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Thread: Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

  1. #1

    Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

    Hello everyone and Happy New Year,

    Now, this is quite long Iím afraid. I canít write short messages to save my life! Great when having to write essays, not so great when limited to a set number of characters! If you donít want the full story, please scroll to nearer the bottom of my post to ďget to the pointĒ as it were.

    My anxiety was pretty under control for the majority of 2020, which Iím quite proud of, all things considered!

    However, in July I ended up having to go to the Eye Infirmary at the hospital (on my birthday, that was fun!) because over the course of a few days, my eyes became extremely painful to move either side. I literally had to move my whole head in order to look around, it was so painful. Also, when I did move my eyes to the extreme side (like the doctor who referred me to the eye infirmary made me do,) I had some dark, opaque large spots show up in my vision.

    Oddly for me, I wasnít really worried about it, I just wanted the pain to stop. The eye doctor had a good look, I had a pressure test, my eyes were dilated (amazing!) and I also had an eye ultrasound (not so amazing.) All looked fine as far as he could see, so he prescribed me some steroid eye drops and sent me on my way, with a return appointment by phone in a week. He said if the pain hadnít gone away, and I was still seeing the dark spots when looking to the side, Iíd have to go for more tests, like an mri etc, to see if there was something going on.

    I took the eye drops, spoke to him a week later where the pain had started to go away but it still hurt. He made me another appointment by phone for the week after. By that time, the pain had subsided a lot, but I was still seeing the spots. He couldnít explain why I was seeing them, but I said that I canít recall ever really looking to the extreme sides (as if trying to see my own ears!) so they may have always been there? I was much more rational back then...

    After about a month, the pain had completely cleared up. And I forgot about it all, until September. Iíd noticed that my vision was getting a bit blurry with my glasses on (Iím short sighted) but I put that down to needing an up to date eye test, it had been just over 2 years and so I had one and sure enough, my eyes needed a stronger prescription!

    Unfortunately when I got my new glasses, I had nothing but issues! I was dizzy when I looked around, looked down, closed my eyes, felt like my depth perception was off and started to get headaches. This was through October. I started to worry that something was amiss... so I made another appointment for an eye test at the beginning of November, felt like a freak when I went, as the assistants (of which there seemed to be like 20!) couldnít understand why I needed another, and started to make me feel like I was going to be diagnosed with something bad... bet you can guess... yep, a brain tumour.

    I saw the same optometrist/optician as before, she tested my eyes, said my left eye had changed a bit (from -2.25 to -2.50) but couldnít see anything wrong. I told her why I was worried, and while she wasnít terribly convincing, she said it all looked fine and I told myself she had no reason to withhold info from me. She told me I could buy some new glasses, but after spending £170 on the recent new pair, I couldnít afford any! She said the prescription I had would be fine as there wasnít much difference in it.

    On my way I went. Christmas and New Year is always a bad time for my anxiety, despite having my 3 lovely happy kids and wonderful husband around me for a couple of special weeks, I always seem to be worried beyond reach about something. This year it was ďIím convinced I have a brain tumour.Ē I had all the symptoms (Iíd read about them about 8 years ago when I had a brief worry about them, and like an elephant, I donít forget.) I had nausea, dizziness, headaches - in the morning, at night, but also ones that just came on from nowhere. Luckily, they didnít seem to last long although there were a lot of them on and off all day, everyday. I also felt like when I was sitting down, Iíd sit slightly left of where I wanted to be, I had a high pitch ringing in my ears (one day it would be left, the next right) I couldnít sleep, I kept seeing flashes in my vision, big flashes in the day and night, and also tiny flashes like a sparkle off a diamond, specifically to the middle left of where I was looking. All in all, I got pretty involved in my symptoms and signs and felt pretty awful.

    I stayed away from the doctor, even though my husband kept saying it would make me feel better to go. I didnít want to though, because thatís what I always do... plus if Iím honest, I thought ďthis time, Iím right.Ē and I didnít want to be told.

    Now itís January, and although Iím still having daily headaches, Iíve reasoned with myself that theyíre not that bad, they come on, last about 2-10 mins and fade off to return later. They donít stop me doing anything. The dizziness has mostly gone, comes back fleetingly but nothing like it was, I donít feel like Iím going to be sick anymore, so I think my anxiety is finally starting to come down.
    I keep telling myself if there was something really wrong, Iíd know by now.

