Blood Pressure Related to Glaucoma and Migraine

A new study carried out by Yury S Astakhov, MD, PhD, of Pavlov Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, has focused on the way that daytime and nighttime blood pressure levels could be related to the development of glaucoma in people suffering from migraines.

Migraine is a neurological syndrome that alters bodily perceptions and causes severe headaches and nausea.

It is also a very common risk factor for open-angle glaucoma, which is an illness that damages the optic nerve and causes blindness.

The new research found that the relationship between migraine and glaucoma was even stronger for people with 'normal tension' glaucoma, or NTC, who have a normal pressure within the eye but the damage to the optic nerve happens anyway.

Another proved fact is that patients with a low blood pressure at night, have higher risks of developing visual field loss (a decrease of the full range of vision, happening first in the peripheral vision) than others.

The team of researchers compared systolic and diastolic blood pressures between daytime and nighttime, in 12 patients who had migraine and glaucoma – out of which 8 had NTG, and 16 patients with migraine but no glaucoma.

Dr. Astakhov found that the only difference was in the nighttime diastolic pressure levels – patients with migraine and glaucoma had a decrease of over 20%, unlike those suffering from migraine only.

“We conclude that low diastolic blood pressure at night is a possible risk factor for glaucoma in patients with migraine,” said Dr. Astakhov.

It is very important to understand such effects, because doctors need to know how to treat patients with multiple diseases.

This new research on glaucoma risk in people with migraine will be presented at the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) – Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting, October 16 through 19 at McCormick Place, Chicago.

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