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Christine0125

Issues With Eyes, Sensitivity To Light

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9 years ago before diagnosed with celiac I had a case of optic neuritis.  My eyesight was completely blurry and required IV steroids.  I had follow-up appointments with the neurologist but MRIs did not show signs of MS.  After diagnosis, I had done some research and turns out there can be a link between optic neuritis and celiac (auto-immune inflammation).  My eyes have been fine since until the last week where I'm having a lot of sensitivity to light.  My vision however is not impacted this times - but my eyes are more comfortable with sunglasses or dim light.  I've ignored symptoms in the past and don't want to do that, but certainly don't want to set off alarms if my eyes are just strained.  Anyone else have this issue occasionally and what do you do to help? 

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I followed this topic yesterday because I'm curious to see what, if anything, people have to say about this. My eyes have always been sensitive to light. I've always been known as the one to have sunglasses on all the time. The sensitivity did get worse since being diagnosed with celiac disease in Nov of 2013. (I've also however been diagnosed with lupus 4 months after my celiac diagnosis)

 

I don't know what to suggest to help. What kind of light bothers you the most? Sunlight? Computer screens? Since you've had neuritis in the past it might be worth going in for an appointment, just to be safe. I hope someone else will be able to chime in!

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Thanks - I hope others chime in as well.  Computer screens and bright neon lights (such as grocery stores) are bad.  My eyes adjust and feel normal with more dim/natural light or when I'm wearing sunglasses.  I did make an eye appointment for this week (I was overdue anyhow).  I also happen to have a celiac followup with the GI next week.  I've been having more celiac like digestive issues in recent weeks as well so I think overall inflammation is likely the cause here - very frustrating as I'm strictly gluten free.  I'm cutting out milk in hopes that helps.   Last time my eyes did get better overtime so I'm hopeful for the same thing this time but it's challenging working at a computer all day right now.  I'd like to avoid an appointment with the neurologist if possible - they seem to only want to link optic neuritis with MS but as of last MRI I had no signs of that.  

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Let us know how your appointment goes. I hope cutting dairy helps you. I had to essentially cut out anything inflammatory. So glad your MRI showed no signs of MS!

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Will do!  Can you give me a quick list of the foods that you've found to be inflammatory?  Up until recently, as long as it was gluten free, I was feeling great!  I'm sure coffee is at the top of the list but I'm not yet ready to give that up.  EEK!

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For me I found I was reacting to soy, corn, corn syrup, dairy, potato. I switched to sweet potato, or am trying to. I haven't been able to completely give it up but after not having it when I do have a regular potato my skin, stomach, joints react. (keep in mind I also rec'd a lupus diagnosis) But for me it keeps my body reacting and I'm trying what I can to calm it down. I have not given up coffee. I thought about it and tried for about a week last summer but just could not do it. ;) I don't think I'm reacting to coffee terribly. If so, I don't notice it.

 

Seems many here talk about having to give up other foods. Corn, dairy, high fructose corn syrup, soy, and sugar seem to be common ones.

 

Another thing to try is a rotation type diet. I met someone locally at a celiac meeting and she felt that she was reacting to dairy but found if she could handle a little bit of it every four days or so.

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Wow I never heard of this connection! I have terrible light sensitivity: I am always wearing sunglasses, and I can't watch TC and can only barely tolerate working on the computer (which I need to do for my job). Is there any research on this ? I am so curious about it. 

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Quick update for those following the topic.  I just got back from the ophthalmologist and he doesn't think it's optic neuritis this time.  He does see a lot of inflammation in my right eye and diagnosed it as uveitis.  He says it's common to have uveitis with various inflammatory bowel disorders.  I have steroid eye drops that he expects to work pretty quickly.  Just got over a stomach bug or a glutening 2 weeks ago so it seems plausible that this is the cause this time.  Feeling relieved that this will do the trick.  Optic neuritis was treated with 3 days of IV steroids and multiple brain MRIs and I was dreading having to go through that again.   

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Glad you found out what it was.  I hope the eye drops work soon.   I read this thread with great interest as I have had some odd eye issues in the last ten years.  I had a short episode of double vision when my youngest child was very small and around that time I had lost a bit of peripheral vision for a few days.   MRIs were clear though.  My eyesight went back to normal when I had the next round of eye tests.  I have migraines so I wondered if the peripheral vision thing might have been an optical migraine thing.  I also recall my night vision was bad - depth perception, never really knowing how far car lights were away from me on an unfamiliar road. And yet my optician said my eyesight was great according to his tests!  Oh ... and light sensitivity - for some years way before I was diagnosed my eyes always hurt too, in grey light.  

 

Since DX my night vision is greatly improved.  Coinciding with taking sublingual B12.  I have looked into it a bit and found a lack of B12 can cause problems in the eyes.  With no other explanations to go on, I have come to the conclusion that my eyesight problems might have been caused by malnutrition.

 

Here is a link but there are more.

 

 http://www.livestrong.com/article/365797-vitamin-b-12-deficiency-vision/

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Thanks for the link.  I had been taking B12 supplements when first diagnosed but my last couple labs showed my levels in the high range and had stopped thinking that I was getting plenty in diet alone.  I think I'll start that back up with the history of eye issues I've had. 

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Hi Christine - do you have your B12 numbers to hand?  I am interested - before DX they were just over the minimum level for me, which I think with my lab was something like 150.   They went up to near 200, then when I started getting D. they went down again.   My nutritionalist told me she was surprised I wasn't offered injections.  However, I might ask for another B12 test again as I would be interested to see what the levels are like now.  I guess other vitamin and mineral shortages can cause eye damage too...

 

Do you also have dry eyes?  They don't feel dry to me but my sister tells me they are red so I must have!  I have wondered if I might be getting Sjorgens (sp?).

 

Out of interest, my optician told me some time back I should be eating Kale, it is supposed to be really good for eyesight.

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Yep - I have online lab results.  Like I said, mine have always been normal to high.  Last labs showed B12 981 pg/mL range 211-946.  Since it was marked as high, I stopped taking the supplement. 

 

Trying to be patient - no change yet (but it's only been 24 hours) with the drops. 

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