    But. Iíve noticed all the way through this since about October, that when Iím focused on something close, like reading or squeezing at my blackheads(!), looking at my phone or writing, my vision seems to glitch occasionally. It feels like for one second, it shakes side to side or vibrates really quickly before I can focus again. Thereís no knowing when itís going to happen, which freaks me out. Itís making me worry my eyes are having like mini seizures? Iíve tried to find out if itís normal, but having asked family members, husband etc, they just frown and say theyíve never noticed. The internet (I know, sorry) only suggests nystagmus, which seems like it lasts longer so I donít think itís that (nor do I want it to be that! Sounds scary!) I canít make it do it myself, itís completely out of my control. Iím spending more time looking at writing and screens at the minute, due to homeschooling, so I wonder if this is why Iím noticing it more? I should also add, I had a quick eye test in January at a different high street optician to see what prescription they would give me. They were a lot better, and the sales lady gave me the courage to go back to my original optician and demand they fix my current glasses to the prescription they updated me to in November. They were very apologetic and said I should have been offered this at my second appointment. Anyway, my glasses seem a lot better now, I can see great through them. (I tried contact lenses, but they made me feel dizzy and kept making my eyes blur over when I looked around, so I gave up with them!)

    And just to finish, Iíve just remembered that another thing Iíve noticed is when typing on my phone, it feels like my thumbs sometimes want to move twice in the same place when I only mean to touch the phone once (if that makes sense!) like it spasms out of control for a tiny second making me press things I didnít want to. This isnít my main concern though, incase anyone reading has scrolled to the bottom! My main worry is the paragraph above!

    So I guess what I would like to know is, has/does anyone else had/get this?? Iím trying to remain calm and not rush to the doctor (they wouldnít see me anyway, itís a small practice and has had 10 cases of covid crop up this last week, so they really are running on skeleton staff!) Surely if there was something untoward going on, it would show itself in less subtle ways? I know some seizures can be small, like staring into space (which I also do but have for ages and thought everyone did!) but if it was something big, bad and scary, it would show up in more obvious big, bad and scary ways?? I just need someone logical to help reassure me, so I can stop the evil little scaremonger in my mind who tells me Iím going to die and my husband is going to meet someone better than me and my kids will love her more than me and Iíll be forgotten. (Therapy has told me I have a reason for this, but it hasnít helped me quash the fear unfortunately.)

    If you got this far, thank you. I really do appreciate it. Itís good to get it all down and out of my head.


    Letti x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

    Hi Letti, I read it all

    That is indeed a long set of eye/brain related concerns. I do know that eye tension can cause all sorts of odd things to happen, the muscles surrounding the eyes are very sensitive and if you are a person who 'stresses' their eyes with screwing your eyes up, looking at things for long periods in a difficult position or even trying to stare in directions that cause strain, some odd things can happen. Have I had eye pain, in both, that hurts when you move the eyeball ? Yes, I have, a few times in my life. The very worst time was after a long dental appointment, I had been of course very tense, staring backwards at the face of the dentist and clearly tensing my facial muscles. I had a few days of quite awful pain. I once also had a few weeks, this is 20 years ago, where if I looked upwards everything was spinning violently. Actually I could list you quite a few assorted eye effects I've had, all of which have been very strange but seem to be something I am susceptible to with regards to the muscles around the eyes and effects they give to me. It can be very scary. The 'jumping glitch' I have certainly had, it can happen when you are concentrating really hard and your focus has to change suddenly and you are tired, well it does to me and I wear reading glasses also. I get flashes too, and the more aware of them I become the worse they seem to get, yet again I can relate this to tension in my face and eyes.

