Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Can Lyme Disease Affect Your Eyes

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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed

Can Lyme Disease Affect the Eyes? | Webinar Shorts

Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose because many patients are unaware of the tick bite or the rash . Another problem is that some of the nervous system signs and symptoms can mimic another disease, multiple sclerosis. When a physician suspects lyme disease, blood tests may help in the diagnosis. Unfortunately, none of the blood tests available are highly accurate. Because of the difficulties of diagnosis, some persons are misdiagnosed as having lyme disease, and in some other persons the diagnosis is suspected but never confirmed.

In addition to blood testing, another way to confirm an uncertain diagnosis is to test a patients response to a trial of therapy.

Ophthalmic Consultants Of The Capital Region Is Committed To Keeping Our Patients And Staff Safe While Providing Quality Care

Dear Patients Our policies and procedures may change from time to time depending on the CDC or State Guidance. The rate of Covid infections and incidence in our cities will also determine what guidelines may or may not be followed. Thank you for your understanding and your patience!

We are operating under normal office hours, Monday-Friday from 8 am until 5 pm.

We are providing all types of eye care appointments from routine and follow-up care to urgent and emergent care.

All patients under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by an adult.

Telehealth appointments are available as a means of flexible, on-demand, home-based, care. You may contact our office at 518-438-5273 to schedule an appointment and for answers to any questions about what to expect during your first telehealth visit. You may call us 24/7 and one of our doctors will be available to return your call.

Eye surgery is being performed at our surgery center, the Albany Regional Eye Surgery Center . To learn more about eye surgery safety, follow this link Surgery Safety

Optical Services are fully open at each of our offices providing all services, everything from minor repairs to contact lens orders to filling new prescriptions for eyewear. Appointments are required. Please call the front desk number for the office posted on the front door to gain access to the Optical area.

Lyme Sci: Lyme Disease Can Impact Your Visions Contrast Sensitivity

Lyme disease can affect the eyes. Ocular symptoms including light sensitivity, pink eye, and swelling around the eyes have been described in up to 11% of patients with acute Lyme infections.

A new study from the Lyme Disease Research Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine shows Lyme disease can impact the eyes ability to distinguish the foreground from the background. This is called contrast sensitivity, or CS.

Driving at night or under conditions of low light, fog or glare are good examples of activities that require CS.

Past research has shown that even with prompt early treatment for Lyme disease, 10-20% of patients continue to have lingering symptoms.

The most prominent of these chronic symptoms are fatigue, widespread musculoskeletal pain, and cognitive difficulties. Patients also report a wide range of neurologic, sleep, ocular, mood, and other symptoms.

When Lyme treatment is delayed, the risk for developing chronic symptoms is much higher. In the MyLymeData project, 70% of participants were not diagnosed until six months or more following the onset of their symptoms.

Delayed treatment allows the bacteria to disseminate throughout the body, leading to conditions such as neuroborreliosis, Lyme arthritis or Lyme carditis.

In fact, in this study, patients with CS impairment were 2.6 times more likely to be in the group with persisting symptoms following treatment for Lyme disease.

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Stage : Disseminated Infection

In the USA it is common the B. burdorferi spread mainly hematogenously to many sites within days or weeks of the primary infection. In these cases, patients may develop secondary annular skin lesions far from the infection site accompanied by severe headache, mild stiffness of the neck fever, chills, migratory musculoskeletal pain, arthralgias without joint swelling, and profound malaise and fatigue.

If left untreated, approximately 15% of patients in this particular stage of the disease may develop neurologic involvement, such as meningeal irritation without pleocytosis, meningitis, encephalitic signs, cranial neuritis, motor or sensory radiculoneuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, mononeuritis multiplex, cerebellar ataxia or myelitis.

Likewise, if left untreated between 4 to 10% of patients may develop cardiac involvement such as auricular-ventricular block , acute myopericarditis, left ventricular dysfunction, cardiomegaly or pericarditis.

What Is Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Eye Floaters

Each year an estimated 300,000 people are infected with Lyme disease. Youre more likely to get Lyme disease if you spend time in grassy or wooded areas. The infection is spread through a bite from a deer tick. A characteristic bulls-eye rash is an early sign. Other symptoms at the early stages include:

  • Chills
  • Cognitive difficulties

Recommended Reading: Can Lyme Disease Cause Headaches

A Letter From Dr Robert D Sax To His Patients

After having had the privilege of providing eye care to my patients for almost 40 years, I have decided to retire. As you can imagine, it is a big decision and a big change, but it will allow me to spend more time with my family.

