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The Surprising Link Between TMJ Dysfunction and Vision: What You Need to Know

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a condition that affects the joint connecting your jawbone to your skull. It commonly causes pain and discomfort in the jaw, but there is a surprising link between TMJ dysfunction and vision that many people may not be aware of. In this blog, we will explore the relationship between these two seemingly unrelated issues and provide valuable information that everyone should know.

Understanding TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ dysfunction occurs when the jaw’s muscles and joints do not work together properly. This can be due to various factors such as teeth grinding, stress, injuries or misalignment of the joint. Common symptoms include jaw pain, clicking sounds when opening or closing the mouth, headaches, and difficulty chewing or speaking.

The Connection to Vision

While it may seem unexpected, TMJ dysfunction can have an impact on your vision. The TMJs are located near the temporal bone, which is connected to the eye socket. Any dysfunction in this area can lead to strain and tension in the surrounding muscles, including those that control eye movement. This can result in a range of visual disturbances, such as:

  • Blurry Vision: TMJ dysfunction can cause the eye muscles to tense up, leading to blurred or distorted vision.
  • Eye Pain: Increased muscle tension around the eyes can cause eye pain or discomfort.
  • Double Vision: Misalignment of the jaw joint can affect the alignment of the eyes, leading to double vision.
  • Light Sensitivity: TMJ dysfunction can cause increased sensitivity to light, making it difficult to be in brightly lit environments.

These visual symptoms are often overlooked or attributed to other causes, leading to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are experiencing both TMJ dysfunction and visual disturbances, it is crucial to seek professional help from a health care provider who specialize in these areas. A comprehensive evaluation by a dentist or an oral and maxillofacial specialist can diagnose TMJ dysfunction and determine the appropriate treatment plan.

Additionally, an ophthalmologist or optometrist can assess your visual symptoms and rule out any underlying eye conditions. They may collaborate with other health care providers to ensure a holistic approach to your treatment.

Treatment Options

The treatment for TMJ dysfunction and related visual symptoms will depend on the underlying causes and severity of your condition. Some common treatment options include:

  • Occlusal Splints: These are custom-made devices that fit over your teeth to reduce grinding and realign the jaw joint.
  • Physical Therapy: Specific exercises can help strengthen the jaw muscles, improve joint mobility and alleviate tension.
  • Stress Management: Techniques like meditation, relaxation exercises and stress-reduction strategies can help reduce symptoms associated with TMJ dysfunction.
  • Eye Exercises: In some cases, eye exercises prescribed by an eye care professional can help alleviate visual disturbances caused by TMJ dysfunction.

It is important to remember that every individual’s situation is unique, so treatment plans should be tailored to address specific needs and symptoms.

Prevention and Self-Care

While not all cases of TMJ dysfunction can be prevented, certain self-care practices can help minimize the risk or severity of symptoms. These include:

  • Avoiding Hard or Chewy Foods: Foods that require excessive chewing can strain the jaw joint. Opt for softer alternatives.
  • Managing Stress: Stress is a common trigger for TMJ dysfunction. Find healthy ways to manage stress in your daily life.
  • Applying Heat or Cold Packs: Applying a warm or cold compress to the affected area can help alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Practicing Good Posture: Maintaining proper posture can reduce strain on the jaw and surrounding muscles.


TMJ dysfunction can have surprising effects on your vision. If you are experiencing symptoms of both, seek professional help to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Understanding the connection between TMJ dysfunction and vision is crucial for effectively managing and improving your overall well-being. With the right care and treatment, you can find relief and restore both your jaw function and visual health.