3 Eye Problems Associated With Parkinson's Disease


Symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease such as loss of muscle control and eye tremors can leave you at risk of developing problems with your vision. This can impact on your ability to maintain your independence by making it difficult for you to read your mail or follow cooking instructions, but problems with your vision can also be socially isolating.

Here's an overview of three eye problems associated with Parkinson's disease and the treatment options.

Blurred Or Double Vision

Blurred or double vision can occur when the muscles that move your eyeballs do not move in sync as a result of muscle fatigue and co-ordination problems. This can cause headaches and make reading particularly difficult as your eyes are unable to properly track the words on the page. Blurred or double vision can also be a side effect of some Parkinson's medications, so make your optometrist aware of the drugs you take when you have your eyes tested.

Slight changes to your glasses prescription can ease blurred or double vision. Alternatively, your optometrist may suggest a prism is added to each lens of your glasses. A prism is a small piece of glass that can improve muscle imbalance by bending light as it enters your eyes, which allows the light to reach the retina in the back of your eyes at the optimum angle for clear vision.

Dry Eyes

Parkinson's disease can cause you to blink less often than is required to maintain healthy eyes. Blinking removes dirt and other irritants, so when you don't blink often enough your eyes can feel dry and itchy. Reduced blinking can also lead to blepharitis, which is an inflammatory condition that's often caused by bacteria. Symptoms include sticky eyelashes, crusts along the lid margins and swollen eyelids.

Artificial tears can be used to prevent your eyes drying out and help keep them clean. Your optometrist can prescribe them in drops or ointment form. You can also keep your eyes moist and tackle the symptoms of blepharitis with daily eyelid washes. Simply soak a soft cloth in warm water and wring it out before placing over your eyes for a few minutes. This will loosen the crusts, which can then be removed with the cloth or cotton buds. In severe cases of blepharitis you may need topical antibiotics to reduce inflammation.


Blepharospasm refers to episodes of eyelid twitching as a result of muscles in your eyelids going into spasm. When this happens you'll find it difficult to keep your eyelids open and the twitching can continue for several minutes and occur several times a day. This condition obviously has a severe impact on your ability to carry out normal daily tasks and can tire out your eyes quickly.

Blepharospasm can be treated with Botox injections every few months. The injections relax the muscles in your eyelids by blocking nerve signals that tell your eyelid muscles to contract. Botox is injected directly into the eyelid muscles, but the needles used are very fine and discomfort is minimal.

Many of the eye problems associated with Parkinson's disease can be managed, so if you're experiencing problems with your vision or are overdue an eye examination, schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible. 


24 June 2015

Successful, Fear-Free Eye Exams for Kids

Eye exams aren't always easy for kids. Some kids have social anxiety or fear of doctors. Others may have issues such as extreme dyslexia holding them back from even being able to read the letters on the chart, and you my be worried about what to tell the optometrist. If you are worried bout having a successful eye exam, you are not alone. I have felt the same way in the past. However, after four kids – three of whom own glasses – I have learned how to negotiate the world of optometry with kids. If you have kids, check out these tips. They will get you and your kid through your next appointment.