Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition which affects between 836,000 and 2.5 million people in the United States. CFS is defined as extreme fatigue which lasts for six months or longer and is accompanied by a plethora of symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, sore throat and memory loss. Even though CFS affects each person differently, problems with vision is one symptom which is prevalent among those who suffer from this condition.
How is CFS linked to vision problems?
The brain is responsible for sending signals to the eyes, informing the person of what they’re currently seeing, but when an individual suffers from CFS, this function may not operate properly. A study, conducted in 2013, is the first experimental research to objectively examine eye movement dysfunction, and the results revealed that those who suffer from CFS had difficulty tracking movement and focusing on objects. While another study, published by Sage Journal, provides evidence that those with CFS experienced altered visual perception, exhibiting trouble while viewing patterns. Other symptoms may include:
- Blurry or fogged vision
- Tunnel vision—not being able to see out of the peripherals
- Dizziness triggered by viewing moving objects
- Floaters and flashes of light in the vision
- Intolerant or extremely sensitive to light —uncomfortable being in brightly lit rooms or outdoors in sunshine.
- Dry or burning eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Ghosting of images
- Inability to judge distances
- Difficulty tracking print while reading
Because vision is considered a dominant sense, it’s easy to understand that problems in this area will directly affect other functions in the body, including motor function, making balance a challenge as well. Those who suffer from CFS are likely to discover that their chronic fatigue symptoms, including vision problems, worsen the more fatigued they are, and may notice that their vision challenges increase toward the evening as they get more tired.
How would all this affect an eye exam?
The challenging factor with those struggling with CFS is that their vision fluctuates, making an accurate examination difficult. This occurs because the fluid in the eyes, along with the strength of the muscles which allow the lens and pupils to focus, constantly changes depending on the fluctuating adrenal levels. Often times, those with CFS will have normal eye exams only to be frustrated when vision problems intensify due to their increased fatigue.
Are there natural treatments to help my vision?
Recent research has proven that chronic fatigue syndrome is linked to inflammation. Taking a direct approach to lessen inflammation in the body, will subsequently lessen the symptoms of CFS, including vision troubles. Some suggestions include:
- Incorporating a nutrient-rich diet (avoid sugar—because it promotes inflammation)
- Keeping hydrated (proper hydration levels will also alleviate dry eye symptoms)
- Stress-reduction opportunities (such as prayer, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, behavioral therapy)
Focus on your vision health by adopting a wellness lifestyle, and see for yourself the rich rewards from being diligent in your pursuit of wholeness.
To learn more about excess fatigue, click here…