Eyes not improving


I posted here a while ago about my eye troubles. I am still waiting for my referral to an opthamologist at the hospital.

While i was waiting i got in to see an optician. He gave me an eye exam and told me i am short sighted and needed glasses. I picked them up yesterday and they don’t seem to be helping with the blurry vision or eye twitching or mind numbing headaches i have been getting, which the optician said were probably all linked. I seem to be getting headaches everyday in the same place (below my eybrow on my left side) which is where i had them during my first ‘proper’ relapse, no meds touch the pain.

I know maybe i need a bit longer that 1 day but i thought it would make a small difference, but i feel (and see) exactly the same. Also i have noticed when i bend over my head feels really buzzy - a bit like when the blood rushes to your head and starts to drain away but more vibration/pulsation? I am struggling to find the right words to describe it! Also keep getting lots of ‘floaters’ (little dots in my vision) Thought this was linked to high blood pressure, but GP checked only few weeks ago and all was fine!

Is this all likley to be MS related - feel like im going insane with all these symptoms! I had an eye test just over a year ago and my eyesight was 20:20…does vision get that bad that quickly? Feel like my health is really starting to slip away since my dx in Feb.

Sorry for the way this reads hopefully i will learn how to compose my ramblings soon.

Laura x

I’m not sure that short-sightedness would give you a headache in a very specific place on one side and so, given the relapse, I suspect it’s neurological rather than optical. Unfortunately this means that there’s not a whole lot to do but hope ophthalmology can help, ask your MS nurse for steroids and/or wait it out. I’m really sorry that I can’t say anything more positive :frowning: Just realised: I don’t understand why you are having to wait for an ophthalmology appointment. Can’t your GP do you a referral for a walk-in, emergency clinic? There’s one at Moorfields, but I’ve been at one in Watford General so there may be somewhere more local to you too. Karen x

I was just told that an appointment would be sent to me, however I have just had a look at my local hospitals website and they do have an emergency walk in centre with GP referral. So I think i’m being fobbed off again.

I might just change GP practices, getting a bit fed up with it all now.

Thanks Karen

Hi Laura

What exactly is your problem?
No, that is not a smartypants question – the idea is to try to get you to unpack a serious concern with your vision, into a clear idea of what may be going on.

Let’s start with your glasses. High street “Opticians” do not always get things right. I have taken two pairs of glasses back within an hour, because they were wrong. I put “Opticians” in quotes because most of them are not – they are in business to sell frames. The person who tests your eyes is an Optometrist, and he/she may be influenced by his /her company policy. You should have been given a copy of your prescription. Look at it carefully. It should give the lens strengths for distance vision and the corrections for astigmatism. The first two columns should be “sph” and “cyl”, and if you are short-sighted, the numbers should have a dash over them (the dash means a minus strength, and it is used to avoid confusion with a horizontal stroke in a number). Take a photocopy of the prescription if you were given one.

So, if there is no prescription, or if the numbers do not have that dash, then whoever did your test has got something wrong. After that, the next question is whether the glasses are actually to the prescription. Most “opticians” have the test equipment to see if the lenses are roughly right. What they do after you order the glasses is to send your chosen frames off to a real Optician, who will either order the lenses in or cut then in-house. These come as a disk which is then fitted to your frames so that the optical centre of the lens is correctly positioned. Then they get sent back to the original High St shop for you to collect. As you can see, there are several places where things can go wrong.

What I would do (and have done) is to go back to where you got your glasses from and say that they are not giving you good clear vision and you want your money back. They will not want to do this (probably) and are likely to offer you a re-test. If they do, take it. They will do the second one more thoroughly and offer to put things right at no cost (and they will probably want to take the old prescription).

A thorough examination should spot several of the other optical conditions that could cause some of your symptoms – and trigger a referral to your GP asking for a referral on to an Ophthalmologist. One condition that needs immediate attention is Glaucoma because it cannot be reversed – only halted in its progression. This is one time when I have paid to ‘go private’, but Karen’s suggestion of a walk-in clinic is an fast alternative. If the vision problems came on really suddenly (say a few days) then it could well be down to a relapse, and the relapse could well have affected the optic nerves, so her suggestion of contacting your MS nurse for steroids is something you should do right away.

If your work as a CAD technician means that you spend a lot of time looking at a big monitor, and that is getting blurred, you could consider going into your nearest large Tesco, and sampling their reading glasses (they have a very good range). This is not as good as a proper eye-test, but it could be a quick fix.

So that comes back to the original question – what is your real problem? Is it just vision, or is it a nervous system problem? Either way, you need to get it fixed fast.


Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the response. I have a pescription that says -1 in the sphere on each eye.

My test was done by a GP who comes in to take the tests. I thought this a bit strange as i thought by definition a GP doesn’t have a specialism? But i am far from an expert!

He did give me a full test including the air puff thing, which i think is the glaucoma test?

I am relapsing at the moment but the eye thing has got worse over the last week or so, since GP supposedly referred me to an opthalmologist. I am not working at the moment, so not staring at monitors apart from at home which can make my eyes watery. I am finding it hard to explain what the problem is exactly - which is probably why nobody is having much luck treating it! Like i said i have a lot of floaters in my vision, the eyes feel almost swollen and when i fixate on something there is a lot of blurring on both eyes (like a shadow all around vision field) Also the eyelids are twitching on and off.

Maybe i should just take the steroids? The preagablin is helping the pain so my mobility is not affected - so my nurse thinks i should avoid them but if the eye problems and headaches are persisting this long maybe i should. It’s all so confusing, i do definatley think there is something else going on apart from the short sightedness - could all be linked with the relapse? It’s just a horrible feeling when your body isn’t behaving, you don’t know why and my doctors don’t seem to know how to help!

Thanks again

Laura x

Hi Laura

The “airpuff thing” does not test for glaucoma – only for the possibility that it could happen. Glaucoma is something that can be seen when an expert examines the back of your eye(s) by looking through the pupil with the right equipment.
I would be very worried at the thought of a GP “coming in to do tests”. If an experienced optometrist can get things wrong, then a GP could also get things wrong.
It is also possible that said GP is not qualified as an Optometrist – in which case he should not have carried out a test.

My own feeling would be to go somewhere else for a test. It is just personal preference, but I would avoid any place where they swing a large device in front of your eyes, and go somewhere that sits a pair of test frames on your nose and does a lot of lens changes to see just how bad your eyes really are. A sph of -1 for each eye should not have you describing your sight as “blurry” – that sort of value is for a very mild short sight, and just not quite sharp enough to drive with except in an emergency. It is not bad enough to cause your other symptoms.

So, I guess that you have two different problems:
One is to get your eyes properly tested to see if you really are short-sighted.
Two is to see if there are any neurological problems with your eyes and that part of the optic nerves that can be see by inspection.

If an MS Nurse says not to start the steroids – then stay away from them until told otherwise, or until you have more information.

Go to another optician, get another test (hint – a test is free if you have a blood relative with Glaucoma). Say that you have headaches, but don’t tell them any more.

If your GP will not refer you to the Walk-in Clinic, do think about changing your GP.

And, do go back to where you got your glasses from and say that you want your money back (Sale of Goods Act is on your side), and do not take any waffle from them.


Any eye condition needs sorting straight away if it is really urgent go for walk in appointment at eye casualty at nearest hospital.My husband has lost central vision in both eyes.xxxx julie

Right so I will be going back to GP tomorrow, going to take hubby with me for support. Won’t be leaving without a walk in referral that’s for sure! Thanks for all your help. Laura x

Good luck! The threat of letting your MS nurse call on them might swing it if they are being awkward? :slight_smile:


Lol, yes that thought has crossed my mind too! Will give it a go myself first, if need be I will call for backup and watch them c@*p themselves! X

Could not get in to see a GP yesterday, saw one this morning he rang the hospital - who yes you guessed it never recieved a referral for me. They said i can come in tomorrow afternoon to have my eyes looked at, as apparantly they don’t have the walk-in facility anymore just emergency appts within 48 hours. So at least i should get some answers tomorrow.

Should i tell them about my pescription or keep quiet and just let them figure it all out? At least then i would know for sure? Don’t want to lie to them though

I have decided once i am past this relapse i will change surgeries - been mucked around once too often now!

Laura x