Vision Problems with PD: I've recently... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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Vision Problems with PD


I've recently started to have some vision problems - suddenly cloudy eyes, difficulty focusing on near objects. The ophthalmologists have not found anything wrong with my eyes except that cataracts are growing. I'm wondering if it is a side effect of my meds and if anyone else has experienced it. My ophthalmologist checked the possible side effects of my meds and found that pramipexole can cause blurry vision and double vision and that carbidopa can cause blurring of vision. I've taken these for years but never experienced this. I've added Amantadine recently I wondered if that could be the cause but he didn't find those side affects associated with AMantadine, Has anyone else had similar problems possibly asociated with PD meds?

36 Replies

Joanne, One of the first signs of PD symptoms before diagnosis for me was diminishing vision and tired eyes. I realized that my eye muscles were weakening and I could not track the lines when reading for very long before everything went blurry. I now have to download audiobooks from our local library instead of reading. I can't read anything without getting "squidgey" eyes that don't refocus for a long time, and I often have to lie still with eyes closed for about 15 mins, sometimes more. Some days are worse than others but it isn't fun! BTW My optometrist could not find anything wrong with my sight either.

Additionally, the muscles in my eye lids are weak which adds to reduction in vision. Surgery is not an option.

Hope this helps. 💐

Hi interestingly my husband has suffered poor vision recently and he's on pramipexole too. He's lost his depth perception and driving is becoming trickier

Yes, yes, my hubby has that problem, plus double vision that eye Dr. can find no reason for. Suspects it's a nerve near the eye. He's not on pramipexole tho.....just Sinemet and Azilect., not large amounts. He did have cataract surgery but not connected Dr. said. PD might just be he reason. His eyes get tired and uses large print on Kindle. Mine too, tho. I don't read much anymore. Have Fibro. Enjoy audio books but if a book doesn't have it on Kindle, for only 1.99, I don't get it. We used to go to the library for them but haven't in a long time....hurts my back to stand while looking. And I've got many many books I haven't read on Kindle. Most were free, some .99 so feel guilty if not reading them. I need an audio right now....eyes are fuzzy. Soft hugs...M.A.

I have had this problem, and my optometrist also could find nothing wrong. But I went to an orthoptist (she deals with problems of double vision, and measures children's eyes for strabismus). and she fixed me right up with prism glasses, which have made a world of difference. I believe a neurophthalmologist could do the same thing. I also have to use Xiidra drops for the dry eyes, which are part of PD, and also come from the meds we take. If you can find a neuropthalmologist you may well find some relief with prism lenses. Good luck!

Hi. Do you struggle driving? I'm just trying to understand why my husband has over the last Year or so struggled with with driving. Thanks.

Yes! I think part of it is not being able to turn my head rapidly. Part of it is anxiety over not reacting quickly. Part of it is vision related, which may also be cataract related, especially at night. Bottom line is I drive only during the day, and only within about a two mile radius of home. I am fortunate that I have a DH who is happy to drive, but I know others are not so lucky.

This PD is the gift that keeps on giving!!

That sounds a good idea. I think he has become an anxious driver as he is aware that his sight is compromised. From another post I received here I wonder if it's Pd or whether it could be connected to the drug pramipexole which apparently can affect yr sight. Just don't know.

Thank you for this advice. I will look for a neuropthalmologist

Boyce3600 in reply to adrienneb

Can you tell more about how the prisms help and if tbey are tbe temporary ones ? Also, can u walk while wearing them or are they used for reading or eating or ? Thank u!!

adrienneb in reply to Boyce3600

The prisms are part of the eyeglass prescription, and do not look unusual. I don't walk with them, because they are for reading, and I have to wear separate glasses for distance. I had the same questions about them, and wondered how they would look. They simply are a different prescription for reading glasses. I cannot use bifocals, and can no longer wear contacts, so am left with two pairs of glasses, and that is a bit of a nuisance. But being able to read at night is a tremendous help, and well worth the inconvenience.

I too have two pairs of glasses, for long distance and just recently for reading. Bifocals didn't work for me.

Yep. Cloudy and difficult to focus. Mostly in the mornings. Some of the issues could be getting older too.

maidar in reply to swva

I also am suffering with double vision and blurry eyes! I aalso have chronic dry eyes!!!

Not sure why but I am taking Sinemet for my PD

Joanne_Joyce in reply to maidar

I take Stalivo which also contains Carbidopa. Maybe that is the cause.

I just received this article:

Joanne_Joyce in reply to laglag

Thank you for sharing it. It appears is is a definite symptom of PD.

I found my blurry vision stopped after starting Sertraline on top of taking Sinemet. Dont know how?

That is interesting. What is Sertraline,? Happy it worked for you.

Its an anti- depressant. Thanks

I experience dry eyes occasionally, blurry eyes frequently, but the biggest problem is double vision. I have been fitted with prism glasses, but they only help a little bit. My eye doctor said it is because of the PD, not the medicines. Each eye sees clearly, but the muscles that need to work together to focus cannot function correctly. PD affects absolutely everything!

After reading all these responses I was inspired to check out confirmation that PD causes vision problems and I found this excellent article

One thing I wish I had known about earlier is that it is not helpful to have eyeglasses with graduated lense or even bifocals . Separate reading glasses are better.

