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Vision symptoms: floaters, snow, blurred/dimmed vision, twitching, dry eyes and pain

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Sleepan
On 3/1/2020 at 8:01 PM, Edmunds said:

But I did not get a lot worse, having made that trip. And gradually, gradually, I started to get better. I'm still in WD, though the anxiety has much receded.

 

Positivity helps a lot.  I always found trips a lot of fun.  Probably traveling can increase one's immunity, as it is a positive stress.  I have good news.  I noticed my floater zig zag in front of my left eye is suddenly gone, few hours after doing a meditation with specificity on healing.  It may come back.  Earlier, I noticed it was more fainted.  Whatever, I'm happy.  As @ten0275 wrote, symptoms do disappear after a while.  

 

I think I may conclude my floater was more a symptom, and not a retina detachment as feared by my doctor, yes?

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Icip

Hi all,

 

I’ve seen a thread on eye issues but seems to have largely gravitated towards floaters and away from what I’ve read to be a rather rare symptom on this site, and sometimes one of the most troubling symptoms (it certainly is for me!).

 

I want to make a space for the question -

 

Do you have visual snow with any associated symptoms? How do you cope, and has it gotten any better or gone completely?

 

Symptoms of this WD induced syndrome include:

 

- Visual snow/static, often described as a haze over solid objects or colours all the time, or in certain lighting.

 

- Tinnitus, in both ears or just one.

 

- After images (palinopsia). Negative or positive, maybe both. Some can trail or ‘run after’ the object in motion, while some can freeze into your field of view. Lights do this quite obtrusively.

 

- Flashes of light in the dark or with your eyes closed.

 

- Photophobia/light sensitivity.

 

- Nyctalopia/impaired night vision.

 

- Just a sense that your vision isn’t quite right.


- Double vision/ghosting of text (e.g. white text on a black background)


Other accompanying symptoms:

 

- Derealisation/Depersonalisation.

 

- Brain fog.

 

- Muscle twitches.

 

Any insight on this and your experience would be lovely, for I and for others. I’ve seen this dissipate completely for some, whilst remain for others - it’s quite a hard symptom to come to grips with.

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Sleepan
44 minutes ago, Icip said:

Do you have visual snow with any associated symptoms? How do you cope, and has it gotten any better or gone completely?

Hi.  Take an appointment with an optometrist and ask for a major test (not painful at all) where the eye doctor can detect all eye illnesses, such as cataracts, glaucoma, retina detachment and other stuff.  

 

I have a zig zag floater that appeared on February 2nd on my left eye, and frequently get the lightning flashes on the side of my left eye.  I had an appointment with a doctor to renew my Amitriptyline (my own doctor is on sick leave for +months) and I told her about my symptoms, and she did not like my eye symptoms so she insisted I find an eye doctor (opthalmologist) as she suspected a retina detachment.  I called opthalmologists who wanted a reference from the doctor.  She sent it to two of them with no effect at all.  I saw her again on the 10th and she said that I had no choice but to go to an hospital emergency where she said there is great waiting (to expect 24-36hrs wait) but if my retina detachment is detected, they would do a surgery immediately on me.  I went back home and found out optometrists also do a major test to find out if one has cataracts, glaucoma, retina detachment and other stuff.  I found a private clinic optometrist who saw me the same afternoon and found out I had NO retina detachment, and the test was without pain.  What I had was minor and would disappear by itself within 3 months. As you in England, I live in Canada where the universal health system is always on edge to collapse. So always do your homework and not obey your doctor blindly.  I was pleased however with the blood and urine tests that she required on 28 February and results are I'm 100% healthy.  Only a B-12 low level.  I'm 72, so I'm very pleased.  I drink almost everyday an homemade vegetable juice, and I prepare myself good healthy meals at home, with a lot of vegetables, because what you want is to bring your immunity at the highest level possible.

 

Please update on what you find for your eyes.

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Gaebbi

since I switched from Escitalopram to Fluoxetin + Olanzapine, I'm experiencing double vision, or ghosting. It's stronger in my left eye. I'm seeing things sharp, but I see them a second time under the original. Then I remember one evening where I didn't have double vision at all. It's stronger when I see lights in the dark, like for example the back and front lights of cars while driving at evening / night.

Sometimes I notice it during the day and sometimes not because it's not strong enough to notice.

Weird. I'm not sure if it's an adverse effect from the drug or a withdrawal symptom, since I'm also experiencing strong emotional symptoms.

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Edmunds

Gaebbi

 

I wouldn't question a connection between double vision and WD, but I started having double vision, a type called esophoria, long before I had WD issues. I'm in my senior years, when some people experience a weakening of eye muscles that normally keep your eyes working together. My eye doctor and I have been able to correct this problem with new glasses equipped with prisms, that is, thicker lenses on the outsides that pull your vision together, or apart, depending on the condition. The downsides are that one has to wear glasses much of the time and that the condition tends to deteriorate, requiring changing the lenses periodically. For a few years the esophoria did not effect closeup reading or screen viewing. But recently it has started to have that effect. My bifocals partly help, but now I need to get glasses with prisms strictly for closeup vision. I would get them this week were it not for COVID-19! You may not have this sort of permanent double-vision problem at all, but the optometrist can easily check it out. It's not a rare malady.

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Gaebbi

Hey Edmunds,

so far the double vision doesn't hinder me in anything, so I'll just wait and see if it's withdrawal related and if it goes away by itself. I don't think it's age related, since I'm only 24 :)
Also it's interesting that there are times when it's stronger and times when it's weaker, which implies it might be due to withdrawal.

Let's see. If it's not getting better in the next 6 months, I will see an ophthalmologist.

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Icip

@Sleepan,

 

Hi! Thank you for replying to my thread, I'm sorry i haven't been able to reply sooner - I've been trying to spend some time feeling 'normal' again, as i guess right now is the opportune time to feel normal as staying indoors all day really is normal right now!

 

I'm so happy that what you have is normal and will go away - it can be so scary thinking of permanent problems caused by these drugs, so i hope it goes away fully for you! Is it bothersome?

 

I think what i have is neurological, the tinnitus, static, after-images, light sensitivity, subtle floaters, and derealisation all seem like Visual Snow Syndrome, or HPPD - so unfortunately for me, i'll either have this for a very long time before it dissipates, or it will never go away. I still pray everyday for it to go as it's my most distressing symptom(s).

 

You know i teared up whilst reading about your vegetable juice as my Grandad (not calling you a Grandad at all!) does the same with vegetables freshly picked from his garden (where supply allows). It does seem that the little things like that can be the greatest means to healing we have on this planet. I do need to fix my diet (I'm a comfort-eater, so i think you can imagine what a distressed and sad 19-year-old's diet must be like!:)).

 

Take care, i will post updates here as things progress/worsen, and please do the same as it will be lovely to hear about when your floater finally goes!

 

Icip.

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Onmyway

Hi Icip,

I think if you can afford it you should see a neurologist/ophthalmologist and not assume that this is necessarily from WD. It might be but it could be from other things as well - not necessarily even the syndrome you presume you have. WD does result in numerous neurological issues but better safe than sorry.

 

Hope you feel better soon

 

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lxjuice

Visual snow is typically a symptom of DP/DR and more rarely HPPD. I have had it chronically in the past but not caused by drug withdrawal/changes. It comes back when I'm severely anxious whatever the cause is.

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Altostrata

Merged similar topics.

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Icip

Hi all who have commented post-my topic/merger,

 

I have the full hppd/visual snow syndrome diagnosis criteria. I’m 19 so old-age would not be an issue + had 20/20 vision before.

As for @Gaebbi, the double vision can be caused by both the drugs + coming off of them also. Thanks for replying:)

 

This all started a couple of weeks after withdrawal hit me - the tinnitus has been most noticeable + was not present before.

 

Again, I have all symptoms constantly. This only started when in withdrawal - it’s neurological

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Gaebbi

I thought I might tell you this.

about 5 minutes ago my double vision changed. It went completely away from my left eye (I had it in my left eye for 5 months now) and now I have it on my right eye! Totally crazy! But I think that tells me that the cause is withdrawal, and that there‘s nothing wrong with my eyes.

 

I‘m pretty sure it will change back to my left eye, but let‘s see.

 

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Giulietta
On 4/6/2020 at 7:03 AM, Icip said:

double vision can be caused by both the drugs + coming off of them also.

 

On 4/6/2020 at 7:03 AM, Icip said:

This all started a couple of weeks after withdrawal hit me - the tinnitus has been most noticeable + was not present before.

 

Confirmed. Same here. I have mild diplopia (side effect likely of lamotrigine, which I am also on) but WD exacerbated it so I could essentially not read. This was accompanied by dizziness, head turns and vestibular issues. It was a prevalent issue for me that started 9 months after a CT and occurred about 10-15 times a month. It is a much milder problem. I never bothered to consult with an MD. There was sufficient anecdotal evidence for me to cope with it.

 

Tinnitis I did consult for - and it was brutal for the first 7 months of WD. The most acute stopped in July (when the diplopia started!) but it has waxed and waned since then. It has gradually gone mostly away. I did have 2 hearing tests as a result of it (and two ENT visits). Interestingly, the first question by the ENT of the first visit was 'are you getting off of ADs'?

 

Both hearing tests showed a deficit in hearing (and my hearing was excellent before WD). Hearing test resuts were different from each other - one ear better than the other for each test and both declined. I hope the ototoxity has been temporary.

 

In a few months I'll be retested.

 

 

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Icip

@Giulietta,

 

Have you found your hearing improving? Mine used to be so sharp + could hear anything and everything from around my house. It feels a little more everyday now, I always wondered how people could sleep with others still awake and making noise - I now know how.

Me too! I haven’t been to my gp for it specifically as it’s pretty obvious what has caused it, along with my eye problems. My issues are more like astigmatism. Had your vision improved in any way?

 

I hope your test goes well:)

 

Thanks,

 

Icip.

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Giulietta

Hello Icip,

 

The tinnitus and hearing and vision issues have abated significantly. It has taken many, many months for the tinnitus. Details below.  This may be more information tht you want (or need!).

 

15 hours ago, Icip said:

Have you found your hearing improving? Mine used to be so sharp + could hear anything and everything from around my house. It feels a little more everyday now, I always wondered how people could sleep with others still awake and making noise - I now know how.

 

It is hard to say about improvement in my hearing without the objective measurement of a test - which is scheduled to take place in about 3 months - 6 months since the last test. At a subjective level, my hearing seems sharp. When I am not focused on the conversation and the speaker is not articulating clearly - I need to ask for restatement but I don't thank that is irregular. I hear small noises around th e house, which I generally identify and pinpoint the source of the noise. ;)

 

Sleeping with the tinnitus was unsettling and a problem and was a constnt distraction when it was at its worse. It would come on as if a light switch had come on and last for hours. It would be with me when I went tno bed and the first thing I heard when I awoke. 

 

15 hours ago, Icip said:

along with my eye problems. My issues are more like astigmatism. Had your vision improved in any way?

 

My WD induced vision issues - which have been intermittent and would last for hours at a time - have abated. B) My eye health has remained normal and eye glasses prescription not changed. 

 

I have astigmatism (which cannot be readily corrected with eyeglasses because of the type it is ). That being said the visual WD symptom I would describe in my instance as a combination of diplopia and extreme blurriness. This was much less problematic looking in the distance. Diplopia is associated with lamotrigine, which I take in a high dosage. So, for me, my symptom was not astigmatism but diplopia.

 

The bottom line is - both hearing and vision go back to normal. It takes time. And patience.

 

G.

 

 

 

 

 

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JasonK

Hi guys,

 

In October 2017 I took a single pill of effexor 37,5 mg which is the lowest dose and I had an adverse reaction which caused me Visual Snow.

 

Since then my vision never got back to normal....

 

Is it possible that a single pill can cause such a permanent damage???

 

Anyone heee that recovered of a such symptom??

 

Any reply will be much appreciated.

 

Many thanks in advance!!

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Giulietta

Hello Jason K,

 

22 minutes ago, JasonK said:

In October 2017 I took a single pill of effexor 37,5 mg which is the lowest dose and I had an adverse reaction which caused me Visual Snow.

 

To answer your question - I did not have this kind of response when I started a new med. I have read of other people on the forum who have experienced this symptom - but I believe as part of WD.  I don't know how long it lasted.

 

Have you seen an opthalmologist or GP for this at any time in the past for this?

 

 

 

 

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JasonK

I have been to different neurologists and ophthalmologists through the years with no success 

 

hopeless 😩 

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JasonK

Has anyone that experienced visual snow from antidepressants recovered??

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JasonK

It looks like a permanent damage....

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JasonK

I would appreciate any response from the old members re permanent vision damage from a single dose of effexor xr 37.5mg.

 

i would like to add as additional information that the way I took the pill was wrong.

 

i opened the capsule  and took half or maybe 60% of the little bullets that has inside without the capsule ,and swallowed them by drinking water.

 

I guess this made the release of the drug into my system to go from extended to IMMEDIATE  release as I was in a complete sock 30-40 min later.

 

please let me know if based on your experience that can cause a permanent damage.

 

its been 2,5 years form that day.

 

 

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Icip

@JasonK,

 

Hi Jason. I took Sertraline for five days and experienced an adverse reaction like you. Vision symptoms can last for a while, I can’t give you any examples but I’ve seen a few people who’ve had them for a while, but gradually abate. If it’s your only symptom, I suggest trying to accept it and if possible, ignore it.

It’s not damage, your hippocampus is hyper-stimulated - this can happen to anyone with or without stimulus, some are even born with it.

 

No one can tell you whether or not it will be permanent, but as it stems from an adverse reaction, hopefully with time your head will settle down a little. Please search for HPPD, it’s visual snow but caused by drugs; it clears up for the majority of people but can take some time.

 

Take care,

 

Icip.

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JasonK

I know mate!

 

dr Abraham says 50% of his HPPD patients fully recover within 5 years.

 

From the rest some partially recover and some never recover.

 

i pray day and night the last 2,5 years to be on the 50% that fully recover.

 

how is going with you?

 

How unlucky can we be???

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Giulietta

Hello Jason,

 

Although not experienced with snow or your drug - you can see my comments above. I did look this up and found for you:

 

https://rxisk.org/keeping-an-eye-on-the-ball-visual-problems-on-ssris/

 

This is apparently in the UK (Newcastle) and 2013. Worth a read.

 

Wish I could help you more.

 

G.

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JasonK

Thank you for sharing!

 

i have already commented on this site.

 

you can find my comment on the bottom.

 

 

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Giulietta
2 hours ago, JasonK said:

you can find my comment on the bottom.

 

I just read your comment as well as more of the other posts with greater attention.

 

Do you plan on pursuing retinal electrophysiology - cited in the link - or have you had it?  electroretinogram – ERG? I may explore this. My retina was normal when I initially complained about my sympmtoms so I didn't pursue after seeing 4 people. No one mentioned this test. I will now.

 

To be honest - my symptoms - although not snow - are unfortunately experienced by many other people. I hadn't realized these symptoms were part of what people described on the website.

 

I use a magnifying glass and bright light to help read text  on paper (and sometimes a ruler). Text to read functions in Natural Reader (which is free) can  be useful. 

 

;)

 

 

 

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Winterflower

Jason let me bring you some good news dude, i’m recovering from visual snow as we speak, after suffering with it for 1.5 years after an adverse reaction on Lexapro it’s about 90% healed, it used to be so bad I could barely see at the beginning, I stayed away from alcohol, caffeine and *all* drugs including smoking or even just paracetamol, made sure to get enough sleep and took fish oil daily. i’m also a young guy so maybe that contributed to my recovery too. best of luck and I hope you heal soon! 

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JasonK

Good to hear Winterflower!

 

hope you will be 100% recovered soon!

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Icip

@Winterflower,

 

Thank you for sharing! It’s lovely to hear of it going for someone, and gives me some hope. Do you feel a change in your psych at all? Happier?

 

Icip.

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Edmunds

I just completed a questionnaire on RxISK regarding my blurry vision side effect during my taper from Prozac and continuing WD from Effexor and Wellbutrim, which I have not taken at all now for 10 and 8 month respectively. The RxISK response to my questionnaire submission was a score of 11, meaning Strong possibility of a link between medication and side effect.

Members report a visual snow side effect. Is that decidedly different from blurry vision?

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Hellbutrin
On 3/18/2020 at 6:41 AM, Gaebbi said:

Hey Edmunds,

so far the double vision doesn't hinder me in anything, so I'll just wait and see if it's withdrawal related and if it goes away by itself. I don't think it's age related, since I'm only 24 :)
Also it's interesting that there are times when it's stronger and times when it's weaker, which implies it might be due to withdrawal.

Let's see. If it's not getting better in the next 6 months, I will see an ophthalmologist.

Hi Gaebbi,

 

I hope you're doing well in the midst of this crazy world. 

