Treatment for Chronic Headaches, Migraines, and Light Sensitivity
We know how debilitating chronic headaches, migraines, and light sensitivity can be.
Did you know that there are 3 ways in which your eyes or visual system can contribute to headaches, or migraines? However, typically eye doctors only evaluate one of those ways?
The three ways your eyes can be involved in headaches and migraines are:
Glasses - Either you needing glasses, or your glasses being too strong or too weak.
Eye Misalignment - A large misalignment causes an eye turn, or "lazy eye". Smaller misalignments can be compensated for by forcing your eyes to work together. This can lead to tired eyes, headaches and in some vertigo.
Over-stimulating light- The majority of those with migraines and chronic light sensitivity are much more sensitive to certain colors of light. Determining which hues of light are most triggering or aggravating and then using precision tinted lenses or contacts can provide huge relief to many individuals.
Dr. Jamin's passion in practice is helping people suffering from headaches, migraines, and traumatic brain injury resulting in light sensitivity. Carolina Vision is the first medical practice in the United States to bring the Neurolens measurement device and Colorimeter to help our patients. Whether you have a mild ache at the end of the day, or suffer from frequent, debilitating migraines, we are passionate and dedicated to helping you find a solution. That is why we have invested over $45,000 in specialized equipment solely for providing relief to our patients that suffer from conditions such as these.
The majority of sensory information that your brain takes in comes from your eyes, yet often medical providers do not recommend ways or even know of ways to help regulate the information your brain takes in from your eyes. We work in conjunction with your other medical providers to help find the cause and best treatment for your headaches.
How do we do this? We use specialty precision tinted glasses or contact lenses, and also evaluate you for small eye misalignment that can lead to conditions called binocular dysfunction and trigeminal dysphoria. These conditions are often missed on routine eye exams by optometrists and ophthalmologists. When appropriate Dr. Jamin prescribes the Neurolens or glasses with prism for those that are candidates.
While you may have been told before that your glasses were not the cause of your headaches, that may not be the case. Your glasses being too strong or too weak are only a part of the potential causes of eye related headaches. Equally important for those with chronic migraine are two other factors. Filtering out the portion of light that is most aggravating or triggering, and evaluating for a small misalignment of your eyes.
For many that suffer from migraines or light sensitivity, precision tinted lenses offer significant relief. Certain studies have shown over 80% of individuals reported they benefited by wearing precision tinted glasses or contact lenses. Rose or red/brown tints are most often recommended and have been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of migraines. However, not surprisingly, every person is the same. Dr. Jamin has found a large percentage of people actually prefer and benefit more from completely different colors from the "standard migraine colors" recommended for light sensitivity and migraines. Using a colorimeter, we can test exactly which hue (color) and saturation (darkness of color) most benefits each specific individual. After testing, we can make a trial tinted lens in office for you to wear to confirm that the specific tint which you chose does provide relief and benefit you. After we make sure we have the best tint possible for you, we order the precision tinted glasses or contact lenses from a specialized lens manufacturer.
While light can play a large role in migraines and light sensitivity, another important factor in the way your eyes can contribute to headaches and eye strain is through a small misalignment.
If the misalignment is large you may have an eye that is always turned in or out (We call this a lazy eye). However, a smaller eye misalignment may not be noticeable because it is compensated for by constantly forcing the eyes to turn in or out in order to work together. This smaller eye misalignment can lead to a condition called trigeminal disphoria which, for various reasons, often goes undiagnosed by optometrists and ophthalmologists.
When the eyes are misaligned, it puts higher demand on the visual system which must work constantly to compensate for the misalignment. Think of raising your hand, it does not take much work, but if you have to do it for long periods of time, that arm is going to get tired. Our eyes are the same. They have a natural resting position. This resting position is not always aligned together, and you may have to compensate by turning your eyes in/out or up/down so they are looking in the same direction.
This can lead to overstimulation of the trigeminal nerve – the largest and most complex nerve connected to the brain, and the one responsible for sending sensations to the head, eyes and shoulders – resulting in visually induced Trigeminal Dysphoria.
Neurolenses® are the first and only prescription lenses that add a contoured prism to bring the eyes into alignment.
Contoured prism has been shown in studies to relieve the headaches, neck/shoulder pain and eyestrain that many people experience especially when using digital devices, reading or doing detailed work.
In a recent study performed in a Neurology clinic with 179 patients that had not responded to any other headache treatment, 54% reported that their headaches were gone or decreased substantially after being prescribed Neurolenses.
This is the Neurolens measurement machine at our office.
We encourage you to visit the Neurolens website by clicking here if you still have questions or want to find out more information about these lenses.