Lyme and Vision

 

A shorter one for today! Sorry folks, I need some more writing inspiration these days. I’m burnt out as I have said before. Ef you Zithro IVs! I feel like shit, but it helps me to write. Takes my mind off of how much my body hurts and brings some positivity to my world. I thought this would be a good one to research, as I have read several questions on forums about eye and vision issues and I am in the same boat at the moment. 

 

A lot of us Lymies have had some sort of eye issues either before or undergoing treatment.  I feel like a lot of us probably experience some sort of blurriness, floaters, dry eye, among other issues. 

 

I have been legally blind (without the use of glasses or contacts) for over 10 years now. I am pretty sure that is not Lyme related, since my mother has poor vision too, but I don’t think Lyme is helping out anything, especially my right eye these days. My right eye is all wonky, coming and going with the ability to see like I am looking through a frosted shower door. It’s wonderful.

 

I am back where I was a year ago. These issues I know are neurological, with the exception of my right eye acting up.

 

 I have a hard time getting through paragraphs, so I try to break them up as much as possible. 

 

I have a terrible time reading the computer screen, unless I make it much bigger. I actually print out every piece of research I do, and highlight things that I find interesting. I put everything in Microsoft Word, make it bigger, separate everything in easy to read shorter lines, and print them up to learn more, and to share what I know with you, readers.

 

But, a disadvantage, I am sick. I don’t feel like picking things up. You can imagine all the highlighted papers on my couch, completely unorganized, and me laying on top of them, because I don’t feel like moving them. So crunch, crunch, crunch, laying on my couch. Doing my IVs that never end… Anywho…

 

It is common among people in the early stages of Lyme to develop conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. It causes the eyes to be red, goopy, and uncomfortable. Unlike many forms of conjunctivitis, this form that occurs in Lyme disease is NOT contagious.  

 

Bell’s palsy, which is usually one of the first signs of Lyme, can also cause eye damage of the corneas. People suffering from Bell’s palsy can have a hard time blinking or closing their eyes, which can either dry or tear the cornea, which can permanently effect your vision if you are not treated right away. 

 

When Lyme disease has reached a chronic stage, every part of your eye can be effected. The main reason being inflammation. This is what causes all those symptoms such as the blurriness, floaters and dry eye. Your optic nerve can be effected (optic neuritis), causing visual loss. Loss of vision can also be caused by inflammation of the brain, that is common among Lymies as well.

 

What is the number one issue that I found regarding eye problems and Lyme disease?

 Image

 It is a condition called scleritis. This is an inflammation of the sclera (the white part of your eye) that is usually associated with autoimmune diseases, but sometimes there is an unknown cause. It is said that Lyme can cause damage this part of your eye directly. Just another thing to look out for. Scleritis is a problem can cause blurred vision, eye pain, red patches, painful sensitivity to light, and tearing of the eye. 

 

Maybe this can be a big part of all the vision changes we seem to be facing. I would definitely recommend if you are having any issues with your eyes to have a visit with your eye doctor, just to be sure there isn’t any damage to be worrying about, or if you have one of these conditions. 

 

Recommendations for eye issues among Lymies are antibiotic eyedrops. Some doctors recommend steroid drops, but we all know that is a bad idea, right?! Regular eye drops to produce more tears or alleviate pain can also help. 

 

I had heard a little about the negatives of wearing contact lenses while undergoing a Lyme treatment, and of course wanted to learn more. I am personally a contact wearer, but also have a spare pair of glasses kicking around the house. I was curious if there was anything to really worry about? 

 

I know with dry eyes, it is probably wise to skip the contacts, as I know that contact issues can also cause floaters, and blurriness as well. Is it from wearing contacts or is it the Lyme? I am sure it could be some type of herxing as well.

 

The Lyme bacteria is everywhere in your body, including your eyes. and wearing contacts can raise local toxin levels when you kill of the little bastards. Your eyes are an organ of elimination. You tear up, cry, get eye boogies, whatever, to get rid of what is not suppose to be in there. By wearing contacts, it hinders your eyes from flushing them out all the way. Ew! 

 

Wearing contacts also hinders the amount of oxygen that goes into your eye, which comes into play as Lyme. As you know, Lyme hates oxygen. Why give it any reason to be in a happy environment?

 

I lastly learned while taking certain antibiotics, such as Rifampin, it is recommended to not wear contacts. This has nothing to do with Lyme itself, but the antibiotic can turn your urine, stool and tears an orange color, so with the orange, your contacts might get ruined so that is why it is best to hold off while on that particular antibiotic. 

 

At least now I know some of the things to look out for, why I might be having some problems with my right eye, and keeping the contacts in the drawer in my bathroom and pulling out those frames just might be a good idea. I am foreseeing (no pun intended) this to be a part of my future!

 

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/article/001003.htm, http://www.angelfire.com/me2/StarSgar/Herx1.html, http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=045916;p=0, http://chicago.medicine.uic.edu/cms/One.aspx?pageid=1564493, http://www.simoneye.com,medicine.net, Photo cred:http://simple-health-secrets.com

9 thoughts on “Lyme and Vision

  1. I had an awful time with my eyes during treatment for Lyme. My eye dr did put me on steroid drops. Can’t say that they did any good. After several months of treatment my dr said he just didn’t know what else to do for me. I still suffer eye pain from time to time. My eyes looked like I was demon posessed. So red and bloodshot looking. It was very painful!!

    • I can imagine so! Luckily only the corners of my eyes get red from time to time. I would avoid steroids, however, a no-no for Lymies. Maybe see if you can try an Rx drop or an eyedrop to relieve pain that does not contain alcohol. The things we deal with!

  2. My problem with my eyes is double vision. I most notice the problem when looking at the tv screen. There is a second ghost version below and usually off to the right of the word I am looking at. The distance between the words changes depending on how bad or good I feel. My optometrist looked in my eyes and said he saw nothing. Therefore there was no reason for me to be on an antibiotic drop. I had been complaining about this double vision for years and even consulted an ophthalmologist who said he also saw nothing. The original doctor said I shouldn’t be on the drops but I told him this was the only thing that had actually eliminated the double vision. (Temporarily, anyway. I guess as long as I still have lyme I will deal with this.)

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