Vision and Fibromyalgia

Along with the myriad other symptoms normally associated with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a person may also experience vision problems. The same eye sight difficulties arise for those with FMS, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and chronic myofascial pain (CMP).

The myofascial trigger points, which are not the same as the tender points that are the trademark of FMS, can cause optical symptoms for fibro sufferers. Since fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder, the symptoms tend to be amplified when there are co-existing conditions - such as CFS/FMS or CMP/FMS. Often, the syndromes are found together, which just compounds the issues.

Out of Balance

One result of the compounding of syndromes is when something like light, which normally is a stimulus that does not cause pain, evokes pain. The cause may be found in the imbalance that often happens with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland axis in people with fibromyalgia syndrome.

There is a connection between the hypothalamus and light sensitivity and that could well be the reason why fibro sufferers struggle with night driving. Headlights coming at them can cause pain or distraction. Since the pupils are controlled by neurotransmitters, beta-carotene seems to be helpful in dealing with this symptom.

The Sterno-What Muscle?

Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) trigger points can cause redness and cause the eyes to tear. The SCM is a muscle that runs from the base of the skull to the clavicle on both sides of the neck. This is the muscle that is responsible for flexing and rotating the head.

When there are trigger points on the SCM it affects the eyes. Along with redness and tearing, which can be dealt with using artificial tears, the myofascial trigger points in the SCM can also create sensitivity to patterns of light, from checks and stripes to shadows on the road.

Sometimes a person can become dizzy just by looking at the patterns. The same thing can happen on an escalator, watching a conveyor belt or luggage carousel at the airport. People have been known to fall from dizziness at the visual impact of patterns.


Table of Contents
1. Vision Effects
2. Seeing double?
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