Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disorder characterized by several symptoms including generalized body aches, fatigue and sleep disorders.
The problems in the eyes are not considered as one of the signs that allow us to diagnose fibromyalgia, but it is a symptom that is quite common in people who have this condition.
Dr. Mark Pellegrino, a medical expert in fibromyalgia (and he himself suffers) says that in his clinic more than 20,000 people have been treated with fibromyalgia and that at least 50% of them have fibromyalgia eye problems
The most important eye problems that occur are:
1. Dry eyes
Many people with fibromyalgia suffer from a dry eye. This occurs when the ocular surface does not have sufficient lubrication that nourishes it and allows the eyelid to slide easily on the surface.
Dry eyes can cause burning, itching, redness, discomfort, and blurred vision. This condition makes it very difficult to use contact lenses as it causes pain and discomfort.
In the face of this problem, it is common for the doctor to prescribe tears to keep the eyes moist. If these drops do not work, the doctor may recommend some medications (which would normally require a prescription) or other treatments to reduce the symptom.
Fibromyalgia can cause photophobia, ie photosensitivity. This problem causes people outdoors to wear dark glasses, even when the day is cloudy. This also causes people to have trouble driving at night because the lights of the cars are very dazzling.
Bright light sources such as television light, neon light and sunlight can be sensitive. This problem does not distort the general view, but can cause discomfort through glare, dizziness and even pain.
3. eye pain
Fibromyalgia is itself a disease characterized by generalized body aches that even reach the eyes, as they can affect the eye muscles.
The pain can be intense and poignant and must be compounded by fatigue, lack of sleep, anxiety and stress.
4. Double image, blurry or changing.
Many patients with fibromyalgia usually have problems with vision and visual acuity. You have trouble focusing (or changing the focus) and the problem usually gets worse when the environment is dry or near smoke.
The ability to see things remotely can vary, one day they can not recognize the shapes of things, they perceive everything blurry, and they need lenses to focus better, but the next day they can easily and remotely see.
Blurred vision can be an obstacle for people to focus on things for a long time because their eyes are too tired and avoid effort.
5. Touch Sensitivity
People with fibromyalgia, who formerly wore prescription glasses, usually experience discomfort and irritation in the nose, cheeks, and ears when using glasses.
Sensitivity can be so important that the use of glasses can become intolerant as the frame causes pain in the face, nose and even in the ears and teeth.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THESE SYMPTOMS?
As with many aspects of fibromyalgia, the relationship that this disease has to eye problems is not well defined, but there are some positions that may answer the question:
– A percentage of people with fibromyalgia have eye problems due to Sjögren’s syndrome, which also causes dry mouth, and can be diagnosed by the presence of specific antibodies in the blood and other tests.
-The use of tricyclic antidepressants may play an important role in the development of symptoms of dryness.
-The dysfunction of the postural muscles involved in the movement of the eyeball can lead to spasms and then to visual disturbances.
-Fibromyalgia affects the nervous system and may therefore impair vision. It may cause the eyes to become light and touch sensitive, causing dry eyes and blurred vision.
-The lack of sleep quality can lead to dry eye symptoms, because if the eyes do not rest enough, they tend to dry much faster than normal.
Once you find you have eye problems, you should tell your doctor to determine the cause of your problems and to determine if fibromyalgia can play a role in these changes. Never autodiagnostics, let alone automatic.
After you have consulted your doctor, we offer the following recommendations:
– Avoid indoor fluorescent lamps.
– Use artificial tears to give your eyes proper lubrication.
– Use sunglasses or polarized glasses when outdoors.
– Avoid contact lenses when working in a dry environment or working long hours.
– Avoid environments with smoke.
– Do gentle eye exercises to stretch the activation points of the muscle: Look up, down, right, left, close your eyes, hold them open, etc.
– Use the right lenses to avoid eye strain, especially when reading
– If your doctor approves, try supplements with flaxseed oil, omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene.