Ophthalmology & Optometry/Vision problems


I have had some vision problems lately & have some questions. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few months ago. In the last few weeks, I've had trouble focusing my eyes. I just feel like I have to make an extra effort to focus & sometimes my eyes will go out of focus for no reason. I have trouble focusing on moving objects, like if I'm flipping through a stack of papers searching for something. Looking at busy patterns or thin stripes (especially a mix of light & dark colors) is problematic - edges seem to vibrate or jump a little. I've also had some random, uncontrolled eye movements the last few days, where my eyes seem to oscillate from side to side for a couple of seconds.

Two nights ago, I was laying in bed when I got a sharp pain like someone was stabbing me in the eyes with an ice pick & when the pain hit, I saw flashes of light in my peripheral vision that looked like lightning. I've since had some intermittent blurring of the vision, more problems focusing & continued pain in my eyes. It sometimes hurts to move them. I went to see my ophthalmologist & during the basic vision check with his assistant (optician?) I noticed that when she checked my left eye, the letters kept going in & out of focus. My ophthalmologist said that my eyes looked good & that my retina was not detached, which was his main concern with the flashing lights I'd seen. He said that I have a lot of floaters because I am so near sighted & that the flashes I'd seen were just more breaking away. What I'm still wondering about is everything else I've experienced. It doesn't seem to explain the difficulty focusing. And would it explain the pain? I know MS can cause vision problems & I didn't think to ask him about my optic nerve. Is it likely something else is going on besides just the floaters?

Dear Lynn.  With MS Vision problems , i.e. intermittent blurring, double vision etc is common . Shooting pains in the eyes may be from ocular dryness ( dry eye), foreign body, or scratched cornea ( unlikely) . Flashes of light and.floaters indicate a retinal tugging especially in highly nearsighted individuals . So long as the retina is intact with no tears or detachment,  posterior vitreous detachment (P VD) is often the cause - where the vitreous gel pulls away from its attachment sites. Although annoying, no treatment is usually necessary for this  . Optic neuritis occurs in 50% of those with MS so visual disturbances  are quite common.  When your condition goes into remission presumably with proper medical treatment, your vision issues will subside. Good luck.    Dr Ken  

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Any and all questions with regard to ocular ailments, eye diseases as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, etc , eye and visual sympomatology, eyeglasses, contact lenses, low or subnormal vision, pediatric vision conditions,and special and unique ailments will be discussed.


36 years of clinical experience in opticianry and therapeutic optometry. Still in private practice with special interests in vision conditions, diagnosing and treating ocular ailments, prescibing treatment plans which include medicine, eyeglasses, and contact lenses primarily. Although surgery is not within the realm of my area of expertise, I co-manage many pre and post -op surgical cases which include Lasik and PRK procedures.

New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians American Optometric Association

B.A.,1968, Hunter College of the City University of New York B.S.,1970, Pennsylvania College of Optometry O.D.,1973, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Administration Certification, New Jersey 1992

Awards and Honors
Clinical Efficiency Award, 1973, Pennsylvaania College of Optometry

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