a woman at the doctor for parkinson's vision problems

An Eye-deal Specialist to Treat Parkinson's Vision Issues

At 3 years of age, I needed to wear eyeglasses. Then in 2020, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and I noticed that my vision was not as sharp as it was in the past. My ophthalmologist, who I have been using for many years, tried making me a new pair of eyeglasses. Unfortunately, the glasses were not able to do their job.

Trying not to make a spectacle of myself (no pun intended,) I decided to go to a new eye doctor. His practice focused on (again, no pun intended) treating vision problems experienced by people living with Parkinson’s disease. The specialist who treated me was called a neuro-ophthalmologist.

What is a neuro-ophthalmologist?

A neuro-ophthalmologist is a type of eye doctor who specializes in treating vision issues caused by brain diseases. Neuro-opthalmologist's have a medical degree, and have completed either a neurology or opthalmology residency, as well as a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology. These specialists deal with a variety of vision issues and diseases that involve the optic nerve.1,2

Parkinson’s can affect the eyes

Parkinson's disease can affect eye movements and interfere with the eyes working in unison. In addition, Parkinson's can cause difficulty when reading by affecting the ability of the eyes to jump quickly from line to line. PD can also lead to decreased blinking, causing dry eyes.3

My vision symptoms

I felt that I was blinking less often, causing me to develop symptoms such as burning and dry eyes. Due to the decreased speed of my eye movements, I was having difficulty with my reading. Focusing my eyes on objects was hard due to the inability to track words line by line.

It also felt like there was something sticking in my eyes. Furthermore, with fewer tears in my eyes due to my decreased blinking frequency, the tears were evaporating more rapidly. Hence, my eye's sharpness was declining. The dryness was also causing the membranes in my eyes to rupture.

How a specialist helped me

The neuro-opthalmologist helped me by prescribing artificial tears to keep my eyes lubricated several times a day. This drastically helped reduced my eye dryness. Additionally, strengthening the lenses in my glasses helped.

My doctor suggested that I should be wearing 2 pairs of glasses for different purposes. He prescribed me an additional set of progressive reading glasses. Using separate distance and reading glasses was helpful and my blurry vision and depth perception issues decreased. Additionally, the lenses can be made with prisms or progressive lenses.

Furthermore, going to a neuro-ophthalmologist has helped me decrease my balance issues as well as reduce my frequent falling.

Choosing the right specialist

In my experience, choosing the correct visual specialist has been very important. I recommend a consultation with a neuro-ophthalmologist who specializes in treating eye-brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. My eye specialist offered solutions for dry eyes, focusing, and other eye movement disorders. In addition, the neuro-ophthalmologist has helped me with my reading fluency.

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