Chiari Online Support Group

Any ways to relieve eye pain?

Recently I’ve been struggling with eye issues. My right eye is blurry on and off. And both eyes ache and are sensitive to light. The pain gets especially bad when trying to focus on things in the distance such as the TV. The pain and symptoms get worse when I’ve got a chiari headache and with general fatigue.

I went and had my eyes tested and there’s nothing wrong with the eyes themselves. The doctor thinks my symptoms are due to inflammation of the optic nerve (further back than the eye tests can see) and/or pressure in my brain. She’s pretty confident it’s related to chiari (however, she asked me to spell chiari for her so I’m not sure she even knows what it is).

Does anyone else experience eye issues and if so, have you found anything to relieve it?

1 Like

Yes, the blurred vision is one of my more constant reminders that I’m not well. That and the fatigue really. I decided to start wearing a back brace, and its helping. My vision has been pretty clear since I started doing that. I’m pretty sure it means something is happening in my back, maybe a syrinx, maybe something else. Might be coincidental though.


I did vision therapy. Therapy before surgery was not effective and my therapist discontinued me as I kept getting worse instead of better and she thought that I needed to get checked out medically. Yep, sure did.

After surgery, I spent a long time on exercises and was slow to recover. My daughter was doing exercises at the same time as she inherited some eye stuff from her dad and was way faster! Hmmm…

I do not see double anymore, reading is great again, I can see out the window and through blinds. I still get fatigued at the end of the day sometimes. An optometrist who also does vision therapy (or supervises vision therapists) will be much more knowledgeable. Stay away from optometrists who subscribe to a “programme” of vision therapy treatment where you go and pay weekly. Something more personalized is preferable for Chiari folk.

Good luck in sorting out your eye concerns

1 Like

I had same issue sensitive to light and blurry on and off unfortunately when I asked my Dr.'s they had no idea what it could be so they sent me to get my eyes checked found nothing wrong but they admitted they had no clue what else it could be. I got “lucky” that it went away on its own and only rarely do i get that problem. I hope you can get more answers and relief soon.

1 Like

Dear Mahone,

Eye problems have been one of my ‘premiere’ Chiari symptoms all my life. :kissing_closed_eyes:

I am blind in my right eye - but there is nothing wrong at all with the eyeball. My optic center in the back of my head was one of the first things when I was born that got the “Chiari squish.” No matter what opto-docs tried to do, vision never ever improved in that eye. I’m used to it, though. The thought of seeing with two eyes actually sounds freaky to me.

What I am not used to is the more recent miseries that Chiaris has been doing to my eyes. I have focusing problems as well. That’s because with Chiaris - it’s the brain stem that gets the squeeze as well. The brain stem is in charge of everything automatic in your nervous system - including the focusing of the lenses in your eyes, the dialation and restriction of the pupils, and creation of tears. If all those areas of your eyes are going wonky - that part of your brain stem is damaged.

Some days, I can’t focus on anything near or far - and it usually gets worse at the end of a day when I am tired.
Most of the time, my eyes tear uncontrollably - or are dry as a bone and I have to flood them with eye drops.
Light sensitivity usually only happens on my bad days.
Needless to say, I think I’m going to have to deal with these symptoms the rest of my life - as well as other permanent brain stem damage issues. I’ve been 6+ years post-Chiari surgery, I hope you have a more progressive healing. :heart_eyes: