Chiari Online Support Group

Chiari and eyes


Not sure if my chiari is messing with my eyes. I have had a bad headache for the pass 2 weeks and i beileve its messing with my vison.
Could it be my chiari??


The short answer is YES.

The long answers needs more info. I come from the world of chronic, neurologically complicated migraines and facial nerve damage… so with that in mind can you describe your headache? Where does it start? Where does it go? Is it pounding or pressure? When you say messing with vision is it blurring? Light sensistive? Unable to focus? Unable to read? Do your eyes hurt? Is it constant? Do you have other problems like feeling sick to your stomache? Vertigo? Funny smells? Funny tastes? Craving anything?

You say is been two weeks. Do you mean constant? Or does a headache come on every day at some point? Can you pinpoint when it’s going to start or stop?

I know, I’m asking all kinds of questions but it will help narrow down what’s happening. The most important thing to know is that Chiari headaches typically start at the back of the neck and wrap around your head. But answer all those questions and I can give you even more info, as can others here who deal with the same things.



Sorry i didnt give much information.

Just with the past 2 weeks. It goes from constant from 1day to off and on the next. I might have an hour or so without it (my normal is at most 3 or so headaches a week) It starts in random spots front sides back middle. When i laugh cough sneeze i get a sharp pain in the back of the head. It feels like its pounding but then theres pressure. If i lay my head in my lap or bend over, i get a feeling of wieght pulling my face to the ground. My eyes have been a little blurry i cant seem to focus my eye enough to read. Some light sensistive. Speech has been all over the place from talking slow to slurring at times. Been sick and not wanting to eat much in the past week. I can wakeup without one but within hours after getting up i start gètting a headache


Well I’m not an expert but I know that my Chiari has messed with my eyes significantly I see double vision and blurry vision all the time but when I go to the eye doctor my vision is 20/20. I just saw my eye doctor today and he told me the reason why my eyes go so weird is that it’s straining on our optic nerve and it causes our eyes not to function very well. Basically he was saying that our eyes get overworked and become extremely tired really quickly and that that’s what causes all sorts of different eye problems for us. I don’t know if that helps any or not or if you have any questions about what I was talking about please feel free to ask. Oh by the way another thing that my eyes do is I see a lot of times fireworks is what I call it it’s either just little Sparks of white but sometimes I do get sparks of beautiful different colors and that’s another thing that my eyes do a lot.

Thank you,


I’m not a medical professional but I don’t like that you’ve had persistent speech problems for two weeks. I also don’t like that there’s a sharp pain with coughing or sneezing. Or that fact that you’ve generally not felt well. I would say you need to get into the neuro ASAP.

You have had a sudden, drastic change in symptoms that have not resolved themselves within 2 weeks. That basically says “get to the doctor” to me. Particularly with speech issues, I really don’t like that.

Not to be too much of an alarmist but the signs of stroke are F.A.S.T
face numbness/drooping; arm weakness; speech difficulty; time to call 911 (get treatment). In addition there are signs of mini or silent strokes like numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, located on one side of the body. Confusion or trouble understanding. Trouble seeing in one or both eyes. Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination. Sudden and severe headache with no obvious cause.

I’m not saying you’ve had a stroke! This is an internet chat, after all, I’m just saying you have a list of issues that aren’t resolving, are fairly new for you, and line up in a way I don’t think should be ignored or lived with.

Get to the doctor.



Thank you so much for replying and my eye doctor said that if the “fireworks” or how i see it “looking in a kaleidoscope” with a sudden eye pain or headache is strain on eye or as he put it “eye ache”

I also got in with my neuro. tomorrow… one good thing about being in a kinda small town.
But thanks for yalls reply


I had many vision problems before and after surgery (difficulty reading small print or compact print, tracking, double vision, difficulty seeing things at different dimensions, looking from near to far . . . ). I probably saw 5-6 optometrists and a neuro-opthamologist who all said that there were no problems with my eyes. I finally saw an optometrist and a vision therapist who specialize in brain processing problems that affect vision (stroke, concusion, brain surgery, tumours, MS, and Chiari!). This is the basis of Chiari-related vision problems. Please note that people can have other problems that affect vision at the same time.

My understanding is that the vision processing centers of the brain become compromised as blood flow to the brain is compromised. Different parts are affected in different people which is why some people have vision problems and some do not. I do not believe that the optic nerve is involved but that fatigue of the processing centers results in our vision problems.

I did vision exercises before surgery which were not helpful as I was deteriorating too much. After surgery, I still had vision problems and vision therapy was very helpful in resolving double vision, depth perception and others. It took a long time with significant work every day.

Message: no need to settle with bad eyes as there are solutions abet with patience and perseverance and skilled medical folk necessary for a good end result.