Summary: Migraines are the kind of headaches we all dread. There’s evidence to support that at least some migraines are caused by compression and stress of the nerves around the eyes. Often, this used to be treated by Botox injections, with generally favorable results. New research suggests that blepharoplasty—more commonly known as an eyelid lift—is offering some relief. Turns out this procedure might have an impact on migraine treatment, in the end giving patients the double bonus of relieving their pain and giving them a fresh, more youthful look.
Your Eyes and Your Head
Your eyes and your headaches are often related. Think about the last time you had a headache, and your best source of relief was closing your eyes. The same is true of those more intense headaches, the headache which we all fear and by which we know by that most despised name: migraine. Sure, maybe it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but it’s likely that if you think that, you’ve never had to deal with migraines on a consistent basis. They can be brutal. And if you think it’s a matter of toughness, migraines have been known to sideline NFL all-stars.
Relief in Sight
Relief from migraines seems to be coming from an unexpected source. According to research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, cosmetic eyelid surgery may actually play a part in relieving long term migraine pain. According to the July 2014 report, 90% of all patients who underwent the eyelid surgery—patients carefully selected for migraines caused by compressed nerves—found relief through the procedure.
Why the Eyelids Matter
Normally, eyelid surgery is performed for aesthetic purposes or because, due to the effect of aging, drooping eyelids begin to obstruct the vision of the patient. Performed under general anesthesia, excess tissue is cut from the eyelid and around the eye. This usually results in tighter tissue around the eye and, often, less impeded eyesight. While traditionally performed with a scalpel, cosmetic surgeons will often use a procedure known as laser blepharoplasty to remove excess eyelid tissue without leaving scars. According to the website of the Michigan eyelid lift experts at Accents Cosmetic Surgery, the laser is capable of eliminating that tissue layer by layer in such a way that no scars are left, bruising is minimized and swelling is minimal—which means everything heals a lot more quickly and a lot more smoothly.
The Mysteries of Migraines
Blepharoplasty—the medical term for eyelid lift—seems to relieve some of that pressure in the nerves around the eye. Around 50% of those in the study reported that their migraine pain went away in entirety. And because migraines are tricky beasts—there are many different types, and while we discover new things about what they are and how to fight them every day, they still remain quite nebulous and mysterious—the surgeons in this study confirmed the nerve-origin of these migraines by gaging the success of Botox injections.
As we’ve mentioned before, Botox has been successfully used to combat migraines, likely for the same reason that blepharoplasty works, as Botox paralyzes certain muscles and, therefore, relieves pressure. The patients in this study had responded favorably to the Botox treatment before pursuing the blepharoplasty. This was a sensible precaution, as Botox is a temporary solution and blepharoplasty is a relatively permanent one.
An Eye-Opening Change
Which, of course, brings us to the added bonus of this entire procedure. Eyelid lift is widely recognized—and applauded—for the amount of satisfaction and joy patients get out of the cosmetic results. Blepharoplasty will make you look remarkably more youthful, as it will eliminate the baggy skin around your eyes that can make you look sad and tired. What’s more, people will really be able to see your eyes again—and your eyes will sparkle.
So this new research really lets us get more bang for our buck. Not only will you get rid of those haunting, horrific, hateful migraines, but you’ll also end up looking a little bit younger to boot. That’s not a bad deal, especially when you stop to think about how much less you’ll have to wear those dark black sunglasses now that your migraines have gone away. It’ll be time for your eyes to really shine.