 

I wanted to comment on your experience with double vision. Your situation sounds similar to mine. I started having the same kind of double vision that you describe as "ghosting" (seeing a clear image with a second image right on top) before I cold turkeyed from Wellbutrin in 2017. It has persisted throughout withdrawal without deviation, but I'm sure that is due in part to the way that I discontinued by cold turkeying instead of tapering. I have seen two ophthalmologists and a neuro optometrist and I'm currently using prism glasses that don't do anything to correct the double vision problem, but they do help slightly with the balance issues I was having as a result of the double vision. Prior to adding prisms to my glasses, I had an MRI of my occipital lobe that came back with no issues. My neuro optometrist did mention that my meiobian glands (the glands in your eye that moisturize your eyes) are not secreting any moisture and I have severe dry eye and she feels that this could be contributing to the double vision, but is not likely the cause. I doubt mine is age related either as it started when I was 26. At this point mine is likely permanent since I haven't seen any deviation or improvement, but it's comforting to know that yours has improved and it doesn't hinder you. Do you experience dry eye, and has anything helped in managing it? I'm currently using fish oil and omega-3 eye drops for moisture in my eyes. I hope you continue to see improvement!

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Longroadhome

I experienced very dry eyes at the start of WD and it has very gradually got better and better. It was very bothersome initially but I don’t really notice it very much now. It did/does make me more sensitive to allergies in the air though such as pollen etc 

hope this helps 

LRH 

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Gaebbi

Hi @Hellbutrin,

sadly all the progress I‘ve made was usually very very short lived. Or I just thought it was progress but it wasn‘t. I‘ve noticed that on very sunny and light days my double vision is barely noticeable, but first I thought that it got better, when it didn‘t. It was just the light. The darker it gets outside, the more I‘m noticing it. I think it may stay permanently, but honestly I don‘t really care about it.

also, I don‘t have dry eyes. Do you also have the ghosting on one eye or on both?

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Hellbutrin
10 hours ago, Longroadhome said:

I experienced very dry eyes at the start of WD and it has very gradually got better and better. It was very bothersome initially but I don’t really notice it very much now. It did/does make me more sensitive to allergies in the air though such as pollen etc 

hope this helps 

LRH 

Did you notice that fish oil was particularly helpful with managing dry eye symptoms? I recently started taking a higher quality Omega, but I still have extremely dry eyes, especially when I first wake up.

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Hellbutrin
7 hours ago, Gaebbi said:

Hi @Hellbutrin,

sadly all the progress I‘ve made was usually very very short lived. Or I just thought it was progress but it wasn‘t. I‘ve noticed that on very sunny and light days my double vision is barely noticeable, but first I thought that it got better, when it didn‘t. It was just the light. The darker it gets outside, the more I‘m noticing it. I think it may stay permanently, but honestly I don‘t really care about it.

also, I don‘t have dry eyes. Do you also have the ghosting on one eye or on both?

Mine is in both eyes, and my neuro optometrist could not find anything on my MRI that would potentially cause dry eye. He's leaning towards some sort of GI/autoimmune issue now, and plans to test me May 11th for Sjorgren's. I also feel that mine might be permanent and I've come to terms with that, but I do have to find a way to address the dry eye so that I don't have long term damage to my eye from the lack of moisture. I have the ghosting in both eyes, and I do believe that mine is somehow directly related to my dry eye, because they both started when I C/T, and my eye doctor says that there's no apparent neurologic reason for my double vision, so it's likely caused by the dry eye. He also mentioned that it's uncommon to have monocular double vision to begin with, and that it doesn't usually have a neurological reason unless the double vision goes away when you cover up one eye, and mine doesn't. My double vision is present with either eye covered, at all times. 

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Longroadhome
19 hours ago, Hellbutrin said:

Did you notice that fish oil was particularly helpful with managing dry eye symptoms? I recently started taking a higher quality Omega, but I still have extremely dry eyes, especially when I first wake up.

The only supplement I take is Vitamin D

i eat a really healthy diet and exercise every day . 
Did you have dry eyes prior to WD? 
if WD  has brought it on it will definitely get better. 
this is what I notice with mine: when it first came on at the start of my taper it was really bad. I booked an appointment at the eye hospital and they found out I wasn’t producing enough tears . They originally thought my tear ducts We’re blocked or that it was as a result of long term HRT. Didn’t have any other tests they just recommended drops after trying to unblock the tear ducts.   
however I believe it was to do with WD. At first I had to use liquid tear drops but slowly over time I haven’t had to. It goes away for a few months then comes back so this is also why I feel it has to do with WD. Each time it returns it is less severe. 
have you found sometimes it is worse than others ? 

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