Eyekrafters Medical Optics Eye Clinic And Parkinsons And Vision Problems In South Plainfield New Jersey
Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery now or in the future? Our South Plainfield eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.
How Parkinsons Disease Symptoms Affect Driving Skills
Parkinsonâs disease symptoms vary from patient to patient. They can range from mild to severe. But even in mild cases, common symptoms such as shaking in the arms, hands, or legs, impaired balance, and slowed physical and mental responses can affect driving skills.
Episodes of tremor, for example, often begin in a hand or a foot and can affect the ability to operate a carâs controls. Rigidity can result in jerky motions while steering. Slow movement can interfere with braking in heavy traffic or ability to quickly react to road hazards. Postural instability often results in a stooped posture in which the head is bowed and shoulders are drooped, further reducing driversâ awareness of their surroundings.
For many people with early Parkinsonâs disease, medications can reduce symptoms. But medications may have side effects, such as drowsiness, that can affect driving as well. It can be difficult for doctors to devise a medication plan that reduces the primary symptoms of Parkinsonâs disease and allows some patients to drive without causing side effects that make driving a car even more dangerous.
The Retina In Parkinson’s Disease
A number of studies have found strong evidence for significant visual problems in the PwP population. These eye issues tend to worsen when a PwP is an “off” state, but improve again when they are “on” due to l-dopa supplementation. Visual problems that are strongly correlated with PD include:
visual disturbances, hallucinations.
Sufficient evidence exists that these can be linked to dopamine deficiencies in the retina, and cannot all be ascribed to just being age related or to the cognitive decline of PD. Indeed, physical and structural changes to the eye and retina are also implicated in PD, as determined by a number of modern eye examination methods.
“The Parkinsonian retina may therefore exist in an inappropriately dark-adapted ( state. This, in turn, to lower spatial and temporal resolving potential and an ultimate impact on visual acuity, and colour perception. Evidence is now emerging that visual dysfunction directly contributes to more traditional motor complications of PD “
Also Check: Fitflop Shoes For Parkinson’s
Like Parkinsons Vision Is Linked To The Brain
Vision plays such a critical function that a substantial portion of our brain is made up of pathways that connect our eyes to the visual areas of our brain and the areas that help process this visual information . The primary purpose of the front part of our eyes is to produce the clearest possible image, which is then transmitted to the back part of the eye, called the retina. The retina is made up of nerve cells that communicate via visual pathways using the neurotransmitter dopamine. In addition, we have two eyes with overlapping visual fields, which enables our brain to see the world in three dimensions and process complex visual information.
Medication Side Effects & Vision Problems
Drugs or supplements taken to control the motor symptoms associated with Parkinsons disease sometimes affect the eyes and contribute to vision-related problems. For this reason, its important for seniors to discuss all medications theyre taking for PD, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, when they have their eyes examined. In some cases, making adjustments to these medications can enhance vision.
If your loved one is living with vision loss and needs assistance with daily tasks, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality Home Care Philadelphiafamilies trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Hallucinations Commercial
Eye Exercises And Parkinson’s Disease
In this regards, I also recommend the work of Dr Eric Cobb of Zhealth Education. Dr Cobb gives a lot of free information on his blog about vision health and provides powerful, but quick exercises to practice daily, as well as running a commercial “vision gym” for pro-athletes. Importantly, Dr Cobb shows us just how – unexpectedly – important the eyes and vision are in direct connection to movement and stress reduction: hence eye exercise has very profound relevance for people with PD. I also recommend stimulation of the cranial nerves which are responsible for the muscles that move the eyes:
Why Loss Of Sense Of Smell Occurs
96% of newly diagnosed people with Parkinsons will have lost some ability to smell. Little is confirmed about what causes hyposmia, the loss of smell. One popular theory in Parkinsons research has to do with the protein ‘alpha-synuclein’, which is found in clumps in all people with Parkinsons in the part of the brain affected by Parkinsons. This region of the brain is also very close to the Olfactory Bulb, which is responsible for our sense of smell.
Recommended Reading: Judy Woodruff Parkinson’s
How Often Should I Get An Eye Test
If you have Parkinsons, its recommended that you have an eye test with an optometrist at least once a year. You should try to do this even if you arent experiencing any problems with your eyes.
You must tell the DVLA if you have any problem with your eyesight that affects both your eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye.
For more information visit www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rulesor call 0300 790 6806.
For Northern Ireland visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/driving-eyesight-requirements or call 0300 200 7861.
You can also speak to your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse for advice.
