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Blurred or Double Vision and Fibromyalgia Syndrome

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 28 Aug 2014 |
 
Fibromyalgia Syndrome Eyes Eyesight

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a disorder that causes abnormal sensitivity to touch and pain, along with muscle stiffness and chronic tiredness. People with fibromyalgia syndrome can find that it also causes a range of problems with eyesight.

With any sudden changes in vision, it is important to see an optician or doctor as soon as possible.

Blurred or Double Vision

The visual symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome include double vision or blurred vision. This may be because the muscles around the eye have gone into spasm, pulling the two eyes in different directions. Even if this is only slight, it can be enough to make sight blurred or double.

What Helps With Blurred or Double Vision?

Some people can find that eye exercises will stretch the muscles around the eye. Having a number of different pairs of glasses with different prescriptions may help.

Light Sensitivity

People with fibromyalgia syndrome may also find that their eyes are sensitive to touch and to light. They may find fluorescent lights and computer screens too bright, and direct sunlight can be uncomfortable or even painful.

What Helps With Light Sensitivity?

Avoiding fluorescent lights or bright lights (if possible can help) – otherwise, try tinted glasses or sunglasses, which can be worn both indoors and out. Foods rich in beta-carotene, such as carrots and leafy green vegetables, might help.

Dry Eyes

Another of the eye symptoms in fibromyalgia syndrome can be dry or gritty-feeling eyes, especially first thing in the morning. This is known as ‘sicca syndrome’.

What Helps With Dry Eyes?

Avoiding wearing contact lenses for long periods may help, especially in dry and air-conditioned environments. Keeping away from smoky environments is also a good idea, and that is a lot easier now the smoking ban is in place.

Doctors can prescribe ‘artificial tears’, which help to keep the eyes moist and make them more comfortable. Humidifiers (or just dishes of water next to radiators) can make the air less dry.

Visual Comprehension

Some people find that visual information is scrambled on its way to the brain. This is similar to the ‘fibrofog’ that some fibromyalgia syndrome sufferers say makes thinking difficult.

What Helps With Visual Comprehension?

Make sure that there is adequate light when reading, and use the right glasses to reduce eyestrain. Focusing on one thing at a time can help with confusion and stress.

Side Effects

People with fibromyalgia syndrome may take a number of drugs. Some of these can cause visual side effects, including tricyclic antidepressants. These can cause blurred vision but this usually goes away after a few weeks.

What Helps With Side Effects?

Some side effects can go away after a few days or a few weeks. If side effects carry on and are very bad, it is worthwhile talking to the doctor to see if he or she can suggest any alternative drugs.

Floaters

Floaters (spots or threads that float across the field of vision) can be more common in people with fibromyalgia syndrome. Unless there is a sudden shower of floaters, which can be a sign of a tear in the retina, these are generally nothing serious.

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I realize this article is three years old, but when I came across it I was concerned that it mentions what to do about S.A.D. for people suffering from the winter kind and not the summer. I have S.A.D. with summer and fibromyalgia. I think it should address that more properly and not leave us summer people behind. The planet is heating up and it is becoming an issue for a lot of us.
Miki - 28-Aug-14 @ 2:47 AM
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