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Visual disturbances

I'm a 21 year old senior in college, and have for the past few years been dealing with anxiety issues. Come last May, as finals began, I noticed a rather sudden feeling of being unable to undertake the heavy mental tasks associated with college work and felt, to put it bluntly, stupid. I was unable at times to digest information, and sometimes follow a conversation. This all subsided quickly, as far as I can tell. However, at the same time something strange was happening to my vision. At first I felt like it was blurred a tad around the edges. Then, dark floaters appeared as well as dancing flashes of light, usually in my upper visual field. When I would stare at a homogenous surface, like a white wall, it seemed like I couldn't "put it together" in my mind and would perceive horizontal lines imposed on it. And when I close my eyes, I perceive what seem to be afterimages, however they are not afterimages of anything I would look at, but usually lines in a number of orientations. The visual conditions persist, and over the past few months have seemed to become worse. Can all these symptoms be attributed to anxiety?

Thank you,
Ares
3 Responses
956428 tn?1286303941
the same thing has happened to me. Ive been getting flashes in my left eye. It seems to happen when I loook to the left. I dont know what it is at this point. I have gone to 2 different doctors who say my eyes are fine. Ive also been dealing with some sinus issues too.
Avatar universal
Hi...these are common symptoms of lyme disease.  I had them all.  The brain fog, floaters, vision flashes, etc.

Here is a message I recently posted on lyme.  Sorry to cut and paste, but it is easier than retyping.  Get yourself to an LLMD NOW as only they can diagnose and get you well (you CAN get well.)  Regular MD's will tell you you are fine, give you a test that says you don't have lyme, and make you feel you are crazy.
_______________________

Have you considered Lyme disease?  I had all of the symptoms you had and was told for months that it was all stress, in my head.  

It turns out these symptoms were side effects of disseminated lyme disease, Babesia, and Bartonella (common co-infections with lyme).  

See the symptom list far below.  (This is only some of them...there are really more than 70.)

The key to getting diagnosed properly is the doctor.  I had a terrible time back in Feb-April of 2010 with weird symptoms, dizziness, anxiety, forgetfulness, brian fog, twitching, jaw pain, slurrred speech, visual issues, floaters, etc, etc.  I had dozens of tests, including a lyme ELISA test...all normal.  I was told it was stress, that I had a somatization disorder, and told to go on Prozac and seek therapy.  I"m only 35!  

I then found another doctor who happened to be an ILADS trained LLMD (Lyme Literate MD).  She did a Western Blot test from a lab called Igenex.  I came back highly positive for lyme and some "co-infections" (Bartonella and Babesia.)  I never had a rash nor do I remember a bite.  I never had "sore knees" or any joint pain.  Lyme is in all 50 states and in EU and Asia.

I'm now in treatment and am 90% better!   I have a few more months to go. All of my anxiety / brain fog is GONE!  

Just a word of caution...lyme is very controversial.  The mainstream doctors and infectious disease guru's deny that Chronic Lyme exists and feel it is easy to diagnose with good tests and easy to treat with 2-3 weeks of antibiotics.   This just isn't true and there have been no double blinded studies to show that lyme is eradicated from the body with a short course of antibiotics.

This is why you need an ILADS trained doctor.   You can go to their website and download Dr. Burrascano's treatment guideline.  It is the "bible" of lyme.   Regular doctors will say these aren't symptoms and that it is in your head.

Not saying you have lyme...but anxiety is a common symptom.  I've met people who've been told they've had ALS, Anxiety, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue for 10 years when it was really lyme.  They got well once going to an LLMD and getting proper, agressive treatment.

Check out the documentary Under Our Skin (google it).  There are also clips on youtube.  You can probably rent from your local library.

You can get well!  lymenet is a good resource also.

Cheers

Lyme Disease Symptoms List
1. Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
2. Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
3. Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
4. Unexplained hair loss
5. Swollen glands: list areas____
6. Sore throat
7. Testicular pain/pelvic pain
8. Unexplained menstrual irregularity
9. Unexplained milk production: breast pain
10.Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
11.Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
12.Upset stomach
13.Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
14.Chest pain or rib soreness
15.Shortness of breath, cough
16.Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
17.Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
18.Joint pain or swelling: list joints_____________
19.Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
20.Muscle pain or cramps
21.Twitching of the face or other muscles
22.Headache
23.Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
24.Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
25.Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
26.Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
27.Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
28.lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
29.Lightheadedness, wooziness
30.Tremor
31.Confusion, difficulty in thinking
32.Diffculty with concentration, reading
33.Forgetfuiness, poor short term memory
34.Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
35.Difficulty with speech or writing
36.Mood swings, irritability, depression
37.Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
38.Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol

Symptoms for Bartonella and Babesia (common co-infections with lyme)

Bartonellosis symptoms:

Common symptoms of bartonellosis include:

___Fatigue (often with agitation, unlike Lyme disease, which is more exhaustion)

___Low grade fevers, especially morning and/or late afternoon, often associated with feelings of "coming down with the flu or a virus"

___Sweats, often morning or late afternoon (sometimes at night) - often described as "thick" or "sticky" in nature

___Headaches, especially frontal (often confused with sinus) or on top of head

___Eye symptoms including episodes of blurred vision, red eyes, dry eyes

___Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and sometimes hearing problems (decreased or even increased sensitivity - so-called hyperacusis)

___Sore throats (recurring)

___Swollen glands, especially neck and under arms

___Anxiety and worry attacks; others perceive as "very anxious"

___Episodes of confusion and disorientation that are usually transient (and very scary); often can be seizure-like in nature

___Poor sleep (especially difficulty falling asleep); poor sleep quality

___Joint pain and stiffness (often both Left and Right sides as opposed to Lyme which is often on one side only with pain and stiffness that changes locations)

___Muscle pains especially the calves; may be twitching and cramping also

___Foot pain, more in the morning involving the heels or soles of the feet (sometimes misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis)

___Nerve irritation symptoms which can be described as burning, vibrating, numb, shooting, etc.

___Tremors and/or muscle twitching

___Heart palpitations and strange chest pains

___Episodes of breathlessness

___Strange rashes recurring on the body often, red stretch marks, and peculiar tender lumps and nodules along the sides of the legs or arms, spider veins

___Gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain and acid reflux

___Shin bone pain and tenderness

------------------------------------------------------

Babesiosis


As with other co-infections, there is a lot of overlap of symptoms between Lyme disease and Babesiosis. An accumulation of the following signs and symptoms probably warrant testing and/or treatment of Babesiosis:

___Chills

___Fatigue and often excessive sleepiness

___High fever at onset of illness

___Night sweats that are often drenching and profuse

___Severe muscle pains, especially the large muscles of the legs (quads, buttocks, etc.)

___Neurological symptoms often described as "dizzy, tipsy, and spaciness," similar to a sensation of "floating" or "walking off the top of a mountain onto a cloud"

___Depression

___Episodes of breathlessness, "air hunger", and/or cough

___Decreased appetite and/or nausea

___Spleen and/or liver enlargement

___Abnormal labs (low white blood count, low platelet counts, mild elevation of liver enzymes, and elevated sed rate)

___Headaches (migraine-like, persistent, and especially involving the back of the head and upper neck areas)

___Joint pain (more common with Lyme and Bartonella)

___anxiety/panic (more common with Bartonella)

___Lymph gland swelling (more common with Bartonella and Lyme)
Avatar universal
Yes. These symptoms can be caused by anxiety. I have had the exact same visiual symptoms as you.
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370181 tn?1428180348
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