An autoimmune condition that causes chronic mental and physical problems, including fatigue, pain, and even psychological distress is known as fibromyalgia.
According to a research, this condition is found in over 6 million people in US.
According to NFA (National Fibromyalgia Association), symptoms of fibromyalgia can likewise include sleep disturbances, sensitive skin, headaches, dizziness and impairments in coordination, dry eyes, and problems with vision- even potentially leading to visual deficiency.
Fibromyalgia adversely affect eyes in a way that it impacts individual’s ability to perform daily activities, like driving- especially at night.
Detailed work can also be affected like sewing, because fibromyalgia can cause an individual to have blurry or double vision.
What Could Happen to the Eyes of a Fibromyalgia Patient?
Firstly, let’s list down what can possibly happen to the eyes of fibromyalgia patient. In general, these are:
- Dry eyes
- Tearing up of the eyes
- Blurry/Double vision
- Sensitivity to light/touch
- Problems focusing
- General eye pain
- Eye pain when moving the eyes
- Floaters/Flashing lights
- Distorted vision
- Transitioning from looking at something near vs. far
- Macular degeneration
- Frequently changing glasses prescription
- Problems wearing contacts
The problems mentioned above can also occur with or without fibromyalgia medications; due to the medications that were given, they tend to be worse in most cases.
Let’s discuss some of the most common eye problems with regards to fibromyalgia, in more detail:
The symptoms of dry eyes can range from mild to severe in an individual having fibromyalgia. Mucous membranes of the mouth and nose as well as the eyes start to get dry due to fibromyalgia.
This type of condition is called “sicca” and it makes it almost impossible to wear contact lens due to the discomfort.
Experts believe that in individual’s having fibromyalgia, tear production could be decreased in around 90 percent and could be intensified by nutritional deficiencies as well as several medications.
Sensitivity to Light
Individual with fibromyalgia tends to be more sensitive to light. So, when they plan on being outdoors, they must wear very dark glasses.
This sensitivity to light has to do with how the hypothalamus reacts to the light stimulus.
In addition, light that emits from the television or computer screen, as well as fluorescent lights (yes that’s true, if you have fibromyalgia, get rid of those energy saving light bulbs – they’re not good for you), and even the headlights of cars affect the individual’s having fibromyalgia.
Pain in the Eye
According to The National Fibromyalgia Association, pain that is associated with fibromyalgia is chronic and widespread. This includes pain in or close to the eyes.
Due to lack of sleep, fatigue, stress, and anxiety, this pain could be increased. The ocular muscles can be affected by fibromyalgia pain and can cause the eyes to be misaligned, and that also cause double or blurry vision (more on that in a bit).
Thick mucus over their eyes can be developed by individuals having fibromyalgia, occasionally. This layer of mucus can impair vision, making some activities, like driving at night.
Individuals having fibromyalgia have Blurry and double vision in common and in many cases can be associated with other symptoms like postural dizziness or vertigo.
Sensitivity to Touch
Some of the individuals having fibromyalgia can’t wear glasses because their nerves in the neck and the face are triggered by the weight of the glasses on their face, causing pain. This pain is then radiated to the ears, nose, and even teeth.
Fibromyalgia really can lead to blindness, though it is not so common and typically only occurs in those with RA.
Arteritis can occur in this condition, it is an inflammation in one or both of the temporal arteries.
The inflammation can end up spreading to the optical nerve without properly and rapidly treating this with high doses of steroids, in this way bringing about partial or total blindness in the eye that is affected.
Coping with Fibromyalgia
Want to get rid of these eye conditions and the other pain associated with fibromyalgia? Learn how to manage your fibromyalgia signs and symptoms.
See all the facts about fibromyalgia and then find out the best ways to treat it. You have to take proactive steps and give more attention to your personal health.
Few coping strategies that you can implement to help yourself cope with fibromyalgia are described below:
- Minimize stress/Remove yourself from stressful conditions- it has been shown that fibromyalgia flare-ups are the reason of this stress/stressful conditions.
- Make modifications in your job site- consult your boss about coming late or staying late- take your time to get the things done, don’t rush yourself (and therefore stress yourself out).
- Improve communication skills- be honest about your pain and fatigue to those who are dear to you, so that they understand more about your condition.
- Learn how to say “NO”- if a commitment will keep take you to be careless about yourself, say no to it. Set some personal limits on what you’ll do for people.
- Keep a journal of your signs/symptoms and triggers- what is the reason of flare-ups and what makes them go away can be identified by keeping a journal.
- Soak in a warm bath- your tensed muscles will be relaxed, will also reduce pain and help you move with greater ease.
- Regularly exercise- especially, aerobic exercise has antidepressant and analgesic effects on your body- it can help you have a superior feeling of well-being and make you feel more in control.
- Reduce/eliminate caffeine from your diet- fibromyalgia flare-up can be due to caffeine. Your signs and symptoms can be controlled by throwing it out of your diet.
- Implement mind/body relaxation techniques- you can be more calm and in a more peaceful state of mind, and you will also relax and rest much better.
- Pay attention to your sleep conditions- turn off the electronics!
- Join a support group for fibromyalgia- it will let you know that there are others suffering from the same condition.
- Take time for yourself- do things that you want to do, instead of things you “have” to do. Give priority to yourself so that you have sufficient energy to complete your goals.