If your patient has a migraine, chances are they have increased corneal sensation, particularly in the eye closest to the location of your headache.

In a study published in Eye & Contact Lens, Turkish researchers analyzed 58 patients with migraines and 30 healthy individuals in the control group. The study was limited to patients who did not have any eye disease. Corneal sensation was evaluated by esthesiometry in five different regions of the cornea.

There was no significant difference between the groups for age, sex or visual acuity. The study found an increased mean sensitivity of the nasal cornea in migraine patients (55.0mm vs. 53.75mm). Researchers also noted there was no significant difference in mean sensitivity for central (57.5mm vs. 55mm), temporal (57.5mm vs. 55mm), superior (52.5mm vs. 52.5mm) and inferior cornea (48.75mm vs. 47.5mm), or mean overall sensation (54.0mm vs. 52.75mm). However, the investigators found a trend of increased sensitivity in the patients with migraines. Among the subgroup of patients with unilateral migraine, mean overall sensation (54.0mm vs. 53.0mm) and temporal sensation (57.5mm vs. 55.0mm) were increased on the affected side.

“In this study, we have demonstrated that patients with migraine have increased corneal sensation, especially in the cornea of the affected side. This finding supports the idea that corneal sensation is altered in patients with migraine,” the researchers wrote.

Aykut V, Elbay A, Esen F, et al. Patterns of altered corneal sensation in patients with chronic migraine. Eye Contact Lens. September 25, 2018. (Epub ahead of print).