What Is Parkinson Disease
Parkinson disease is a movement disorder. It can cause the muscles to tighten and become rigid This makes it hard to walk and do other daily activities. People with Parkinsons disease also have tremors and may develop cognitive problems, including memory loss and dementia.
Parkinson disease is most common in people who are older than 50. The average age at which it occurs is 60. But some younger people may also get Parkinson disease. When it affects someone younger than age 50, it’s called early-onset Parkinson disease. You may be more likely to get early-onset Parkinson disease if someone in your family has it. The older you are, the greater your risk of developing Parkinson disease. It’s also much more common in men than in women.
Parkinson disease is a chronic and progressive disease. It doesn’t go away and continues to get worse over time.
You May Like: Sam Waterston Tremor
Treatment For Parkinsons Disease
There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.
Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.
No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.
There Is A Wide Array Of Vision Problems People With Parkinsons May Experience
Here are several common, and a few not-so-common, visual symptoms you may experience:
Blurry vision and difficulty with color vision. Blurry vision may be related to dopamine depletion in the back of the eye and within the visual connections through the brain. This may be partially corrected with dopaminergic medications, though medication effects are usually subtle regarding vision, so you may not notice them.
Visual processing difficulty. This refers to the orientation of lines and edges, as well as depth perception. This can take different forms, including:
- Troubles with peripheral vision: distracted by objects and targets in your peripheral vision
- Difficulties perceiving overlapping objects
- Difficulty copying and recalling figures
- Difficulties detecting whether motion is occurring and in which direction
- Difficulties recognizing faces, facial expressions, and emotions
Dry Eye. Dry eyes are a consequence of decreased blinking and poor production of tears. Dry eye can be worsened by certain medications prescribed for Parkinsons. Dry eye improves with liberal use of artificial tears and good eye/eyelid hygiene. Of note, dry eye doesnt always feel dry! Sometimes it feels like watering, and other times it just feels like blurring or being out of focus.
Don’t Miss: Pfnca Wellness Programs
Ocular And Visual Disorders In Parkinsons Disease: Common But Frequently Overlooked
This literature search covering 50 years reviews the range of ocular and visual disorders in patients with PD and classifies these according to anatomical structures of the visual pathway. It discusses six common disorders in more detail, reviews the effects of PD-related pharmacological and surgical treatments on visual function, and offers practical recommendations for clinical management.
Everyone Needs Regular Eye Exams
Even people with perfect eyesight should schedule regular eye exams as part of their preventative care routine. These exams are essential for screening for eye diseases and preserving your vision. Typically, an eye exam includes visual acuity tests , depth perception tests, eye alignment, and eye movement. Your eye physician may also use eye drops to dilate your pupils, allowing them to check for common eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
These are important for people with Parkinsons to keep in mind for two reasons: first, up to half of all vision loss in the US is preventable or treatable with early detection through annual eye exams, and second, vision loss has a disproportionate impact on people with Parkinsons: it increases the risk of falls, hip fractures, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and dementia.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all adults over 65 receive a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years. The recommended frequency of eye exams is every two to four years for age 40-54 and every one to three years for age 55-64. If you have a history of diabetes or are at an increased risk of glaucoma , you should have an eye exam every year regardless of age.
You May Like: On And Off Phenomenon
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy And Cortico
PSP and CBD are both four-repeat tau diseases exhibiting considerable similarities and overlap . Distinguishing PD from PSP can be especially difficult early in the disease. Atypical features of PSP include slowing of upward saccades, moderate slowing of downward saccades, the presence of a full range of voluntary vertical eye movements, a curved trajectory of oblique saccades, and absence of square-wave jerks . Hence, particularly useful in separating PSP from PD is the presence in the former of vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, fixation instability, lid retraction, blepharospasm, and apraxia of eyelid opening and closing . Downgaze palsy is probably the most useful diagnostic clinical symptom of PSP . Deficits in colour vision appear to be more important in PD and directly related to the dopamine system. However, in untreated early PD, no consistent deficits in colour vision were demonstrated making this alone an unreliable indicator of PD .
Is Vision Affected In The Prodromal Stage
A number of oculo-visual features observed in early PD could be present in the prodromal phase of PD . First, autonomic system dysfunction is well documented in early PD and could affect pupil reactivity, and is a feature requiring further investigation. Second, electro-oculographic recordings have been made before and after apomorphine treatment confirming that smooth pursuit movements can be affected during the initial stages . Third, deficits in colour vision may occur early in the disease . Fourth, deficits in visuo-motor adaptation may occur during the early stages . Fifth, in PD cases in which idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder is accompanied by abnormal stereopsis, postural instability may be an additional feature . The presence of any of these features in undiagnosed individuals may raise a concern of possible PD. Since early diagnosis may enable intervention and possible neuroprotection , further visual studies of the early stage PD are urgently needed.
