Can neuropathy affect your vision?

Can neuropathy affect your vision?

Patients report the symptom of burning and itching eyes, but there are many causes of these symptoms including allergies and some medications. It is always a good idea to have an eye doctor check out all symptoms involving the eyes. There are drops for dry eye and for allergic reactions that affect the eye.

However, the answer to the question is, YES, neuropathy can affect the eyes. According to the website at E Medicine Health , there are two specific types of what is referred to as cranial neuropath and these are optic neuropathy and auditory neuropathy. Optic neuropathy refers to damage or disease of the optic nerve that transmits visual signals from the retina of the eye to the brain according to E Medicine Health.

Optic neuropathy is usually diagnosed when glasses will NOT correct the vision according to Norman Latov MD PhD in his book for patients, Peripheral Neuropathy: When the Numbness, Weakness, and Pain Won’t Stop, AAN Press 2009. (Books on Peripheral Neuropathy)

Dr. Latov explains that “Dry eye can occur in connection with what is termed Sjogren’s syndrome which is a rheumatologic condition that also causes dry eyes and mouth due to inflammation of the salivary ducts in the mouth and the lacrimal glands in the eye. The neuropathy may affect all sensory modalities or preset as a small fiber neuropathy. Sjogren’s can also be associated with vasculitis and involve the joints, mucosal membranes or brain.” (See pages 36-37). As these can be serious indicators, especially if there is a vasculitic neuropathy which is treatable, the patient is advised to seek medical advice. (See page 37-38)

Patients with dry eyes and vision problems that are not corrected with glasses, especially if there are other symptoms of a neuropathy, may be indicators of an optic neuropathy and should be checked out by medical experts.

About the Author

LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

Col Richardson has suffered with severe neuropathy for over 45 years. A 27 year military veteran and veteran of the Vietnam War, he was diagnosed with a progressive chronic peripheral neuropathy resulting in severe disability. This diagnosis has been confirmed as due to exposure to Agent Orange. It was not until 2010, 42 years after his exposure to Agent Orange, that his diagnosis was recognized by Veterans Affairs as service connected.

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2 Comments

  1. I was recently denied a claim for peripheral neuropathy linked to agent orange.I had provided all evidence. Service records, time and location of exposure , Drs recommendation to apply for compensation , etc. Since I was in the Navy and not on the ground they would not even consider approval.Should I consider appealing the judgment, and where do start?

    1. Ken: The good news is that you have applied and this means that the effective date of your claim is set. If there is any change in the law… as happens all the time given the lengths the VA will go in the denial process, then your claim would be retro active to this date. Here are the links which will be helpful to you. 2015 LEGISLATION TO RECOGNIZE AO EXPOSURE FOR BLUE WATER VETERANS OF VIETNAM http://bluewaternavy.org/July%205,%202015.pdf BLUE WATER NAVY AO DISABILITY CLAIMS INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE http://bluewaternavy.org/filingclaimJuly2015.htm Agent Orange Act Was Supposed to Help Vietnam Veterans — But Many Still Don’t Qualify
      http://www.propublica.org/article/agent-orange-act-was-supposed-to-help-vietnam-veterans-but-many-still-dont-?utm_campaign=get-involved&utm_source=screendoor&utm_medium=get-involved&utm_term=agent-orange

      I am going to send this information plus other information by E mail, as I do not know if your claim involves PN or note as this is another issue in this regard.

      Col Gene

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