Did how your eyes look change after ABI? - Headway

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Did how your eyes look change after ABI?

Not talking about vision here (that's another subject) but iris colour, coloured bit of eye, (not black pupil or it's size)? A woman I know who'd had a brain tumour (still got bit left) said hers had got darker too, mine did. And as though 'the lights have gone out' = less shiny/sparkly - not just tiredness. Are these eye changes common after ABI?

And for me the top of my irises (under eyelids normally) went all blurry. Before I had clear-cut between iris colour (brown) and the whites of eyes and that changed (only at tops) very suddenly after ABI. Now, 9 years later, the blurry has gone and white has taken their places on each eye: like crescent moons at top covering iris. WHAT IS THIS, anyone know?

And it hurt SO bad to move my eyes and especially to look up, still is hard but bit less so. Got weird sudden new creases over eyelids (right worst and droops more) coz (think) using different muscles to open them/look up.

What changes to how your eyes look (if any) have you noticed in yourself or in loved ones eyes after ABI?

Maybe eye changes could be an extra pointer for GPs to know when to refer and for A&E docs to help diagnose?

15 Replies

No, no change in iris although my sight has deteriorated badly since BI.

But what is most noticeable for me is the increase in dark shadows around the eyes. People keep telling me I look unwell & worn out and I have to agree. I try to disguise the shadows with concealer but the darkness still shows through. . . . . . . . . . not a good look.

Maybe I'm turning into a panda. :x


Ha my wife describes it as my skeleton look, had a zombie walk as well for a good 7 months after!


Yes Roger, I still have the walk too ; think that's here to stay !!

Just hope we can remain good humoured about it all. Let's face it a black-eyed, half blind zombie with memory lapses and loss of inhibition belongs in a horror movie.

Still I've been carrying it off for 3+years now without raising too many eyebrows !! :o x


Hi Muddled,

My eyes ,rather pupils were like that well known phrase 'pi**holes in the snow ' during the acute phase of my illness ! I suspect it was because I was so sensitive to light so they shrank down to tiny pinpricks to let less light in.Had a bit of nystagmus (eyes juddering side to side ) for a few days.Started to be more normal by the sixth week-no long term problems,thankfully x


Yes, my pupils were suddenly smaller, stuck small, still are smaller than used to be. Hate how they look.


When I'm on a bit of a dip with my ABI my wife says that I have "dead eyes" meaning there is no sparkle in them. A colleague also said that she noticed this when I needed to slow down and rest. They were separate conversations the colleague didn't know my wife's observations beforehand.

Since my wife mentioned this and I've been feeling low I check in the mirror and see (oops) what my eyes tell me.

I've also found that I wear sunglasses more, often when they aren't necessarily needed but they help me filter.


Yes lydgate: I was having tea & cake with ABI friend and SHE saw I was tired (and said so) before I realised!

I wear tinted spex outside all year: so much less pain from the light even when not sunny. Got stronger sunglasses too but prescription isn't right, too strong for distance/driving,they work only for mid-range. Tried varifocals (spent £250 for nice ones with reactolite lenses = money down the drain) = can't use but such a hassle changing spex. Different optician said NOT to try varifocals coz they'd make me feel 'swimmy' (I think) and they do = coz, I think, of how I look at things and how my eyes move, not normal, changed after ABI.

Think can't get tints on NHS and if we lose our spex = can't afford more, must pay. Can't carry lots different spex all the time!

Oh and I got WEIRD yellowish raised bumps on whites of both eyes, inside side, nose side. These lasted ages, GP and opticians ignored too. Think gone now. What WAS that? Related to muscle damage, blood supply disruption, infection in throat, chemical damage (skin/lips too) from something I was injected with during op? Nobody will tell me. Need to know. Too many questions, cruel not to answer.