    I would say to you that you have had a lot of people look at and in your eyes, anything horribly sinister would be seen, especially by the specialists at your original appointments. Your symptoms have been scrutinised by quite a few people, and they've not come up with 'something awful and bad' is happening. I know with any vision change you need to be careful and report, and it seems that your husband is encouraging you to try to get an appointment, so why not just let them know and see what they feel about it. 'Since October' is 3 months, and if nothing feels much different, then it would be hard to imagine that anything majorly amiss is going on, and it doesn't surprise me at all that you are noticing oddities that are bothering you, as I've had the same myself. I don't want to really say anything too medical, as I'm not a medic of course, but I really don't think you need to panic. YOu could even run it past an opthalmologist again if you think the doctor is really busy ? Do your GP practice do any online consultations , because that is an option, then they can decide if they think there is anything that needs checking again.

  3. #3

    Re: Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

    Hi Carys,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my whole post, and for taking more time to send such a kind and detailed reply.

    You have helped ease my worry about it all, itís sometimes easier to get advice from someone you donít know!

    After writing it all, wouldnít you know it, I felt a bit sick and dizzy this evening for the first time since around Christmas and NY. I would like to think by now that Iím sensible enough to know I can ďbring onĒ symptoms by thinking/reading/speaking of them. Iíve been doing it for years, but itís taken me a long time to talk myself down from thinking ďthis is it this time!Ē In any case, my husband made his own version of salt and pepper chinese chips tonight, and wow they were spicy! So that might explain the dizziness and nausea

    Iím going to stop waffling, before I get going again. But thank you again for replying to me, youíre very kind <3

  4. #4

    Re: Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

    Hello. I hope this is ok to attach to my thread here. Earlier today I made a post on the sertraline/Lustral/Zoloft sub forum, but I donít think it gets as much ďtrafficĒ as here, so I wondered if adding it here could help. Iím really sorry if itís not ok, but Iím thinking of starting my new pills tomorrow and would love any words of wisdom or encouragement, please. Please delete from my thread if not appropriate though. Thank you,
    Letti xx



    My last experience of taking an ssri was about 9 years ago, when I took 20mg of citalopram for just over a year. It helped me feel better, but it made me gain about 20-30lbs. It then took a while for me to lose that weight. Iím not claiming to be one of these people who swear down that they were eating less and exercising more, yet still gaining... I do remember a fondness for potatoes and chocolate at that time (though not together!) and I was still carrying baby weight, so it was more likely an increase in appetite combined with not shifting baby weight I already had. The same thing happened when I was a teenager taking the birth control pill - I went from skinny to pretty curvy almost overnight.

    I do have a sweet tooth, but Iím a bit afraid I may just be one of these people who put weight on when on medication of any kind. When not on medication, I can eat a lot of junk without really putting on much weight, still some - about 6lbs, which Iíd rather not have, but not a massive amount. Iím still deemed to have a healthy bmi.

    Now Iíve been prescribed 50mg of Lustral... but Iím very apprehensive about taking it, because I donít want to put on any weight. I actually want to lose about 14lbs now (thanks lockdown!) to get myself in really good shape, and so really donít want things to creep the other way!

    I know it must sound so vain, and I suppose in a way it is. But I already have such low self esteem and disgust for myself, that I would feel worse than I do now. Iím a highly anxious person, but I can slip into depression easily and this would push me that way, I know it would. Plus, I have several family members have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, none of whom are very overweight, maybe slightly but not hugely, so Iím concerned it could be detrimental to my physical health.

    I have searched the internet endlessly, and mostly all I can find are scare stories from people who say the weight gain was inevitable, despite them being really good about eating less and exercising etc. Can this really be true? If I were to keep using MyFitnessPal, or even start something like Slimming World, so I am keeping my eye on it and holding myself accountable on a weekly basis, am I still destined to put on weight??

    Iím sorry if this question has been done to death, I just canít find anything positive about Lustral and weight loss. And not knowing anyone in real life who has been on it, I have no one to ask.

    Please help if you can. But if not, please donít judge my reasons for worrying about it. I definitely want my mental health to improve, but itís deflating to think Iím doomed to have another issue crop up because of it.

    Thank you,

    Letti xx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

    HI Letti,

    I'm afraid I can't personally answer this one, I wonder shall I bump your Lustral post up for you and see if anyone can help ?

    Done. Many people use the 'Quick links/Todays posts' way of viewing the forum, so hopefully someone will see it soon.

  6. #6

    Re: Vision/eye spasm? Vision jitters!

    Thank you Carys, you really are so helpful and caring

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