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Adrenal Insufficiency Community
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Avatar universal

Pupil dialation with Adrenal Insufficiency?

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I had started having headaches, especially right behind my eyes and the feeling of "eye strain". That has worsened a lot and I finally figured out the reason for the pain.  I realized that my pupils weren't holding onto a contraction. Meaning my eyes were staying dialated all the time. Once I looked in a mirror during one of these headaches I saw that my pupils were constantly pulsing. Trying desperately to stay small b/c of light but unable to hold it for even a few seconds.  This caused wicked eye pain/headaches that then caused nausea and vision trouble.  I now cannot be out in the sun for more than minutes, even with sunglasses. Even in the house my eyes are struggling.  
Has anyone else experienced this?

I've been diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency and am still in the process of other testing but this eye thing is causing me tremendous problems.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
If you are concerned about your eyes, see an eye doc... But your pupils should contract and expand constantly in reaction to light normally as far as I know (which is... Hah!)... I have normally very large pupils which has led some doctors to check me for drug use and track marks, all negative.

I have studied AI a lot... I never came across anything with the pupils.
Avatar universal
Hi rumpled!

Glad to see your back and I hope all is going well with you and your health! I want to let you know that I appreciate all the time you devote to answering other people's questions, it's very kind!

I first stumbled upon mention of the eye thing months ago when I first started researching Adrenal fatigue. That was before I got the initial diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency.

I found several sites that said that you could test yourself for adrenal fatigue by shining a light across (not into) your eye and time the seconds your eye can stay contracted. Basically the less time, the worse the adrenals are. Something about the muscle in the eye being weakened. Normal eyes should contract (in light) and hold for at least 30 seconds before the muscle releases and then contracts again.

Of course, everyone's pupils do change due to light but usually once the light source stays at the same brightness your eyes should settle.  I'm talking about pupils that are constantly pulsing (attempting and failing to stay contracted) even when the light is not changing. This happens to me outside and in the car, even with sunglasses and indoors with controlled light.

Anyway, months ago, when I found that info, I did the test and failed royally however I wasn't having any noticeable trouble with my eyes during normal daily activities and I saw a dr and got a diagnosis based upon test results. I had forgotten about that info until the other day.


Now, this has become a problem and is causing significant pain and for some reason one eye is worse than the other. I was just curious to see if anyone else with Adrenal issues had had this happen:)

Husband was diagnosed 15 yrs ago with Addison's and neither of us can remember. Mainly b/c his came on quickly and was so bad that I don't think he would've noticed if his eyes had fallen out.  
Also, it may not happen if someone is already being treated for adrenal issues. It was my understanding that this test was used to help diagnose, before treatment.

Thanks again for your reply
Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
If you think about it, really, how would that test be valid? Please leave the pupil and eye testing to the eye doc. Adrenal fatigue is not AI and if you have an eye issue, please see an eye md.
Avatar universal
Hi,

I guess there's a misunderstanding. I thought this site was to simply discuss issues/symptoms/solutions amongst others. This was simply a fairly new symptom that I was experiencing. I thought it harmless to put the question out there to see if anyone else had any issues similar.

I'm also aware that Adrenal fatigue is not necessarily AI but it can be a precursor to it. Which is why I originally came upon that info. I originally thought I simply had adrenal fatigue (back before I was able to get a dr to run appropriate tests). Sometimes, if one has difficulty finding a good doc to test we have to resort to research online.  Here are links to only two of the sites I found the pupil test mentioned:

http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/NB-PHYSICAL%20TESTS.htm

http://www.*************************/adrenal-info/

however, over a period of months I came upon the mention of this same test time and again on legitimate medical websites. I never recommended the pupil test as a substitute for medical tests but simply something one can do at home which is no different than what most people are doing on this site.

Second, I have seen an eye doc within the past year and all was well and I have an eye appt tomorrow. I wasn't testing myself but simply asking a question to see if others experienced the same thing.

Also, I did find many mentions of visual pain and problems on the Pituitary community page. Some people with AI get that way b/c of a pituitary problem which can also cause visual problems.  
If one can have muscle spasms, muscle cramps, strain, etc... in the other muscles of the body why couldn't the muscle that controls the contraction of the pupil also become distressed or strained?

Avatar universal
COMMUNITY LEADER
I am sorry if I came across badly... I had a bad day yesterday. I should not post on those days. However I am not a doctor and this is only opinion and my opinion is adrenal fatigue and those sites are not credible... However the people do have something, but are sadly under-diagnosed and looking to self test.
That being said, yes, you are correct in that eye issues do happen and I have them myself, but I still think you need a doctor and not a website or a self pupil test (which I still feel would be impossible to do correctly given how fast pupils react).  I am sure other people can and will post... But that is just my opinion. I will cease to respond to any adrenal fatigue questions.
I hope the doctor can help you and gives you some answers.
317787 tn?1473362051
I have heard of diagnosing adrenal problems with this test.  There is another one where you lay down take your blood pressure, then stand and take it, if there is a 10 degree difference that may indicated adrenal insufficiency.

I hope you have gotten an answer, Dee
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