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eye muscle spasms
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eye muscle spasms

I am having eye trouble that no one seems to understand.  I have multiple sclerosis, fybra myalgia, arthritis, and back and neck problems and have been seeing doctors for years.  I am a 48 yr old female and my symptoms with my eyes are difficult o explain.  Sometimes they are associated with heat and headaches and other times fatigue brings on the symptoms.  My eye muscles spasm and it feels like they freeze up or they quiver. It causes the noise in my ears.  It throughs my balance off and messes with my perception.  It does not cause blurred vision or double vision. When this is happening it occurs about every 30 seconds and sometimes lasts for days.  It is driving me insane.  All my doctors seem unable to understand.  I've been to eye doctors and they can't see anything wrong with my eyes.  Can you please help me?  I need to know what is going on and how to fix it.  THANKS

PS Selecting a topic area was difficult, I didn't know where my problem fell in the categories listed.
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Hello Grace  I have quite a few MS patients in my practice. When they have strange or unsual symptoms in their eyes or elsewhere, that defy diagnosis it has been my experience that they are due to the MS. Your symptoms are more likely related to your MS and fibromyalgia than due to some undiagnosed new problem.

MS symptoms including the eyes are often made worse in hot weather, hot baths, exertion to the point of sweating. This is call Uhthoff's Symptom. MS can also affect the eye muscles causing double vision, difficulty focusing and the eye muscles not working well (intranuclear ophthalmoplegia).

If the 'eye doctors' you've seen in the past did not include a neuro-ophthalmologist then I would suggest you consult one.

In most instance the eye symptoms generally follow or parallel the overall course of the MS.

JCH Eye Physician-Surgeon  (Eye MD)
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
cud u elaborate on noise in ears part cos even i get that feelin albiet only on one side wen i move my eye.(u cud read my thread in the user section)

many other symptoms are similar too(read head/eye/neck pain)
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have MS and I can relate the eye muscle spasms .I have a form of nystagmus the eye Dr was talking about.INO/BINO.

I also have a form of myoclonus from the MS that noice induced that will cause the eyes and ears to spazz.It can occur for several days and disappear for months only to play havoc all over again.

Try to see a neuro-opthamologist.But I truelly understand what you are describing and going through and most DRs look at us like we have completly lost it.

I also suffer from peripheral vision loss and double vision , heat and exercise don't seem to help the cause.
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Avatar_n_tn
I know exactly what you are talking about.  I was told that it was vascular spasms.  I get a deep rushing noise in my ears and my eyes are forced closed.  My triggers for this phenomenon include, fatigue, over focusing on an object, peanut butter and shutting my eyes really tight.  I do not have MS, or any of the other conditions you have.  I have been diagnosed with aura migraines and was told it was related to that.  However, it's not very comforting and I was actually searching for more information in regard to this topic.  Since no one can tell me what, if any, kind of damage it can do, and if there is a way to prevent it.

I have discovered that when an episode starts to come on, if I put pressure on a spot between my eyebrows it will subside.  Kind of like stretching out your calf when you get a charlie horse in it.  The sooner you catch it the better the results are.  But, sometimes it's difficult to locate the exact spot.  Sometimes it will wake me up at night or prevent me from falling asleep. I apply the pressure and it calms down.

I hope this helps some and perhaps there is a doctor out there who may be more enlightened on this subject?  (No offense to anyone)
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152264_tn?1280358257
Very interesting topic, as I have had something similar to the eye/ear-noise connection some of you described. I am not diagnosed with anything but have had a lot of strange symptoms for 8 years, and a neurologist once essentially told me I had MS (but later they implied, though never outright said, that I didn't, and I stopped going to neurologists 4 years ago).

I had a sudden severe hearing loss in my left ear when I sneezed hard one day in 1999, and a few weeks later I began to get what I then called "brain blinks," when I'd get a sudden "whump" feeling in my head which made my eyes feel like they were going to close involuntarily and I'd conk out, but I never did because it only lasted a split second. Simultaneously I would hear a burst of "static" in my bad ear.

These episodes were more frequent when I was tired and often were triggered by hearing a sudden noise.

Later, the "brain blinks" softened up and I no longer had the eye-closing/conking out feeling so strongly, but I noticed that moving my eyes, esp. to the side, would cause the burst of "static" in my bad ear. There is something called gaze-evoked tinnitus which some researchers in Buffalo, NY were studying in acoustic neuroma patients (inner-ear tumor). Apparently the auditory and visual systems in the brain have some interconnections that can be affected by "crossed wires" due to injury or disease. Something about the visual system overriding the auditory? I can't remember now.

