Anyone following my Lyme journey knows that my vision has been a major problem for me. I have had optic neuritis 3x (twice in the left eye), and leading up to diagnosis my eyes got very very blurry. When I started treatment, my vision got even worse on minocycline and for a while I wasn’t able to even drive or ride my bike. At times I couldn’t even see my own face clearly in the mirror. While things did improve in month 3 and 4 when I started the doxy / bactrim / cefdinir combo, I remained very blurry.
I’ve had lots of eye exams and a handful of prescriptions and, while they helped make the blurry things bigger so I could recognize them sooner, nothing ever restored my sight the way I’d wished.
That is, until I saw Dr. Bergstrom here in Seattle. Specializing in infectious diseases and their impacts on vision, Dr. Bergstrom IS Lyme literate. And in my eyes, he’s a lifesaver. Dr. Bergstrom gave me one of my most comprehensive medical eye exams to date, checking on my nerves, my retina and every minute detail of my eye health. And, importantly, during my vision exam, he waved the little eye blocking tool back and forth between my eyes at a rapid pace and was able to discern pretty easily that my eyes were having trouble aligning.
There are 6 muscles, he explained, that hold each of your eyeballs in alignment. These muscles, he says, operate less efficiently when your body is inflamed or bogged down with an infection like Lyme. And when they lose efficacy, the eye can go ever so slightly out of alignment causing vision to blur or double. This immediately made sense to me, as my eyes are frequently okay-ish in the morning and horrible by end of day. And my degree of blurriness changes more rapidly than any prescription needs ever would. Finally, an explanation.
Even better, Dr. Bergstrom had a solution: Prisms! Prisms, just like the ones that make rainbows, refract light and line of sight in many directions. Having prisms in your lenses lets your eyes more easily coordinate with each other. During my exam, Dr. Begstrom held a light strength prism over my most challenged eye (the left one) and immediately, the font on the eye chart got smaller/skinnier, but far less blurry and a lot more clear. Plus, I felt my vision relax… I didn’t realize how much tension and pain I had in my eyes until that prism was there for just a moment and it all went easy!! I immediately ordered a new pair of glasses with a light prism in the left lense.
And let me tell you, these babies are amaaaaaaaaazing. I can see. I can see everything. I can read street signs I can see bricks on building, I can see leaves on trees, I can RECOGNIZE FACES!! Shit, I can even see wrinkles and acne. I mean, this is incredible. I was even able to stop all the Taurine supplements I was taken for my eye health. So long as I keep these puppies on, I think my eyes will be just fine.
Plus… the new frames are pretty cute.
If you’re struggling with blurry vision as part of your Lyme journey, I really encourage you to ask your eye doctor to check your alignment and see if prisms might be right for you.
Wishing everyone lots of healing!