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The Link Between TMJ and Vision Problems: Insights from Dr. Mingus

Did you know that vision problems may be connected to alterations of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)? It is increasingly recognized that TMJ may play a role in a wide variety of conditions, including visual symptoms. To explore this link further, we spoke to Dr. John Mingus, an expert in treating TMJ and the associated conditions. In this article, we share some of Dr. Mingus’ insights on the topic, along with some of the latest research in the field.

Treating TMJ to Improve Vision

Dr. Mingus explains that treating TMJ can improve a wide range of issues, including blurred or double vision, eye strain, fatigue in the eyes or eyelids, sensitivity to light, problems with depth perception, or difficult focusing when reading or using a screen. In some cases, correcting TMJ can help patients who have chronic headaches or migraines with aura.

Dr. Mingus offers a variety of treatments for TMJ, including jaw exercises and stretches, splints and night guards, soft-tissue mobilization or “myofascial release” to resolve musculoskeletal tension, and relaxation techniques to address anxiety and stress. Surgery is rarely necessary, as most cases of TMJ can be helped in other ways. Dr. Mingus recommends that patients first undergo a detailed evaluation of their jaw, neck, and head muscles to get a better idea of the underlying cause, and to identify the appropriate treatment plan.

Why Are TMJ and Vision Problems Linked?

Research suggests that the link between TMJ and vision problems may be because the trigeminal nerve, which runs through the TMJ, also has branches that extend to the eyes. When the TMJ is not functioning properly, the trigeminal nerve may be negatively affected, which can, in turn, lead to symptoms of visual dysfunction. Understanding this link can help practitioners more effectively treat the underlying problems, rather than simply addressing the symptoms.

Additionally, researchers have found that when a patient experiences changes in jaw position or is under stress, it can lead to changes in the position of the eyes in their sockets. These changes in eye position can lead to discomfort, eyestrain, and other visual symptoms in some individuals. Addressing these changes in jaw position, or the underlying stress, may therefore be necessary to resolve visual symptoms.


Dr. Mingus offers some important insights about the link between TMJ and vision problems. Treating TMJ can improve a wide variety of visual symptoms, from blurry vision to difficulty focusing when reading. It is thought that this link may be due to the trigeminal nerve that runs through the TMJ, or changes in jaw position that can affect the position of the eyes. Understanding this link can help practitioners more effectively treat the underlying problems, rather than simply addressing the symptoms.

If you experience visual symptoms and are dealing with TMJ, it may be worth exploring the link with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner like Dr. Mingus. Getting an evaluation of the trigeminal nerve function, as well as an evaluation of jaw position and muscle tension, can help identify the underlying cause of your symptoms, and lead to a more effective treatment plan.