Anyway, in cases of MS or other brain or inner-ear/8th-nerve injury, you could certainly get "crossed wires" in the nervous sytem. (I also have a lot of other "crossed wires," like Lhermitte's and other examples of stimulation in one place causing a reaction in distant body areas--for example when I push on the top of my left big toe, I get a simultaneous electric shock in my left elbow and left hand. Everything's connected!)

One thing they did find out besides my hearing loss is that my brainstem auditory evoked potentials are highly abnormal on both sides on all measures, except for one of the interwave latencies on the right side. All the others are way off the charts, and they don't know why. They didn't do the visual evoked potentials, I guess because I didn't have any blurriness or similar eye problems.

Rajindancer, your "vascular spasm" explanation is also interesting. I am a migraineur too (no headaches to speak of, though), and in fact the most plausible hypothesis I heard for my hearing loss (from a neurologist specializing in dizziness and hearing loss) was a blood clot or "vascular spasm" in my inner ear. How very interesting that you can stop it with pressure between your eyebrows. I don't have the "eye-closing" thing anymore, otherwise I'd give your method a try!

I don't think any doctor is going to be able to definitively explain such things, and probably there is nothing to be done about them except wait them out. Grace, I hope your eye spasms have settled down by now. Having your balance or perception affected is no fun. (Fibromyalgia is no fun, either!)

Best wishes to all,

Nancy T.
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152264_tn?1280358257
Now that I think about it, one of the terms I've heard for "crossed wires" is "aberrant regeneration," where nerve connections heal after an injury but don't heal quite right, thus causing odd things to happen.
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Avatar_n_tn
That's curious.  I don't have headaches with my Aura migraines either.  However, I do get chronic headaches that have no other symptoms other than the headache.  Whew, those are no fun.  I wonder if Grace gets migraines too.  

I never heard of the term crossed wires in such a way nor of aberrant regeneration.  I don't remember any injury to that area that would cause such a thing.  But, it has lasted for far longer than eight years.  I don't know that I remember a time when it didn't happen actually.  While it’s possible that nerve dysfunction could be involved with my experiences, I think it’s unlikely.  I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.  

Since at this stage in my life, I’m not willing to be a guinea pig, I guess it will be a while longer before I can get some more substantial information to explain this further.  I do though have another venue to explore.  Thank you Nancy T.

I hope your ear continues to heal.
Rajindancer
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152264_tn?1280358257
Hi Rajindancer--migraines are very weird things. I didn't mean to suggest that your symptoms were caused by "aberrant regeneration", although migraines in themselves are certainly some sort of central nervous system disturbance. As you probably know, they are highly "hereditary" and thus migraineurs presumably have an underlying tendency to get these disturbances.

I did not know I was a migraineur until age 42 when I got my first ocular migraine. However, I now believe that the mild frequent headaches I had when I was young must have been migraines (I never told anyone about them, assuming that everybody had frequent headaches!).

I'm not sure, but I think migraines have some connection to the trigeminal nerve, which controls sensation to the face and parts of the scalp. Your ability to apply pressure to stop your episodes is very interesting. As long as I can remember (since childhood), I have been able to initiate a very strong and odd sensation by concentrating on a particular spot at the hairline on my right forehead. If I just think about this spot for a few seconds, a very strong, virtually irresistible sensation that's impossible to describe (not pressure, not pain, not tingling, not itching, not aching, but something that is maybe a combination of all of these, or none of these!) feels like it's "pulling" my head sharply backwards. This sensation will repeat over and over until I stop it by either strongly directing my attention elsewhere or else pressing on the spot to make it stop.

For maybe a year or two when I started getting all these other weird symptoms originally attributed to MS, I had a very similar sensation in my left temple, which, if I concentrated on it, would spread into my forehead and behind my ear. It was like some very strong pressure sensation (but not pressure--perhaps "painless ache" would be the best description). I could also stop this by touching the area.

The human nervous system is too marvelously weird to believe!!

Thanks for the good wishes--my hearing never returned, but at least my dizziness has improved a lot.

Nancy T.
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152264_tn?1280358257
P.S.--It is also well known that migraines can affect the inner ear. In fact, there is something called migraine-associated dizziness (MAV), which is a much more common cause of dizziness than is generally known. Migraines can, of course, cause sensitivity to sound and even temporary or permanent deafness (in very rare cases). So it doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility that the rushing noise in your ears is indeed part of a migraine episode. (Although note that I have no medical training; I've just done a fair amount of reading as a layperson trying to figure out some of my weirder symptoms over the years.)
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