How common is eye pain and blurry vision in fibromyalgia? What are your experiences?

JayCS

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My eye doctor said she has seen a comorbidity with dry eyes and fibromyalgia.
Whoops, I forgot to hand the stats in:
"Eye pain and dry eye are common in chronic pain patients, with comparable prevalence in musculoskeletal pain patients with (67% pain & 67% dryness) and without fibromyalgia (62% pain, 76% dryness)." So a definite co-morbidity.

That's from a 2018 German study "Eye Pain and Dry Eye in Patients with Fibromyalgia" of 90 muskoskeletal patients, 66 of those fulfilling the FM criteria (1990 ACR). The patients were recruited 2012, so the old 1990 ACR criteria were used, incl. tender points. They mention that the the revised criteria from 2010/11 actually mention dry eyes. Almost all of those with dry eyes had "dry eye syndrom".
Pain descriptors used between 25 and 50% of them were: flashing, pressing, pulling, burning, rasping, tiring, gruelling (25%), annoying, and above 50% itchy. This is interesting, as they are sensory rather than affective (= emotional). *
In line with previous studies.
Dryer eyes are connected to higher severity of FM.
"The present study found relatively few cases of abnormal tear function using Schirmer’s test, while the perception of dry eye was prevalent in both groups (FMS and musculoskeletal pain)."
"Dry eye disease seems to be influenced by peripheral and central sensitization and consists of different subtypes with various dysfunctions in the corneal pain system." (E.g. high pain sensitivity, low pain tolerance, hyperesthesia, reduced corneal nerve fiber density found in other studies.)

* For describing pain more exactly the distinction between sensory and affective intrigued me, so I looked it up, but on the fly only found an ancient, but good, psychological study from 1992 Sensory and Affective Components of Pain: Separation and Synthesis, giving the examples: sensory = sharp, throbbing; affective = nagging, terrifying, so relating to tension and fear etc., while saying that they of course are hard to distinguish, e.g. "annoying" may be said to belong to both types.
This underscores exactly what we've often recommended here, trying to cope better by separating the emotional aspect off from the sensory one: the way animals like dogs suffer (@sunkacola), radical acceptance (@Jemima, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).
 

JayCS

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They mention that the the revised criteria from 2010/11 actually mention dry eyes.
Just had a look at the 2016 criteria (like the "test questionnaire" on here) and these do not mention them. Aside from headaches in the Symptoms Severity Score the "highest" they go in the Widespread Pain Index is jaw and neck. But looking at the possibilities they have made it as concise as possible: jaw, shoulder, upper & lower arm and leg, hip all left and right, then neck, upper & lower back for the torso, whilst chest & abdomen like jaw are listed, but don't count.

Where I (we?) need to stand corrected is that according to the 2016 ACR criteria:
"Fibromyalgia is diagnosed if you meet all 3 criteria 1-3, independent of whether other diagnoses contribute to these
symptoms
. This is new: FMS diagnosis used to require that there be no other diagnosis to explain the findings."
In short they say if we have widespread and severe pain longer than 3 months, that is fibromyalgia.
That to me means that we can actually self-diagnose using :▶️
our online test. What we still need to do IMHO is get everything double checked. I think this is so fundamentally important to realize/discuss that I'll cross-post this on the "test"-threads....
 

qsj748

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Wow thank you all for the information you have all provided. I too suffer severe vision problems. I’m very sensitive to light. Can barely see in unlit areas. I have double vision at times, sometimes black floaters but the worst is blurred vision. I’d say my vision has depleted more so in the last year.
 

sunkacola

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Wow thank you all for the information you have all provided. I too suffer severe vision problems. I’m very sensitive to light. Can barely see in unlit areas. I have double vision at times, sometimes black floaters but the worst is blurred vision. I’d say my vision has depleted more so in the last year.
I recommend you get the double vision checked out, as well as the other issues. These things can get worse, and it might be something that could be treated. I have severe double vision myself, and it cannot be fixed (or so I have been told), but I eventually did get eyeglasses that correct it enough for me to be able to see mostly normally.

I am also sensitive to light, wear sunglasses unless it is overcast or night, and my eyes are sensitive to dust and to even the slightest wind. I find that wearing well-fitted glacier glasses takes care of all of those things because they surround and protect your eyes, so I recommend them. Unfortunately if you wear glasses, it is hard to impossible to find glacier glasses that will fit over your eyeglasses. You can, however, find high quality glacier glasses that are well enough made that your optician can fit prescription lenses into them. Or, but a pair that have the feature of interchangeable lenses, and then it is very easy for the optician to make prescription lenses that fit them.
 

sharonsunny

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Eye doctor insists that they can't make the glasses prescription stronger, and the blurriness is from dry eyes. Regular doctor says it is from fibromyalgia. Eyes hurt and I am always using the one eye drop that gives any relief and eye gel throughout the day. But they make things even blurrier. Reading is so hard. I end up closing the weaker eye to read. I do not have double vision every.

Anyone want to share their experiences?
DRY eye is very common, I have dry eye after cataractt surgery, some days using drops 5-6 times a day, and eye gel at night, just keep using them, if you have seen an optometrist, to make sure you dont have iritis or uveitis, as this can happen with an autoimmune disease/
 

UnknownRN

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I don't have dry eyes, but I began to have a really hard time seeing with low hanging florescent lighting and looking at a computer. I'm usually blinded by car headlights at night! I now only wear prescription glasses that have a blue light filter. While it hasn't made my vision perfect, it has gotten rid of the eye tiredness and strain in daily life. Something to think about!
 

fimi

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I also suffer with dry eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision. I have been told that I have the beginning of a Cortical Cataract in one eye which is probably adding to the blurryness.

Although not yet needed, I found a surgery online that will not attempt cataract surgery on a patient with fibro as it is seen as a contraindication. I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of this?

Also, I'm not one to blame everything on fibro, and unfortunately I'll put it down to age, but I was also wondering if anyone has any information regards a connection of cataracts and fibro? My optician said this type of catract is usually seen in patients, with an injury to the eye, diabetes or on steroids, of which I am none, so I'm beginning to wonder...
 
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Uhura

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I think I am keeping certain eye drops and eye gels in business. At least they help some, just not permantly.
 

Stressedout

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May I suggest, if you haven’t already, get good dry eye otc drops that come it little vials. Perhaps your eye dr will recommend some. Mine did.
 

Stressedout

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Hear me out, please. I have this issue at times.1. Hydrate consistently. It takes 3 days to properly hydrate your body. Keep it up. Water, Gatorade zero(NOT regular Gatorade that is all sugar), etc.2. If you are not properly hydrated your digestive system will not work well. If I get constipated badly enough I get headaches, sinus pressure, fatigue & eye pressure that lasts for days. Ugly. Even if you use the bathroom daily it may not be enough. It’s a hard lesson to learn & I forget occasionally & pay the price. As long as you don’t have a medical reason not to hydrate, try it. 3. Eat well; eat foods with water, salads, fruit, etc. Limit foods that have too much salt( guilty).
 

Stressedout

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I forgot one thing . If you have Rosacea as I do, it can cause eye itchiness & burning. See a derm to get an rx to keep the R under control. Not everything is related to fibromyalgia.
 

Medicine

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If you have eye pain then stretch the eye mentally and physically. Create the alternate effect of a black hole in the area
 
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