International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day Is On May 12, 2018
Thomas Hennessy, Jr., selected May 12th to be our international awareness day back in 1992. He knew that May 12th had also been the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was the English army nurse who helped to found the Red Cross as well as the first school of nursing in the world.
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Visual disturbances

Discussion in 'Neurological/Neuro-sensory' started by svetoslav80, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    I say visual but it's no eye problem, I know they are coming from the brain. So:
    - I can't read any light colored letters on dark background. The higher the contrast, the more difficult or even impossible to read. White text on black background is almost impossible to read. If I concentrate even for a few seconds on such text, I'm starting to faint. A software to quickly invert colors saves me in such cases.
    - I can't watch many repeating patterns. For example one and the same image in multiple rows or columns , many of them. It somehow confuses my brain.
    - The third problem is actually a combination of the first two. Watching repeating black and white stripes confuses my brain and I'm starting to faint.
    - That was for static images. It becomes even worse if I watch quickly flashing high contrast images (those that cause epileptic seizures in some people). They affect me in a similar way, only I don't have a seizure but PEM after watching some.

    Anyone experience something similar?
     
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  2. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

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    I can't read any text on paper (black on white), and have difficulty with black on white text on screen, but I'm fine with white text on a black background on screen.

    I get a feeling of rapidly increasing brainfog, nausea, poor balance and coordination, and even difficulty speaking properly. These are all symptoms of partial seizure or migraine. Pushing further leads to headache and even stomach paralysis (food just sits in my stomach). The more I push it, the worse I feel, and the longer I will feel bad (up to a couple of days).

    It started after reading far more than normal at one point a few years ago. Ever since then I haven't been able to read anything more than a few words on paper before the symptoms kick in. I've been having trouble with watching video lately as well. Again, it happened after watching more video than usual. And, another time I was folding a lot of origami butterflys. After completing roughly twenty of them, I started noticing some of the same effects that I get from reading on paper. I think with the butterfly folding the problem arose from the repetition of movements because I could feel ill after even if I did it with my eyes closed.

    Neurological kindling might be one explanation for the effect of overdoing an activity (the repetition involved) and then being hypersensitive to it afterward. When you add the idea of the lower seizure threshold (see below) for some people with ME then repeating an activity might lead to the problems I (we?) have been experiencing.

    I've had trouble with patterns my entire life but they're worse now with ME. I've never liked polka-dots, stripes, strong repeating patterns, or flickering lights. I now also have trouble with rapid repeating sounds.

    Gamma oscillations in your brain might be responsible. Watch out for the images of stripes in that article.

    I think these symptoms all have to do with a lower seizure threshold leading to overexcited neurons, and possibly partial brain seizures.

    Hip's list of Wired but tired remedies includes supplements that might help to increase the seizure threshold, and so does the seizure threshold article. Some of these supplements have helped me a little, but nothing has helped significantly.
     
  3. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    This kind of thing is not that unusual. Stripes, colour contrasts, flickering. I dont have ME/CFS but i feel a bit disorientated by those things. Worst thing for me is road travel at night. As to what you can do about it.... I have no suggestions except trying to avoid the triggers.
     
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  4. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    yes I agree, your syndrome looks like photosensitivity, and fainting can be a kind of seizure.

    "Clinical correlates of EEG photosensitivity include a variety of subjective and objective phenomena, such as impaired consciousness, jerking on one or both sides of the body, eye opening and closing, and discomfort in the eyes (27)."

    lot's of informations about it here
     
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  5. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Ah, just remembered something that might help. Tinted glasses.
     
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  6. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

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    andyguitar likes this.
  7. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    I know that there was some research done by arnold wilkins (university of essex) looking at people with epilepsy or migraine who were stimulated by these sorts of repeating patterns. Both groups were sensitive to the same patterns but with differing consequences.

    I am in the migraine camp, and was long before CFS, but it has become much worse. I do wear irlen lenses and find that they help.

    I think from sites like this https://ledstrain.org/ that these problems probably extend beyond the communities of migrainers and epileptics. The people on the site complein about dithering - where a computer fakes extra colours by flickering between two colours quickly - and the flicker of the LED lights. I obviously have these problems too but the people on this forum were obviously being OK up till the introduction of LEDs.
     
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  8. Runner5

    Runner5 Senior Member

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    PNW
    Usually for me I have trouble with my vision 24 hours or so before a migraine moves in, often will see things out of the corner of my eye moving and nothing is there, light begins to bother me, reading text bothers me and it gets worse until the migraine hits. Bright sunlight, strobing light or flickering LED's can also trigger a migraine for me too.

    Lenses sound like a good idea, will look into those myself.
     
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