Recommended Reading: Does Vitamin B12 Help Parkinson’s
My Parkinson’s Story: Visual Disturbances
This 6-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and and doctors. The man shares his vision changes due to Parkinson’s disease. The doctors explain that the muscles of the eyes develop a tremor in those with Parkinson’s disease, causing blurry vision. Parkinson’s medication reduces eye tremors by 75-90%, but eye exercises and reading are also beneficial.
Blurred Vision And Difficulty Focussing
Some Parkinsons medications, in particular anticholinergics, can cause blurred vision and difficulty focussing. You may find your vision is blurred if you start taking anticholinergics and that this goes away when your body gets used to the new drug. This can also happen if you have been taking anticholinergics for some time but your dose is altered. If necessary your doctor may adjust your medication regime.
Talk with your doctor if blurred vision does not improve – or worsens – over time, so that your medication can be adjusted if necessary. If you wear reading glasses, a slight adjustment may also help. Your optician or optometrist should be able to help with this.
You May Like: On-off Phenomenon
Continue Learning About Parkinson’s Disease
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Parkinson’s Disease Can Affect The Eyes And Here’s What We Know So Far
by Salil Patel, Chrystalina Antoniades, Pearse Keane, Siegfried Wagner, The Conversation
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, affecting over 10 million people worldwide. It’s characterized by changes in movement, including tremors, and slower and more rigid movements. But researchers are also beginning to investigate other symptoms of Parkinson’s diseaseincluding those involving the eye.
Parkinson’s results from the degeneration of dopamine neurons in the brain’s basal gangliaan area involved in voluntary movement. Though no cure exists for Parkinson’s, symptoms can be managed with drugs that replace dopamine.
Given Parkinson’s is known to affect the body’s motor system, it’s perhaps not surprising it has been shown to disrupt eye movements. Promisingly, Parkinson’s may be diagnosed using technologies that already exist by showing subtle changes in eye movements and the thinning of specific layers in the retina. This may help measure the effectiveness of treatments and determine the progression of the disease.
Changes in movement
Though evidence from the small number of stimulation studies conflict, they highlight how Parkinson’s disease could influence eyes movements.
You May Like: Prayer For Parkinson’s Disease
Types Of Eye Movements
There are three kinds of eye movements that can change with PD:
- Saccadic rapid eye movements direct us to gaze at a specific object or to read lines of print.
- Pursuit eye movements allow us to follow an object as it moves.
- Vergence eye movements allow us to move our eyes in different directions2
Changes to these eye movements due to Parkinsons can also result in different kinds of visual difficulties. The inability to control eye movements can lead to involuntary blinking, double vision and other motor issues that can affect visual acuity.
Dry eyes can be treated with drops or ointments, warm wet compresses, but are not generally cured. The blink reflex can be impacted by PD. This manifests as either a slowing of the reflex, appearing as inappropriate staring, dry or burning eyes and by reduced vision. Blepaharospasm and apraxia are two common eyelid motion issues. Blephararospasms are eyelid spasms that cannot be controlled, cause eyelids to squeeze, and can be relieved with Botox injections. Apraxia is a condition that makes it difficult to open eyes. There are specialized lid crutches and cosmetic tape that can be applied to hold the eyelids open.2
Tips For People With Parkinsons Disease
If you have early-stage Parkinsonâs disease and hope to continue driving as long as possible, itâs essential to keep up regular exercise that maintains the muscle strength you need to operate a vehicle. Itâs also essential to meet with your doctor and ask them about:
- Medications and other treatment, such as deep brain stimulation, that may treat your symptoms.
- Medication side effects that can interfere with driving safety.
- Referral to a center or specialist who can give you an off-road driving test.
To find a local specialist, contact the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists at 866-672-9466 or visit its website. Your local hospital or rehabilitation center may help you find an occupational therapist who can assess your driving skills. In addition, your stateâs department of motor vehicles may offer driver evaluations.
If you have early-stage Parkinsonâs disease and early-stage or mild dementia — and wish to continue driving — you should seek an immediate evaluation of your driving skills. People with moderate-to-severe dementia should not drive. Some states automatically revoke the licenses of everyone diagnosed with moderate-to-severe dementia.
If you pass a driving evaluation, it doesnât mean that you can continue driving indefinitely. Because symptoms of Parkinsonâs disease and dementia usually worsen over time, itâs important to be re-evaluated every six months and stop driving if you do not pass the test.
Also Check: Zhichan Capsule