How Vision Is Affected by Parkinson’s Disease

How Vision Is Affected by Parkinson’s Disease

Many people living with Parkinson’s disease experience vision and eye problems. Some of the issues are a direct symptom of the disease, whereas others may be a side effect of medication taken to help treat Parkinson’s.

MORE: How does Parkinson’s disease affect the brain?

According to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, there are some common vision problems associated with Parkinson’s disease. Double vision can occur when the eyes begin to have trouble working in unison, which is referred to as convergence insufficiency. Some Parkinson’s disease medications can also produce the same effect. The problem can be rectified with either a change of medication or with special eyeglasses containing prisms. Many medications can also cause blurred vision for Parkinson’s patients and many will also suffer from dry eyes and decreased blinking.

Less commonly, people living with Parkinson’s may also experience involuntary closing of the eyes. This can happen for a number of reasons, many of which are not related to Parkinson’s at all, including nerve or muscle damage around the eye, inflammation of the eye, or damage to the eye. Parkinson’s patients are advised to see an ophthalmologist to determine the cause of the problem. There are medications that can help with the issue and if they don’t work, patients are advised to try botox.

MORE: The evolution of treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

2 comments

  1. Gretchen Robinson says:

    Are there specific changes to the optic nerve in Parkinson’s? My husband has been seeing a low vision specialist and while he has no specific diagnosis, his eyesight has deteriorated.

  2. Jim Crescenzi says:

    My wife has had Parkinson’s Disease for fourteen years. Three years ago she had deep brain stimulation surgery (at a leading university hospital, by a world renowned surgeon). Subsequently, her vision degraded very dramatically. We expected it to recover after she healed from the DBS surgery, but it never recovered (even a little). For example, she was able to cook, play bridge and Mahjongg and use eating utensils normally before the surgery, but not after. She has been very thoroughly evaluated at a leading eye clinic, and the cause of her poor vision was determined to be neurological. I certainly encouraged her to have the DBS surgery, but frankly will forever cary guilt for doing so. We have been married 53 years, and she is a lovely person and brave soul. I have written this email because of a concern that the risks associated with DBS surgery are understated.

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