Headaches and migraines after concussions or stroke

Headaches and migraines are common problems seen following a stroke, concussion, or other traumatic brain injury. While there can be several direct causes of these symptoms following an injury due to sustained damage, one that can be overlooked is damage to the visual system.

Headaches and migraines after concussions or stroke in Chattanooga

Amplify Eyecare Chattanooga

How Can Damage to the Visual System From a Traumatic Brain Injury Cause Headaches or Migraines?

Following a traumatic brain injury, the ocular muscles may need to exert additional effort in order to compensate for damage done to the visual system as a result of the trauma.

This extra effort often leads to eye strain, which in turn causes pain around the temples and forehead similar to a migraine. As a result, it is often incorrectly assumed that one is suffering from a standard tension headache or a migraine.

This is important, since a headache caused by eye strain requires a different treatment than a tension headache or migraine. For most headaches caused by visual problems, correcting that problem will alleviate the symptoms, if not eliminate them entirely. 


How is a Diagnosis Made?

The best way to receive an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your headaches or migraines is to see our neuro-optometrist for a functional eye exam. This goes much more in depth than a standard eye exam can, and will be able to tell you with certainty whether you have a vision issue that may be causing your headaches. The results of this exam will also assist our doctor in understanding the underlying cause of your symptoms and create an effective treatment plan.

How is a Diagnosis Made?
How Does Treatment Work?

How Does Treatment Work?

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy consists of highly individualized treatment, based on your unique situation. Treatment plans generally include exercises which will help you retrain your brain-eye connection so as to correct any damage done during your injury. A treatment plan may also include specialized lenses, prisms, and syntonics designed to ease your headaches.

How Does Treatment Work?

How Long Does Treatment Take?

Length of treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on individual situations. However, even in cases where it takes longer, you should start seeing improvements early in the process. Our neuro-optometrist will go over the length and strategy for your treatment during the functional eye exam. 

Dr. McBryar cartoon


Headaches and migraines are common symptoms experienced after strokes, concussions, or other traumatic brain injuries. While there can be several root causes due to damage sustained, damage to the visual system is one possibility which is too often overlooked. In cases where headaches experienced following a stroke or other traumatic brain injury are caused by issues with the visual system, they can often be eliminated by treating the underlying vision issue. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is an extremely effective treatment for these issues. If you are experiencing headaches or migraine following a stroke or other traumatic brain injury, Book an Appointment to schedule a functional vision exam.


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