If you are concerned I would suggest that you make an appointment with an optician. If they find anything they are not sure about they will refer you to an opthalmologist at the hospital. Thats what happened to me as at the hospital they have more specialist equipment. For me nothing that needed any treatment was diagnosed other than another change of glasses lenses and some for reading as was still getting double vision. I now have stopped using reading glasses as my focus changed again after sometime so I had gone back to blurry print etc and I'm now better without them. I don't think the GP would be able to refer you direct to opthalmology as you would need to have a opticians sight test first. It maybe something that the optician can reassure you about or be able to prescribe for if necessary. I also have a drooping right eyelid since my illness but that seems to be the result of the strokes I also suffered. There is nothing that they will do about that as doesn't affect the working of the eye and would be classed as cosmetic which they NHS won't do.


Went to optician at start: just stronger spex and dumped. Told GP didn't fix the sudden new eyesight problems but he blanked that.

Seen opthalmo but he wrote nothing wrong but only listed a few things. Same with recent xray lumbar: no mention in report about vertebrae! Derr: what's the point of only stating what there ISN'T rather than the pathology: what there IS that's abnormal?

Sick of it. Very cruel.

Yes, my right eyelid droops, less now than early on but shows when over-tired. Hate it. GP and opticians and opthalmo ignored that too.


The only thing I noticed was my eyes not being straight, they were looking in different directions before I had the injections into the muscle behind the eyes, it's not so noticeable with my specs on thankfully!


Yes, mine are slightly off, hate how my eyes look now and hurt so much. Everything was suddenly darker, everything I saw, after my ABI, so shocking at time but gradually got used t it, adapt, so it's 'normal' now. But remember feeling so sad: whole world everything duller to look at, darker.

Yes, I hide behind my spex, HATE seeing my eyes (and face/body) in mirror, try avoid, I suddenly lookedSO different after ABI and then the muscle loss and skin changes. Not me. Oh but is me NOW. But still doesn't look/feel like me even after 9 years. Will it ever?

Yes, have to accept it's how I look now, no choice, but the mega STRESS and several years of crying take their toll too, shame, that was unnecessary and could have been avoided.



Like Muddled my Iris have stayed small and I cannot cope with bright lights

Optician waster of time


After dealing with more mental problems than one can name quickly, I can say that dullness of the eyes, accidentally becomingcross-eyed, having differently sized pupils, having visual disturbances and having dull eyes definitely can come from pressure on and damage with the brain.

After an extensive series of seizures years ago, my eyes keep changing color.


Hi Muddled,

I have got a right-sided paralisys from my op in 1996 and my right eye has turned inwards as if permenently cross-eyed, just in that eye though. The look of the eye, iris, pupil looks the same as before. I can see out of the right eye and I can mainly see my nose haha. I rarely ever use my right eye for really looking and my left eye is definately the dominent eye.

I cannot really focus when blocking my left eye and looking out of right. The vision in the right eye seems like things are a bit smaller than left and it seems a little discoloured vision too.

If I were to look from left to right with both eyes, the left eye can move over OK but right eye can only move a little.

I have been told of getting an operation to corrct the right eye but I have been put off because I know someone who had the same problem. They had the op to correct their eye. In turn, their eye got stuck in the opposite direction plus they went blind in that eye!

PS: And may I just add, your doctors, professionals sound dreadful. Can you not complain about them and get better help?

Take care,



Been complaining for YEARS Matt, makes no difference. People seem to enjoy making me try to complain: they SICK. Nobody believes anything I say? Nobody WANTS to help me in ways I want/need but pretend they are. Complained after bungled op and got lies and denials. All who SHOULD be doing their jobs choosing not to and they find that FUN, they smile/laugh as they hurt me. SICK. Police won't open the door, keep being told to WRITE, what's the point? They ALREADY know what they're doing wrong, writing a letter changes ZILCH. I can't make them,tried making them WANT to do their jobs/help me but ha ha they go, YOU have the resources (they deluded) YOU do DIY for ALL of it. SICK.


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