I found out about graduated lenses after getting new lenses and falling twice because of the new ones. I put them in a drawer and purchased reading glasses, and haven't fallen even once since. I heard the same thing from several other people.

What are prism glasses? That sounds intriguing.

Joanne_Joyce in reply to Beckey

I am curious too.

I have had an unusual sight problem that I have never heard of. My eyes go out if line with each other. The one goes up and the other goes down. It happened several times while I was driving my car. I had to close one eye in order to see properly.

I have had my cataracts taken out recently and new lenses put back. The misalignment has not happened for several years now but it has happened since I stopped taking any medication so it was not medication related.

Thanks for that info John.

I have used a method of vision training and strengthening the muscles around my eyes and have had some success with it. (I would probably have more success if I did the exercises every day.) The method I've used comes from the book Vision for Life: Ten Steps to Natural Eyesight Improvement, by Meir Schneider. There are other books on the subject, but I'm not familiar with them. I suppose there may be some eye conditions that would make eye exercises contraindicated. For that reason, you should talk to your ophthalmologist about them. But, you'll probably be met with a condescending remark like "Oh, eye exercises won't do you any good. That's a myth." At that point you could say, "Well, do you have any objections to my trying them?" (I know the exercises do work because I've experienced it. They have greatly improved my ability to switch back and forth quickly between distance vision and near vision. They solved a bazaar problem I had a few years ago of my vision darting around quickly among objects and not being able to hold my gaze on any single object for very long at a time. They improved my distance vision. Many others have also experienced improvement with the exercises.) One note of caution about the above-mentioned book: there are a couple of suggested neck exercises that I know would not be good for my neck problems, so I don't do them. If you see any exercise that you feel would not be good for you, don't do it. You know your body better than anyone else.

Thanks Heartsong. I'm going to check that out. I mentioned eye exercises to my ophthalmologist and he said he knew of them for other conditions but wasn't aware of them for PD. Glad they worked for you.


I have been bothered about my eyesight in my left eye. I have been told there is a cataract forming, and not to worry about it. I to have been taking Pramipexzole for several years, although dose has been reduced, which helped with the swelling in feet and lower legs. When I see PD specialist nurse I am going to ask about. I can’t believe I let some one tell me not to worry about my eyesight, how ridiculous, when walking is compromised anyway and not being able to see properly could lead to nasty falls and hospital admissions.

All the best Lovepug

Joanne_Joyce in reply to Hidden

You are absolutely right, lovepug. We are already at risk when we walk, so we need good eyesight.

I also have blurry vision, double vision and see letters jumping around . I went to my retinologist . She saw nothing wrong with my eyes than my usual ARMD. She sent me on my way, I am looking for a new doctor. She's fired . I am not on any medication . Miraplex had side effects.

Audio books sounds like a good idea.

But difficult to do my crossword puzzles. Can enlarge them.

Joanne_Joyce in reply to marilw

That is discouraging. is there a neuro-ophthalmologist in your area?

My husband has had PD for 5 years, or longer, then had cataract surgery. Now has double vision in one eye but no reason or solution suggested by eye Dr. Just wait it out. He has been on Carbadopa Levadopa (senimet)for years and also takes Rasagline. Could they relate to double vision. We get no answers. It's such a frustration for him. A neighbor has tried prism glasses that are supposed to help but, so far not. They play cribbage daily. Neighbor has heart/lung and various problems but not PD. Anyone else have this problem of double vision...and is it related to meds? He has balance and stiffness, and tremors that are less now. Getting up from easy chair is hardest. Needs cane for outside walking....we both do with the dog. He can work in the yard well but we both have problems with fatigue. I have Cronic Fatigue and Fibromyagia for years, and type 2 diabetes which developed late. We're in our 70's. IfAnxiety or depression, which I have, plus the emotional pain from losing oldest daughter to cancer at 41, in 2006....our being with her and helping family, be a factor for his developing PD? Just wondering. Our grief has been different with us and other 4 kids and grd kids.we hide it and don't talk about it except casually about her bravery and how well kids and husband have done. He finally remarried. I think my deppression med has kept me from Feeling in general. We both need sleep med. and I use anti sleepiness meds to get thru the day and he naps a lot instead after doing early AM things. Then he plays computer games, chess and cards. I do late PM into AM things....walking the dog, computer stuff like this.....and on my Fibro site. I also like to understand what PD is like and what can help. We go to a support group but often it's scary. Last one was on developing Melenoma on PD drugs. I'd like to have a Fibro group but we're all too tired to do it. I know several who have Fibro and each have their own way to cope. I wouldn't mind going to a boxing therapy class for PD but it's just too far away. Has anyone else done it. I never know if I'll feel well enough, having IBS too. Hope this hasn't been too long. Here's to less tremors and more good days.

Just to give you an update: after I sent this post I went to an ophthalmologist and showed him one of the articles I had found about vision problems and PD. He immediately prescribed separate reading glasses and they have solved the problem of double vision. He also prescribed eye drops because of the PD related dry eyes and the drops also give me a lot of relief. So far so good.

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