Eye Strain

I am an avid reader and this has provided the escape I crave from the symptoms of PMR. Lately I have noticed horrible eye strain at the end of the day. It hurts when things whizz about on the TV screen or I look at a bright light. Or move my eyes around.My GP has discounted any GCA worries. I've had a thorough eye examination at the opticians. Nothing of note found.I have been reading much more than normal and on the days I read less I think it is better. I always have a kindle book on the go. Please don't tell me I can't read anymore! Has anyone experienced this symptom? I am on 14mgs of Pred. Reducing slowly. This have been around to a lesser extent prior to diagnosis. It's not there in the morning.

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  • Hi,

    If you have been checked out by optician for any obvious eye problems, then guess it's probably the dreaded Pred again.

    I do find that sometimes mine ache, under same conditions as you describe, but I always assume that's my situation.

    All I can suggest is that you monitor things, but as you say it's better when you don't read too much then maybe that's your answer. If you use kindle a lot, then how about audio books? Bit limited, but there are more about nowadays. Could be an option occasionally. The other thing is make sure you have a good light - that's really important - even if you have to invest in new LED one. Or buy a daylight bulb - gives a bluer rather that yellowy colour.

    You don't have to stop reading, just adjust things. Obviously if things don't improve, then maybe you need to speak to GP again, or Rheumy if you see one.

  • Thank you,DorsetLady for your thoughtful reply. Maybe my bedside lamp is not bright enough. I might even invest in a new kindle with the screen light.

    I always imagine you with a beautiful garden and a gingerbread cottage, it must be your monicker and photo.🌹

  • Not quite! I do have a lovely smallish garden, but it's more "wildlife friendly" than "Capability Brown" - my hubby was the gardener, I'm just a potterer!

    Wish it was a gingerbread house, but no - a two bed bungalow, but in a lovely quiet area of a village. Actually have often lived in isolated rural areas, hubby was a gamekeeper for number of years, but also in the Armed Forces for 20odd years, which obviously wasn't quite so bucolic, plus I was a faceless Civil Servant for many years! So for many years almost led a double life, between work and home - think I could have been a spy!

    Sorry to disappoint!

    Actually others have also mentioned dry eye, ditto, that doesn't help either. Unfortunately think it's a combination of many things, but mainly Pred and age (although we won't discuss that).

    Take care.

  • I don't know, sounds close enough and has the makings of a novel, the Gamekeeper's wife who is also a spy!

    I have Graves Disease ( thyroid) and initially there was exophthalmic goitre, leaving me with rather dry wide eyes.

    I was also a Civil Servant for 30 years, latterly in the Department of Education. Probably ruined eyes, neck shoulders etc. poring over tedious documents.

  • Hi again,

    Could write a few tales about our exploits over the years that's for sure! However, having signed the Secrets Acts not sure I'd be allowed to - MOD might have other ideas!

    Incidentally, forgot to say I do have a summerhouse with a cane rocking chair - so that may restore some of your faith in me. However, not sure I'm ready to do a "Miss Marple" yet. πŸ•΅

    Take care.

  • Hello Sheffield

  • Hello SheffieldJane

    I have had PMR for 8 years and in the beginning I had really bad eye strain especially with tv or computer and reading like you I love to be immersed in a book I don't use kindle very much mostly a book as it seems softer on the eyes but you can try some of both. I also use audio books as you can rest eyes and body at the same time .Try taking little breaks whilst reading I also bathe my eyes with quite hot water for about 5 mins . I think as you lower your pred it might not be as bad. Strictly is coming back which I love but we have to lower the brightness so that I can watch most of it. If it gets worse then talk to your Reaumy. I have heard of a spray which you spray on to eyelids which helps dry eyes but I haven't tried it yet . Good Luck .

  • Hi

    I had lots of problems with my vision, I'm shortsighted (myopic) but only wear single vision specs.

    I can read very close up like now when using my iphone but found magazines impossible with my reading glasses when I was on high doses of Prednisolone.

    I only read books on the Kindle & adjust the text accordingly, Pred has given me the start of cataracts, is there no end to the joy! I did however get my optician to make me up a pair of middle distance glasses because I was really struggling with seeing close ie cooking or ironing (not that I did much of either)

    However Chemotherapy for Cancer messed up my distance vision.

    But in general my distance prescription has only changed slightly & I prefer the prescription I was wearing before all this kicked off, so my latest specs were/are made accordingly.

    It's generally the Steroids though!

    Try reading a bit less & try tweaking the size of the font on your Kindle! πŸ‘“

    Take Care πŸ’

  • Thank you for your helpful replies, MrsNails and lucky12. I will follow all of the advice. I am not giving books up without a fight.

    There is always the GCA fear lurking no matter how many times Drs say your symptoms don't fit. My maternal great grandmother went blind with a brain tumour and my paternal grandma with disseminated sclerosis. So every eye thing feels more sinister than it should. The truth is I'm getting on in years and I read too much. Thanks for listening.

  • Hi Sheffield Jane,i am a relative newbie to this condition but i have found that my eyes are worsening,, I also have a cataract, which I had previous to this illness. I believe that is getting worse, iI have had one eye done so hopefully thats not affected. I find reading ver y tiring and have to limit it too.

  • I love to read too, it helps me relax, sleep and takes my mind off my situation . I don't know if you have a tablet computer I find radio4 drama on bbc I player a good source of drama when I don't want to read. I have to adjust the light level down on my kindle if I am reading in bed with no other light or I can suffer with arcing light.

    Oddly I used to suffer with migraine but have had no attacks since starting prednisilone . At least that is one positive side effect of prednisilone for me.

  • Hurrah for Radio 4! I listen a lot Sallyaches and I've found a velvet eye pad that heats in the microwave. So there's a little date with myself. Thanks!

  • Hi, I developed similar discomfort, and it was diagnosed as dry eye.

    My eye doc suggested moisturizing drops, and relief!!

    PMR has all kinds of little surprises for us...

  • I find print books trying if the print is small. But the good thing about Kindle is that I can enlarge the font. Also have a paper white Kindle with adjustable contrast. Much easier on the eye.

  • I am having the same problem and am very frustrated....very blurry vision....optometrist says prescription is ok, but yes , eyes are dry, even though they're watering, and so to use plain drops every hour. Rheumy (researcher and professor- I add that only to note that I "should" be able to believe him - ?) says it is NOT the Pred...I don't care anymore what it's from, I just need resolution....I'm going to ask for a referral back to the opthamologist, he should know - ? ....I am hearing impaired and I NEED to read....good luck to us all in the fight to keep reading πŸ€“πŸ€“πŸ€“ (I can't imagine a life without books πŸ““πŸ“”πŸ“•πŸ“’πŸ“—πŸ“šπŸ“˜πŸ“–πŸ“™). oh, I have learned that the more light the better for paper books, my e-reader that I love has a built in light on a moveable arm to direct it exactly where you're reading and as close as you want

  • I have the same problem when I read a lot and only get relief by focusing around the room and into the distance. If I remember to do this regularly I can then carry on reading.

  • I've found a really irritating tendency for some books now to be printed in small, fine, sans serif print, sometimes with illustrations in the background to further reduce contrast against the paper. I don't think I'd have liked that even in my younger days. I suppose it's to make the pretty pictures of recipes, or scenery or whatever the theme of the book is, stand out more, but it seems pointless if you can't read the ingredients or the commentary or whatever. Recently I took an old novel off my bookshelf (I'm reading my way through my library, this was one that had belonged to my parents) and was so pleased to find it was nice readable print! It's the first time I realized that even our books are not as good as they used to be, so insidious has the tightening up (smaller print, narrower margins and line spacing) been as publishers try to save paper.

    Insert grumpy old person emoticon here....

  • LOL HeronNS......."insert grumpy old person....."....I should have added in my post above that I had my cranky pants pulled up pretty tight as I was writing ......


  • "Grumpy old person" indeed!

    Surely you mean "discerning, mature, individual" - makes us sound like a fine wine 🍾🍸

  • Again you've come through you lovely people! Together we will beat this thing, one little battle at a time!

    Thank you for your considered useful replies. X

  • I, too, read avidly on my kindle fire. I don't know how different all the kindles are, but on mine there are quite a few options for background and print colors (hues). I like the "sepia" color - a pale brownish cream. Sometimes I use white print on black background with large font. The color choices seem to feel better on my eyes. We're all in this together πŸ’•

  • Did the optician check you for dry eyes? The standard test is sticking a strip of blotting-paper like stuff between your eyelids and seeing how much tears it soaks up. I used Clarymist liposomal spray and found it helped a lot with dry eyes. (PS. other brands are available!)

    Better light does help and so probably would larger print - which is easier with a Kindle. I, too, find screwing my eyes up when they go blurry helps a lot - or looking out of the window at the mountains instead of the screen (because as you can imagine, I do read a lot on my computer ;-) )

  • Yes PMRpro, dry eyes has been diagnosed with my exophthalmic goitre from Graves Disease. This eye strain feels more muscular, you know, as you move them around, rather than gritty. I do use artificial tear eye drops. When the tall men in my family look down on me from my habitual corner of the sofa, it hurts me to look up at them. It is currently my most bothersome symptom, Lord knows what's in the queue! Thanks as always.

  • I have Vasculitis and I have been suffering the same. My optician has put it down to the preds. He also suggested that I use some eye drops called "Thealoz Duo" twice a day and that does seem to be working.He also suggested that I ensure that the room is properly lit. I also love my Kindle.

  • silversurfer48 , I have found the eye drops on the Internet and will give them a go. We are going to a Greek Island soon ( booked before diagnosis) the house is at the top of a cliff ( yes I know!) So if I ever get up there I'm going to practise looking off into the distance. I've heard that's good for the eyes.

  • Do consider taking walking poles like hikers use with you - it does help a lot to have the extra bit to lean on when you HAVE to walk up (and even more down) slopes.

  • Thank you for the walking pole advice. I've bought a pair and feel quite confident now. Genius! My husband likes the idea of Nordic Walking, we live on the edge of the Peaks, so there's another positive coming out of this thing.

  • Oh good - another idea hits the spot!

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