Involuntary Eye Movement, Blurriness, "Blackout"

Posted by arus @arus, Sep 12 11:19am

A pleasant day.
I've been wearing eyeglasses starting 7th grade; 13 years old, and haven't really taken them off since. My grade also slowly increased as I aged, about double, now that I'm 19. Family has a history of pretty bad eyesight too, but I'm currently the only one who really needs to wear lenses everyday. It has been bothering me recently (which made me create this account) that my eyes would shift suddenly. I notice it mostly when writing, sometimes whenever I fix my focus on a near object too. But there may have been more occurrences and I just haven't remembered/felt as much.

To sequence how it happens:
Everything begins okay. For a few minutes of jotting words down, my vision gets blurry at some point and my eyes would then quickly roll to a direction (horizontal? vertical?) I really can't tell. But it surely cuts the light out for me momentarily, like a "blackout" – it's also difficult to tell whether my eyes are open or closed. In the end, I blink involuntarily and I get my normal vision back. It doesn't matter whether I have spectacles on or not, this "nystagmus" (according to the internet) does its thing day or night.

I usually do my best to research, but this time, I would really like to know directly from asking here. I appreciate any feedback, as my state has been quite bothersome. Thank you!

Hello, and welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a community of patients and caregivers, living our best with a wide variety of conditions and diseases. We are not medical professionals, and cannot provide medical advice, but we can share what has and has not worked for us.

You have already taken the first step – to do your research. This is another source for information. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-nystagmus

I have had experiences with eye shifting, and in my case, the doctors were able to attribute it to inner ear disturbances, which also give me vertigo (dizziness.) As a matter of fact, the involuntary eye movement when trying to read often is my warning that a bout of vertigo is about to begin. At that point, I do a series of anti-vertigo exercises for a few days and it usually resolves. Do you ever experience vertigo?

With the sudden onset, you may want to consult an ophthalmologist to see if a cause can be determined, such as a head injury or a previously undiagnosed eye condition. Also, it may be helpful to keep a diary of all the things you eat and drink and all drugs or supplements you use, then track when these episodes occur to see if there is a correlation. (Hint: it may not happen immediately – there could be a lag between a specific thing you ingest and an episode.)

Perhaps there are more people here with additional suggestions.
Have you asked whether anyone else in your family ever has this happen?
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

Hello, and welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a community of patients and caregivers, living our best with a wide variety of conditions and diseases. We are not medical professionals, and cannot provide medical advice, but we can share what has and has not worked for us.

You have already taken the first step – to do your research. This is another source for information. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-nystagmus

I have had experiences with eye shifting, and in my case, the doctors were able to attribute it to inner ear disturbances, which also give me vertigo (dizziness.) As a matter of fact, the involuntary eye movement when trying to read often is my warning that a bout of vertigo is about to begin. At that point, I do a series of anti-vertigo exercises for a few days and it usually resolves. Do you ever experience vertigo?

With the sudden onset, you may want to consult an ophthalmologist to see if a cause can be determined, such as a head injury or a previously undiagnosed eye condition. Also, it may be helpful to keep a diary of all the things you eat and drink and all drugs or supplements you use, then track when these episodes occur to see if there is a correlation. (Hint: it may not happen immediately – there could be a lag between a specific thing you ingest and an episode.)

Perhaps there are more people here with additional suggestions.
Have you asked whether anyone else in your family ever has this happen?
Sue

Jump to this post

Thank you for sharing, and it was really helpful to remind me that this isn't exactly a doctor's consultation. I highly assume that I haven't experienced vertigo, because my mother (during her menopause) said it is painful – and I can't relate to half of what she describes. As for injuries, I fortunately rarely ever had such, especially concerning the head. I'm going to continue doing more research as well, including the link you shared.

Indeed, I've been thinking of visiting an opthalmologist soon. There aren't any other symptoms that accompany it so far, but I noticed it would happen only whenever I fix my eyes on one thing long enough – mostly when writing – and it doesn't seem to matter whether I've eaten or not. But I will try to keep track of whatever I feed myself and maybe find a pattern. A factor could be due to stress from staring longer than my eyes can handle (I have to remind myself every now and then to blink) since I do often end up doing that unintentionally. Currently, I'm the only one troubled with this, both in known history and present. Thank you again for your suggestions! 💖

REPLY
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