Millions of Americans suffer from chronic, severe headaches on a regular basis. Local doctors have now teamed up to create technology to diagnose and treat a specific type of headache.
51-year-old Josephine Schallenkamp struggled with daily headaches for years.
"Never sure what they were caused by," Schallenkamp said.
Doctors convinced the Sioux Falls woman to take part in a clinical trial almost two years ago. Schallenkamp was tested for eyeGraines, a new-found class of headaches.
"It has to do with the interaction between your brain and your eyes and how they all coordinate together. If they don't coordinate together appropriately, then your brain has to do more work," Medical Director of The Headache Center Dr. Carol Miles said.
"The headaches are created by mismanagement between how our central vision and our peripheral vision lock onto a target," Optometrist Dr. Jeff Krall said.
Dr. Jeff Krall came up with the idea for testing and treating the headache type.
First, patients undergo an exam called SightSync. It determines whether there's an imbalance between the eyes and the brain.
"I think it's very common, but it's been misunderstood until we've developed the equipment to be able to measure it," Krall said.
After a patient is diagnosed, he or she is fitted for what's called NeuroLenses.
"An individualized prescription comes out of the SightSync measurement that is then placed in the lenses," Miles said.
Dr. Carol Miles has teamed up with Dr. Krall to educate neurologists about the new technology. So far more than 80 percent of patients have had fewer or no headaches after wearing the glasses. That includes Schallenkamp.
"As long as I'm wearing my glasses, I really do feel better on a daily basis," Schallenkamp said.
Right now, the testing and treatment is not covered by insurance, but Dr. Krall hopes that it will someday be available nationwide.
For more information about the treatment plan, The Headache Center is hosting a community seminar on May 13th at 6:00 p.m. For more information check out The Headache Center website.