Monday, January 18, 2010

Question for anyone with strabismus...

Do you have strabismus and have ever been told you have low(ish) blood pressure or had a dizzy spell upon standing up too quickly? I would like to hear from you. Please leave me a comment or send me an email.


Something incredible seems to be happening. I was a bit discouraged last week by my eyes deviating, so this weekend while running on the treadmill I started trying to think of all the things I did the month that my eyes were perfectly straight. I have been doing my Brock String, peripheral letter chart exercises, saccades with numbers on my wall, red/green exercises, etc. but I also tried to think of what else I was doing or not doing during that month. My optometrist told me that fever, fatigue and fear are three things that can cause wandering eyes for someone with strabismus, but I was well rested not afraid or fevered.

Suddenly it hit me. For the first month, I had a friend who kept insisting that I drink more water, so I did. At my follow up exam my surgeon told me that he wanted me to drink a lot of water to help with any nausea, so between the doctor and my water nagging friend I increased my intake of water substantially.

I have never been someone to drink a lot of water. In fact, I don't really drink any. I drink a fair amount of juice or other liquids like coffee and tea, but never been one to drink a glass of water. In fact, it kind of makes me gag, so drinking it was a chore, but drink I did, about five full glasses a day. I remember feeling actually quite good on the first day, like my body really needed it. But old habits die hard and mine are no exception. I slowly resorted back to my no water routine.

When my eyes began to cross inwards last week I thought, what is going on? How can I change this? What can I do to help them stop crossing in? HELP ME! I may be grasping at straws here, but I can only speak about my own experience with the hope that it might help someone else. I started drinking more water.

It has been three days of five glasses of water a day and I am a stunned to report that my eyes are almost straight again. Here is a photo I just took a minute ago on my Apple laptop. Could the water be helping with this? I know the Brock String is teaching me more and more every day, but could it also be the water?

I have been told I have low blood pressure (nothing serious, but my doc just told me to eat more salt) and I started thinking, could there be some correlation between low blood pressure, water intake and my eyes deviating?

After some informal research I found out that spontaneous adult strabismus can be caused by many factors including a spike in blood pressure. If a spike in blood pressure can have an effect on the alignment of one's eyes, could low blood pressure do anything? I have read that dehydration has serious consequences on the brain. Could there be some kind of connection here?

I emailed three people I know with strabismus, one in Malaysia, one in the UK, and one in Seattle to ask them if they had ever been diagnosed with low blood pressure and all three said yes! (Thank you for your responses!) POSTSCRIPT: I HAVE NOW A TOTAL OF 14 PEOPLE WITH STRABISMUS AND ALL HAVE TOLD ME THEY HAVE LOW BLOOD PRESSURE. Could this be a coincidence?

I would love to hear anyone's comments on this.

14 comments:

  1. Hello Heather,

    thank you very much for your email.

    To give you an answer to your question on the website. I do have a low blood pressure, even when I was pregnant.

    Getting up does not make me dizzy.

    Mail to you soon again.

    Lucy

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  2. Yes, guilty as charged. I've fainted a few times, too. :)

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  3. Oh boy, I'm going to start drinking MORE water from now on!!

    :) I'm glad that you discovered this, Heather!!

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  4. This is really, really interesting..

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  5. I do have very low blood Pressure. Doctors tell me to eat more salt too. and have adult strabismus. estropia. I have had about 5 surgeries. Also, I found it interesting you were not fully awake for your adjustments. I have always been wide away either the next day when they adjust or this last October, hopefully my last surgery they adjusted me 6 hrs later.

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  6. Hi Greta,
    Thanks for your comment. I actually was fully awake for the adjustable sutures. I was a bit groggy, but awake and aware of everything. They tied up the muscles while I was asleep and then adjusted them after I woke up.
    Hope you are well and thank you for your comments. You would not believe how many people have emailed me that they have low blood pressure. Could there be a connection here? Or could the low BP just make us weak which then makes the eye deviate... I don't know.

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  7. Hey, Brilliant Lady,
    I was directed to your web site by Sue Barry who wrote Fixing My Gaze. I have made a web site for her, www.stereosue.com. Anyway, I love that you have sherlocked the low blood pressure thing. I've had something that looks similar to you -- very asymetrical eyes - one nearsighted, one farsighted, anismetropia, intermittent exotropia and YES I have always low blood pressure. I have even had what are called hypotensive seizures where I fainted. Once I did a face plant and had to have plastic surgery. Luckily, I am actually still pretty good looking -- like you! Yes, drink lots of water. Very good. I also recommend vitamin D and healthy fats like fish oils for neuroendocrine health. If you want to know more about my success with overcoming all this, read my story at http://www.children-special-needs.org/lazy_eye/lazy_eye.html. And read lots of people's stories at visiontherapystories.org. Best!

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  8. Hi Rachel!
    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. You made my day!
    I just can't believe how many people have emailed me that they have low blood pressure too. Out of every person I have asked not one said they did not have LBP. Hmmmmm, something has to be connected here! It would be great to hear from you again.
    My email address is boykingroup @ mac. com.
    I look forward to reading your story.
    Best.
    Heather

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  9. I have had alternating esotropia my whole life, and also low blood pressure. This has involved fainting a few times, but mostly just dizziness and blackout when standing up too quickly.
    This is a fascinating connection, but to really make something of it you should also specifially ask for people who have strabismus and do NOT have low blood pressure to work out how much of it is reporting bias.
    But I think I shall be drinking a lot more water now and see what happens. Thanks for making this observation!

    Gabriel

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  10. Hi Garbriel,
    Thanks so much for your comment. You are absolutely right, I should ask for people who DO NOT have LBP! That would make sense. I have had so many people tell me they have LBP that I think I am going to post it on my profile, so everyone who visits can weigh in... I think the salt intake is also important. Have you been increasing your water intake?
    Also, I am going to blog about happiness and strabismus. Over the years I have noticed that when I have been really happy (on vacations, getting married, loving a new job or whatever) my eyes are straighter... So i guess we now have to be hydrated and happy!!!!
    Your thoughts?

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  11. Heather,

    I think the connection between happiness and better seeing focus is better focus in general. Check out my blog. I talk about this a great deal. http://HappoUndo.com

    Regards,

    James

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  12. Hi! Thanks for keeping this blog. I have straismus. I had 3 surgeries as an infant. I had my 4th surgery 4 weeks ago at age 31. I have had double vision since the surgery. My doc told me it would go away in a week but it has been 4 weeks now. Will it ever go away??

    I haven't been diagnosed with low blood pressure, but when I was pregnant and other women have problems with high blood pressure, I have always had excellent blood pressure. I am overweight and I still have good blood pressure. I do have low iron levels.

    Since I was a teenager I have had episodes of getting dizzy when I stood up too fast on occasion. I thought it happened to everyone??

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  13. Hi Terry,
    Thanks so much for your comment.
    I strongly suggest you get evaluated by a COVD Vision Therapist. Let me know the area of the world you live in and I will see who I can recommend.
    The double vision can be helped if you learn to fuse the two images.
    Let me know,
    Heather

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  14. I have had very low blood pressure but it is normal now. I am going to try to drink more water.

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