering a migraine. I even brought a monitor home from work and put it on my home computer to see if it really was the monitor at fault or some other factor in play.

Caroline MacDowell

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