Blurred Vision

Blur

Art on the wall of the St. Regis suite where I spent my honeymoon weekend a year and a half ago. No, the photo is not blurred – note that sharp edges of the canvas.

Yesterday, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy experienced not one, but two, episodes of blurred vision – each lasting about half an hour. It started sort of like rain drops falling on the surface of a pond…just a few ripples at first, until eventually my entire field of vision was completely out of focus. Needless to say, having these types of vision problems for the first time in my life was quite disconcerting, and pushed me to the edge of an anxiety attack.

But I reminded myself that it would be best to stay calm, and was able to stave off a full blown panic attack.

Could this be my medicines acting up, or my rheumatoid arthritis itself? Within a matter of a couple of hours, I was in my ophthalmologist’s darkened exam room getting my eyes checked. We split my visit into two parts. Yesterday’s showed that my eyes have weakened a bit and that I need to update my eyeglasses. My next visit will require a dilation of my eyes, so that they can be closely examined.

My eye doctor was well-versed on the possible effects of RA and it’s medicines on the eyes, and suggested that I place more attention on the care of my eyes from here on out.

I’m completing my third month of  Plaquenil, which I know can be associated with vision problems. This past weekend I also completed my starting dose of 3X100mg of Arava, as I rotate this medicine back into my treatment plan. Maybe it’s one or the other, or a combination of the two, that is causing the blurred vision?

Right now I don’t have all the answers, but I hope to have them soon.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

17 Comments
17 comments
  1. URandomnessK says:

    I know how that feels, I have AS and the Iritis comes with blurred vision and night blindness, VERY scary the first several times but then once you know what to do it is much less anxiety provoking. Hang in there, you will get answers soon and things will be “more clear”.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hey RA Guy. I get the vision thing and I am also on Plaquinal – have just been refered to an eye specialist – apparently it builds up at the back of your eyes? Yuk aye. hope you feel better soon :)

  3. Ruby Ann says:

    same thing happened to me when i still taking up mthx got blurred vision my doctor told me to go to opta to check my eyes, after i stop taking up that med my eyes sight become clear again… maybe that’s the side effect of the medicine. Hope every thing will be fine. When my doctor said to me before that in the future there is a big possibility that i’ll be blind I’m so shock and scared :( ….

  4. KathyB. says:

    I hope this is something that can be remedied. I know my husband has to routinely get his eyes checked because of his RA and meds. He is not on Plaquinal though.Waiting to hear what the check-up reveals and thank-you again for sharing your experiences living with RA.

  5. Barbarella says:

    I get blurred vision too, but it´s worst first thing in the mornings… taking Sulphasalazine and Lyrica (for fibro) at the moment, and I think it´s due to that cause it wasn´t there before. As long as it is only transient every other day and then it passes I don´t worry about it anymore.

    Also, I´m nearly 44, and think it´s probably that my eyes are starting to suffer from old age!

    I hope you get an answer to your blurry vision soon. Good luck. *hugs*

  6. Laurie says:

    How scary! Hope it goes away…I alrady have a cataract at the tender age of 52…my opthamologist says it can be from the RA..don’t need surgery yet.

  7. Marianne says:

    Autoimmune diseases of the connective tissue can include the vision and hearing. Sometimes I feel like I am looking through waxed paper, and it comes and goes through the day, usually associated with a flare. Also, for years I thought I had hearing loss. In my early 30′s, i went to the ear doc regularly to check this “hereditary hearing loss” for the sake of the younger generations in my family (according to the ear doc). If I were in a crowded room, I had a hard time hearing the person sitting next to me because of the background noise. Fast foreword to my mid 40′s. Hadnt been to an ear doc in years, and now I have been diagnosed with autoimmune disease. The hearing testing technology has improved, and i have the hearing of a bat. Well, I have perfect hearing, anyway! The doctor said I will probably be able to track my hearing difficulty to the flares of RA. Not at all uncommon.
    My sister has MS, and she has periods of color blindness, and did lose her vision altogether once, during a flare.
    It is scary stuff, and gentle reminders that we need to love ourselves enough to keep going to all the doctors, and care for the different parts of the body.
    Thanks for this post, RAGuy. I hope all is well with your next eye doc appointment.

  8. Carrie says:

    I am now 27 and have been legally blind since 21. And mine is from my wonderful RA. Is it scary? Yes! Has it been scarier? Yes! When my vision was first starting to go way down hill in 2004 we hurried and went to see the ocean. Have I seen everything I would love to see before I go totally blind? No. I deal with it daily and some days are better than others but I try to tell myself it could always be worst. People don’t really understand how all of this can happen because of RA but it does. My friend had an eyeritis flare up and thats how she was finally diagnosed with her form of arthritis. In some instances this may be a curse or a relief. In her case a relief that they finally found the answers they had been searching for.

  9. Elaine says:

    I decided to go to a routine vist to my Opticians after having a few incidents pertaining to blurred vision. Incidents like knocking over a pile of Easter Eggs at my local supermarket.

  10. RA Guy says:

    Wow, my ophthalmologist was right when he said I needed to start getting my eyes checked frequently. It’s been two days since my first episodes of blurred vision, and it has not happened since then – so I’m taking this as a good sign. I’ll still follow-up in the coming days with my other scheduled eye exams, and see if they indicate any issues.

  11. kate says:

    I experience blurred vision on a daily basis.. apparently it’s directly related to my RA. It was terrifying at first, but I find it more terrifying that I am becoming used to it now – I’ve adjusted to constant blurriness and distortion.
    Hope you have not experienced any more episodes of blurred vision.

  12. bob g. says:

    I ALSO HAVE HAD BLURRED VISION AFTER MY LAST 2 ENBREL INJECTIONS LASTED ABOUT 30 MIN. EACH. HAD EPISODES OCASSIONALY BEFORE BUT DID NOT THINK ENBREL HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. UNTIL IT HAPPENDED TWICE IN A ROW AFTER ENBREL INJ. SOUNDS LIKE A LINK TO ME. ENBREL WORKED LIKE A MIRACLE DRUG FOR TWO YEARS NOW BACK ON METX AND HATE THE SIDE EFFECTS AND IT DOESNT WORK NEAR AS GOOD AS ENBREL. I CAN TOLERATE THE 30 MIN VISSION PROBLEM IF I KNEW IT WAS JUST A SIDE EFFECT AND NOT DOING DAMAGE TO MY EYES OR BRAIN.DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. THIS RA IS COMLICATED DISEASE.

  13. jjlivin says:

    i dont know wtf is going on with my eyesight. I have had RA for almost two years now. I am just now searching feaverishly for a good RA doc my sight is deteriorating quick. after some Ra research in internet i found the startiling fact that RA can effect eyesight. I am freeeaked out one eye i can barly read with. I have to close one eye to read anything

  14. JuneCleaver says:

    Hmmmm…having the blurry vision episodes too, almost every morning….clearing about noon. Not today….had double vision. Now 2PM, it’s downgraded to blurry. Am wondering after reading the RA Guy posts if it’s simply RA in action, or if now being on Cimzia has something to do with this. Severe fatigue is accompanying this loveliness. All the best to all!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>