Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes chronic physical and mental problems including pain, fatigue and psychological distress 1. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, symptoms also include sleep disturbances, headaches, skin sensitivities, dry eyes, dizziness, impaired coordination and vision problems 1. The effects of fibromyalgia on the eyes impact abilities to perform daily activities such as driving, especially at night, and detailed work such as sewing since the disorder can cause double or blurred vision 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. According Fibromyalgia-symptoms.org, fibromyalgia dries the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth as well as eyes 1. This condition--called “sicca”--can make it extremely uncomfortable to wear contact lenses. The authors on the website End Fatigue report that tear production may be decreased in about 90 percent of patients with the disorder and may be worsened by nutritional deficiencies and many medications.
Fibromyalgia causes light sensitivity and some patients with fibromyalgia must wear dark glasses anytime they go outdoors 1. This may be related to how the part of the brain called the hypothalamus responds to light. In addition, patients with fibromyalgia may also be sensitive to the light produced by a television, fluorescent light and headlights of oncoming cars 1.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, pain is a chronic and widespread symptom of the syndrome—and that includes eye pain 1. Pain may be exacerbated by fatigue, lack of sleep, anxiety and stress. Fibromyalgia impacts the ocular muscles and may cause misalignment of the eyes which may contribute to double or blurred vision 1.
- “The Eye Book”; Gary H. Cassel, M.D., Michael D. Billig, O.D. and Harry G. Randall, M.D.; 1998
- woman image by Svetlana Kashkina from Fotolia.com