TMJ Dysfunction and Vision Changes

May 16, 2021
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

If you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction you may already know that this condition of the joints of the jaw can cause other problems throughout the head and neck. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (also known as TMJ dysfunction) occurs when the lower portion of the jaw becomes misaligned with the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw bone to the skull. This can cause pain and stiffness in the jaw, headaches, neck pain, backaches, tinnitus, teeth grinding, and more. Another problem it may cause that you may not have realized is changes in your vision. It’s true! Your jaw and your eyesight may be more closely connected than you think. Here’s why.

Called “binocular vision,” your eyesight may be compromised by temporomandibular joint dysfunction because of headaches that may occur and radiate to the eyes. This can not only cause headaches including migraine headaches, but it can also cause other vision problems, too.

Strabismus

Strabismus is a condition of the eyes when the eyeball becomes turned inward or outward, affecting your ability to see straight. This condition can occur at birth but can develop later in life due to injury such as the physical trauma of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

If you do develop strabismus, there are steps you can take to attempt to reverse the condition, such as eye therapy or corrective lenses. If you find yourself suffering from strabismus, speak with your optometrist about your options, and speak to Dr. Mingus to seek treatment for your temporomandibular joint dysfunction as well.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are a somewhat common form of headache that is accompanied by an ‘aura’ which can cause nausea and vision changes. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction has been shown to trigger migraine headaches in some patients. Though there is no cure for migraine headaches, there are specific treatments for these sometimes debilitating episodes. If you find yourself suffering from migraines, speak to your physician about your treatment options, and Dr. Mingus about your temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Often, treatment requires more than one course of action.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction-related eye problems don’t have to be your new normal. Treating your TMJ dysfunction can help clear up or reduce some of these issues, but we recommend a holistic approach to treating all symptoms and encourage you to seek optometric care if you notice any changes in your eyesight.