ST. PAUL, MN -- Eye pain is an oft-accompanied symptom of migraine sufferers. Researchers have found that treating inflammation in the eye's trochlea tendon can relieve the headache pain associated with migraines, or prevent the triggering of full-blown migraine attacks. The study of five migraine patients with trochleitis (inflammation of the trochlea tendon) is reported in the current issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Participants in the study included five women who suffered from migraine following the onset of pain around the area of the eye socket, and which through a battery of tests including brain imaging, were determined to have trochleitis. The women reported the onset of trochleitis caused their baseline migraine headache to worsen for several hours, or even days. The women had suffered from trochleitis from two to 18 years, and described a range of pain from "dull ache" to "excruciating."
Patients were treated with steroid injections of dexamethasone and methylprednisolone applied directly to the inflamed trochlea. Injections produced relief of the ocular pain and associated migraine symptoms within 48 to 72 hours.
Study author Julio Yangela Rodilla, MD, with the Headache Program, Fundacion Hospital Alcorcon, Madrid, Spain, said all five patients experienced relief following treatment, with one achieving complete improvement. The other four who received second injections following recurring flare-ups, also achieved relief from the recurring symptoms. "Continuing follow up of these patients for up to two years after the initial injection did not change the diagnosis or results," said Rodilla.
"Other types of headaches with an eye pain component should be considered for investigation into the effectiveness of steroid treatment," said Rodilla.