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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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 was diagnosed with fibro 14 years ago and have noticed that the symptoms are getting worse as I get older I now have double vision and recently got diagnosed with Hypo Reactive Glycemia, the more I read on this unforgiving disease the more I'm finding out that everything I either have or have gotten in the not so distant past is related to Fibro and it makes me really wonder if my son has it as well. Or when I'm going to end up in a chair because I'll be in to much pain to do anything else. I have a cane, walker and a chair now that I only use when I absolutely have to but those days seem to be getting closer and closer together. I'm trying to go for disability however keep getting told that it's not going to happen so I push myself and continue to work close to 70-80 hours a week. If there is anyone that has any suggestions on how to live with this that would make it easier I would love to know what you do that I could try.
Tink - 11-Jan-18 @ 4:15 AM
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.