Eye problems with PSP

Today has been a hard day for my husband. He appeared to stare into space and could not breath. He would not eat anything all day. He told me tonight that his eyes were stinging. I did not know if it was something serous that I needed to contact the nurse about tonight or take him to the doctor tomorrow. 

My question is: When your loved ones started having eye problems with PSP, did the eyes sting them and look blood shot? 

17 Replies

  • Quick answer, yes. One eye is especially dry, no measurable tear production per the ophthalmologist's test. She prescribed prednisone eye drops, 4 times a day, now down to twice. It helps.

  • easterncedar, they both are watering all the time. I have decided to take him in tomorrow. Is the Prednisone for dry eye? 

  • Yes, the prednisone is for the lack of tear production.

  • Along with the weakening of the muscles that control focus and movement, our beleaguered loved ones do not blink enough to protect their eyes from irritants and dryness, hence the irritation and inflammation that results . Add to this the possibility of age or illness related or med related decreased tear production and we need to intervene to try and improve the situation. At least there are some things available that may help , which is encouraging  !  From what I've read, the watering of the eyes unfortunately does not assist with with helping ,but is instead, a rxn to this problem. 

  • My hubby has similar problems. I've tried eye drops of various sorts but what helps him the most is darkened rooms inside and full cover sun glasses and a hat with a brim outside. He is very light sensitive. When he is at the hospice or in a restaurant, shops etc he wants them on all the time.


  • I read about this just the other day. Carehooe is right about the why's and such. They said that the best way to combat this was to wash the eye twice a day with Johnson's baby shampoo, the regular one, make I sure it's saluted. Then to use saline drops throughout the day. My husband has CBD and has the same issue. J old t h is gives you another means to combat this problem.

  • Hi agree with all above, but you need the artificial tears to keep the cornea moist. PSP seem to dry the eyes as well as the upper lids which is also exacerbated by the other PSP symptom of loss of blink and stare.  The body's reaction is to produce its own tears but because of lose of blink rate the normal tears flow but cannot moisten the cornea or upper lids so the eyes get red and irritated.  

    M has artificial tears 4 times a day it works, her eyes are no longer red and she is no longer rubbing them.  If I forget, her eyes become sore and her own tears go into overdrive.  Agree about dark wrap round glasses especially outside.

    Best wishes Tim

  • Yes. My husband says his eyes sting quite a bit. They also look red sometimes too. It is not continuous, but it is bothersome for him. My husband also has pseudobulbar affect - he cries for no reason - this might actually help with the dryness in his eyes. ( a little silver lining!)

  • Thank you all for your advice. I had read that one of the PSP problems was in the eyes. We have not had to battle this one before. I will try the above advice. Thanks again. Deb

  • Yes my partner has very red eyes today makes him look very sorrowful x

  • Chris had a slow blink from diagnosis. Sometimes his eyes are sore and I use Viscose artificial tears. They help ease the soreness. He needs sunglasses too.

    Jean x

  • My moms eyes would sting and she also felt a lot of pressure.  The eye doctors would tell her she had issues with dry eyes.  This was before we knew what was going on with her.  They prescribed Restasis.  This seemed to help for a while but towards the end I would use saline eye drops to help with the dryness and redness.  It worked better than the Restasis.  I hope you have a better day.   God bless.

  • I just asked B.  He said his eyes don't sting and water well.  I would suggest just eye drops which are just a lubricant.  they make the eyes wet, you can use them when you need them and they are over the counter!


  • Hi My mum has PSP and she has constant discomfort with her eyes.  They are always watering, this is the only symptom she ever complains about, her sight is failing she has lost a lot of eye movement and she rarely blinks.  She has drops for "dry eye" but they give only a little relief.  The doctor and neurologist have both said there is not much more they can do - botox has been suggested but they both don't recommend it because it may even further reduce the little movement she has and reduce her blinking.  So she just puts up with runny eyes. 

  • Hi, yes dry sore eyes is par for the course in PSP! Not blinking really affects the eyes and causes discomfort. You are in the states so you can get over the counter products that work quite well. CVS, Rite Aid and other chains carry them. Unless there is a yellow or green discharge and is infected that is what the opthomologist will tell you to do anyway. There is a product we especially find helpful from a company called GenTeal. In the morning I wash his eyes out with the liquid drops then apply the SEVERE DRY EYES RELIEF ointment. They make an artificial tears type product as well but this one seems to make the most difference. If you do not clean the eyes out before applying ointment the eyes get gunky and crusty. Way before my husband was diagnosed we made several trip to eye doctor for this issue. I later told the doctor about his diagnosis and suggested he read up on the disease so that maybe he could help someone else in the future exhibiting PSP eye symptoms who had not been diagnosed but he was uninterested. Sad as eye issues are the "tell" in a definitive diagnosis of PSP. A Neurological Opthamologist actually diagnosed my husband's PSP and we were referred to him by a Neurologist who bases his final diagnosis on the outcome of the neurological eye doctor's diagnosis.  Unfortunately this will be something you will have to contend with. My husband (as others have discussed has severe light sensitivity and must wear sunglasses at all times even indoors). A sleeping mask is helpful as well. He was given a prescription for prism glasses to help with reading and computer work and blurred double vision early on from the Neurological eye doctor but he did not like them. All things you could check into. I would be very surprised if your regular eye doctor has a clue about PSP. Let us know how it goes and good luck!


  • Goldcap, I have a huge question. How long into the disease did your husband start to have eye troubles. My husband has had the disease for about 4 years now. He has no eye problems like that, other than them watering all the time. His eyes are not stuck open, and he blinks all the time. That is one reason the neurologist is sending us to a MSA specialist. He said all PSP patients have eye problems like your husbands. 

    I would like to copy and save your post. It is very informative. Thank you

  • Hi, not such a huge question! He was misdiagnosed with Parkinson's disease about 4 years prior to his PSP diagnosis. So about 4 years into it before they began to bother him. But I think the tunnel vision-i.e. not being able to move the eyes up and down and the loss of his peripheral vision happened much earlies. One doctor actually diagnosed my husband with MSA as well. It is so individual and symptoms seem so random as to when they manifest. It is like speech. Sme seem to lose it early on and others never really do. Good luck with the MSA specialist and I hope you get a definitive answer. It is horrible not knowing isn't it?

    Best, JGC

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