Watch Your Eyes; Problems May Crop Up

Watch Your Eyes; Problems May Crop Up

Through the Fog

Did you know that our eyes have six main muscles  that control their movement? Because fibromyalgia, by its very nature, is comprised of widespread musculoskeletal pain, it stands to reason that the muscles of our eyes also can be affected. Some of the ways that your eyes can be affected are:

Pain: The cause of pain can be the result of dry eyes. If that affects you, perhaps your ophthalmologist can suggest some good lubricating eye drops. I know that has helped tremendously with the pain I experience. You also should make sure you’re not dealing with a scratched cornea.
Headaches: Cluster headaches cause pain usually behind one eye. They also affect that side of your head. Fatigue may make them worse. Migraines are another type of headache that affects your eyes. They cause you to experience more pain in the presence of light. A dark, quiet room usually will help you get through this.
Light sensitivity: Natural sunlight doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue, although it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses when you’re out in the sun. I find that indoor lighting causes my eyes to be uncomfortable and at times painful. The glare of headlights after dark can prevent you from comfortably driving at night.
Blurriness: Especially when we’re tired or have been looking at screens too long, our vision can become blurry. Sometimes the blurriness might mean you need glasses, or if you already have glasses, you may need a new prescription. Closing your eyes for a while to give them rest and indulging in an audio book or quiet music can really help.
Shift of focus: For me, when I’m watching TV and they’re panning across a scene too fast, for example, I have to close my eyes because it makes me feel nauseated. It’s also what keeps me from going on rides that I used to enjoy at the fair. It’s basically anything in your line of vision that moves or changes too rapidly. Actually, even if the scene is just moving, I can’t seem to focus until the moving stops. I can’t watch some gifs or other ad images that have quick, repetitive movements.

Lack of sleep, fatigue, stress and anxiety can cause these symptoms to increase in severity, the same way it affects all your other fibromyalgia symptoms and the severity of them. Do you experience eye symptoms? Have you found things that have helped you that you’d like to share?


Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


  1. Dave says:

    I have found that my eyesight has got worse a bit quicker than is considered normal. The usual frequency is 3 years for an eyesight test. I have to go every 18 months and my prescription changes.

    Driving at night and dealing with headlight glare is a problem. I purchased a pair of special driving glasses made by Zeiss. Really great lenses that totally cut down on the amount of glare. I would not be without them.

    Just another thing to add to the list of the condition that just keeps on giving.

  2. Carol T. says:

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about two years ago. Fortunately for me, it’s relatively mild at this point and day to day life isn’t affected too much. This past February, I started having a problem with my right eye. After four days (because I’m stubborn like that, and I work in a doctor’s office so I know everything, right?) I went to my doctor who sent me immediately to an eye doctor. I was started on blood thinners in case I was trying to have a stroke, and was sent for an MRI of the brain and orbits. We’ve ruled out a stroke, MS, and a myriad of other eye diseases that run in my family. At one point I lost all vision in that eye and could only see light and dark. Long story short, everything is normal except for the optic nerve which continues to be inflamed. I have since regained most of my vision in that eye, but the eye feels heavy, kind of weighted. If I cover one eye, then the other, my vision appears brighter with the ‘good’ eye and the ‘bad’ eye appears to be looking through a lightly tinted lens. When I’m stressed, my eye throbs and vision gets worse. My doctors are closely monitoring it and I trust them 110% so I’m not looking for medical advice, but wondering if anyone else with fibro has experienced something similar?

  3. Marita Mitchell says:

    Hi Robin, yes my eyes get sore, blurry and I swap out my glasses for whichever pair works on that day. I just use a cool, wet cloth over tired eyes.
    My bigger problem is that I cry so often. I get frustrated and overwhelmed very easily, and then I cry, anything from gentle weeping to the ugly, loud sobbing. Of course this also leaves my eyes and sinuses very sore. Any ideas?

    • Betty says:

      Marita, for the past year, I’ve had problems with my vision. Ruled out medical issues and no pharmaceuticals are affecting it. I have several pairs of prescription glasses and have to switch out also. I’m an avid reader and canot get any optical help with this issue.

