How Fibromyalgia Can Affect Your Eyesight

12 March 2015
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


Fibromyalgia—a disease that affects the nervous system—can cause changes in your eyesight. Some people who never needed glasses need them after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Although there are many effects fibromyalgia can have on your eyes and vision, educating yourself about the disorder and seeing your eye care specialist for regular eye exams can prevent complications.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms That Can Affect Your Vision

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Poor night vision

  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses due to sore and irritated eyes

  • Dry eyes, which can make eye pain worse

  • Eye floaters (moving flecks or spots) in your field of vision

  • Pain set off by myofascial trigger points in the face and neck when wearing eyeglasses—usually caused by painful eye muscles

  • Vertigo or postural dizziness—a spinning sensation that can make it difficult to focus your eyes

  • Blurred or double vision

  • Migraine headaches—intense pain or pressure in or around one or both eyes, often accompanied by a halo or aura of bright flashing lights

Medications to treat fibromyalgia and other health conditions can make some of these symptoms worse. They include

  • Antidepressants—most cause dry eyes

  • Antihistamines—often found in over-the-counter sleep aids your doctor may recommend

  • Diuretics and ACE inhibitors prescribed to treat high blood pressure

  • Common over-the-counter pain relievers

  • Birth control pills—dry eyes are a common side effect

Talk to your doctor if you are taking any of these medications and are having problems with your eyes.

5 Tips That Can Help Ease Common Vision-Related Symptoms

  1. Wear sunglasses or tinted lenses and a wide-brimmed hat whenever you are outdoors. If your eyes are a lighter color, you may be even more sensitive to bright sunlight. When your eyes are overly sensitive to light, bright light can cause pain and discomfort.

  2. Rest your eyes by closing them for a few minutes whenever they feel strained.

  3. Ask your eye doctor to prescribe special eyeglasses to help you see the computer screen better or when driving at night. These help reduce the strain on your eyes by reducing how much blue light filters through to your eyes. While blue light is what helps you see, too much of it can hurt your eyes.

    Looking to the right edge of the roadway when you drive at night can help lessen the impact of the glare from oncoming headlights. If you continue to have difficulty seeing at night, only drive during the daylight hours.

  4. Avoid fluorescent lighting when you can. Fluorescent light bulbs give off blue light. In addition to being harmful to your eyes, excessive exposure to blue light at night suppresses melatonin secretion. That can interfere with your sleep—something you don't want if you have fibromyalgia. Fatigue and sleep problems are common among individuals with fibromyalgia.

  5. Use a magnifying glass to read if it's too painful for you to wear glasses or contact lenses. There are numerous types of magnifiers available you can use to help with low vision and reduce the strain on your eyes.

Get an eye exam to see what to do about your eye condition.