  4. Linda M. says:

    I gave up most newer tv, seldom go to movies (and take earplugs when I do) and look away when a scene moves too fast. I have found that older tv programs don’t bother me as much, so now I’ll stream ‘vintage’ programs or buy older series sets on dvd. I actually prefer buying dvd sets as I can pause as needed, and buy a season at a time if money is tight. Sometimes with the streaming service it will glitch when paused.

  5. Janice says:

    I wear sunglasses at night to watch the TV. Room darkening curtains or wearing a loose sleep mask really makes a difference (be sure the mask is not tight, must be loose). You’d be surprised how much you are straining your eyes and squinting while you are sleeping.

      • Lindy Brockington says:

        I had to wear sunglasses a few years ago 24/7 when I had an ulcer on my cornea. It just occurred to me last night to put my sunglasses on while watching TV and it made a big difference. I have FMS and also ME/CFS and have recently started having problems with light sensitivity esp in our sunny bedroom and while watching TV. Going to dig out my blackout curtains later today!

  6. Christine Hughes says:

    Does anyone have allergy type symptoms?? For years (approx 20) I have had bouts of sore, very itchy eyes, particularly on the inner corners and lower lash area. The itching is also bad between my eyes, along my eyebrows and in a line approx 2.5″ wide from between my eyes to the crown of my head (An inverted capital T shaped area). It used to happen about once every 4-6 weeks, now it virtually every day. It happens at home, when I’m away from home and even when I’m abroad Over the years we’ve got rid of things we thought were causing an allergy – trees, pets etc. and it’s getting worse. I have very dry eyes and use drops for them but the drops have no effect on the itching. I was diagnosed with Fibro two years ago, but have had the symptoms since my eldest daughter was born 25 years ago. I’m also a diabetic. Can anyone shed any light on this for me??

    • Marita Mitchell says:

      Hi Christine, I would think it was the diabetes. I have also struggled with my eyes for many years. I also have both illnesses. In my experience Fibro has made it worse. Please make sure that you see an eye specialist once a year. Good luck.

  7. Robin Smith says:

    When my ocular muscles are sore I find that stretching them relieves the headache inducing pain. To do this simply look up as high as you can while keeping you head still and level. Try to hold for a count of ten. Do the same looking down, left and right. It can make me a little dizzy so I always do this while seated.

  8. Julie says:

    Hi Robin, thank you for all your articles! I had thought you were moving on? Just today when I was at the doctor with hubby the doctor had to close the blinds because my eyes were really bothering me! Most of the time when I go outside I have to have my sunglasses 😎 or I just can’t see even to walk!

  9. Gail says:

    I’m so happy I happened to come across this article. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia four years ago, and have constant problems with dry eyes and eye pain. I’ll take a copy of this article to my eye doctor and hopefully this is a start in the right direction to finding relief for my eye pain.

  10. Denise Maxim says:

    I have a reaction to loud noises especially in confined spaces for example in the car large stores with music playing and in areas where many people are talking at once. I also get the blurry eye problem. I was diagnosed with fibro a year ago but know I have suffered for about 4 years Denise England

  11. Susan Lindsey says:

    I have had fibromyalgia for 40 years. A couple of years ago, I began having trouble reading or doing any close work as everything would get blurry. New prescription lenses never seemed to help. Finally, I told the doctor that I would find myself closing one eye in order to read. A quick test, and she determined that my eyes were no longer working in tandem. Now with new prescription containing very strong prisms, I can see perfectly.

  12. Greg says:

    Really important information, thanks for sharing Robin. R.e. light sensitivity: Have any of you tried TheraSpecs glasses? They use a special tint that helps with the artificial lighting you’re talking about (fluorescents, computer screens, TV, etc). Wearing them also means you don’t have to wear sunglasses indoors, which can pose its own set of challenges. Otherwise, wearing hats and removing as much of those nasty fluorescent light bulbs as possible could be other options for minimizing light-related pain.

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