During my years at Ophthalmic Consultants, I served as both a partner to the Practice and director of Retina services. As I looked to the future, I gave great thought about my current patients and to future patients and the need for ongoing high quality eye care. I also considered the future of Ophthalmic Consultants and the wonderful people who work there today and those who will find opportunity there in the future.

To prepare for my retirement, I joined with our management team to assure we have an experienced, compassionate, and talented team of doctors many of whom you already know. So, it is with foresight and thoughtfulness that I entrust your general eye care to:

Each of these doctors has my stamp of approval and will provide the quality of care you are used to and deserve. When it is time for your next retina eye appointment, depending on our individual needs, our office will work with you to schedule with one of these very capable physicians. You can learn more about each doctor by clicking on their names within this letter or find detailed information about all our doctors in the About Us section of our website.


Robert D. Sax, M.D., Ph.D.

Albany 438-5273 Clifton Park 383-8589 Schodack 477-2391

How Can I Prevent Tick

You can reduce your dogs risk of developing tick-borne uveitis by following a few simple tips.

  • Year-round tick prevention Providing year-round tick prevention is the best way to protect your dog.
  • Lyme vaccination A vaccination against Lyme disease is available, and you can talk to your family veterinarian to determine if this is an appropriate option for your dog. This vaccine does not protect your pet against other tick-borne illnesses.
  • Maintain your lawn Ticks prefer tall grass, and keeping your lawn well-maintained can help protect your pet.
  • Avoid certain areas Avoid areas such as tall grasses, marshes, and wooded spots where ticks are most likely to be found.
  • Check your dog After being outside, check your dog thoroughly for ticks. The parasites can be found anywhere, but the most common areas include under their tail, in their ears, between their toes, under their collar, and in their groin region.

Protect your dogs eyes by taking steps to decrease their exposure to ticks. If your dog is affected by tick-borne uveitis, contact our team at Veterinary Vision Center so we can start treatment to decrease the inflammation and protect their vision.

Also Check: Dr Alain Mass Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease And Your Eyes

By: Robert B. Feldman, M.D.Board-Certified Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist at Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region

Lyme disease is very prevalent in upstate New York. At Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region, were seeing more and more patients this time of year with vision problems caused by Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include rash, fatigue, and fever. Lyme disease can also affect your eyes. In the early stages, Lyme disease can cause conjunctivitis , floaters and photosensitivity.

In later stages, Lyme disease can cause severe eye issues including:

How Does Lyme Disease Affect Vision

How Lyme Disease Affects Your Vision

Lyme disease is typically divided into three stages: early localized, early disseminated and late disseminated. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology , Lyme disease can affect the eyes at any stage.

The severity of ocular problems may vary greatly. Different symptoms appear at different phases of the infection. The following are examples of possible Lyme disease eye complications:

Also Check: Dr Lee Cowden Lyme Disease

Can Lyme Disease Cause Vision Problems

Chronic Lyme patients experience a variety of localized symptoms, but vision trouble is something we get asked about a lot. Dr. Bill Rawls explains how Borrelia and Lyme coinfections can affect the eyes, plus he shares insights on what can help. Learn more about Lyme disease symptoms, tests, and treatment options here.

Blog: Dealing With The Visual Consequences Of Lyme Disease

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact .William V. Padula William V. Padula, OD, SFNAP, FAAO, FNORA

The CDC estimates that more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur every year in the U.S. and that number is likely understated.

According to a recently released analysis from Quest Diagnostics, Lyme disease can be found in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Lyme disease is the best known of more than a dozen tickborne illnesses in which tiny bacteria called spirochetes are injected into the body with the tick saliva. If not treated, these spirochetes multiply and spread, eventually reaching the brain, where they can cause a range of neurological effects.

Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose, in part because it is a great mimicker of other conditions. Additionally, many people never realize theyve been bitten by a tick unless they see the bulls eye rash that is characteristic of Lyme. Blood tests for Lyme often produce a false negative result, because the spirochetes spend much of their time dormant in tissue, only prompting the immune system to produce detectable antibodies when they enter the bloodstream.

Visual system damage

Effective techniques

Three tips to help your patients

Recognize that Lyme disease could be the underlying cause of sudden-onset visual processing problems such as double vision, convergence insufficiency or tracking issues.


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Lyme Disease And The Eyes

byJennifer Crystalon March 18, 2022

Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can cause many ocular manifestations including double or blurry vision, floaters, conjunctivitis , inflammation of several parts of the eye, sensitivity to light, dry eye, static in the visual field, and vision loss or a blind spot.

I was born with a condition called strabismus, more commonly known as lazy eye. To strengthen weak muscles and help my eyes align, I had four surgeries over the course my childhood and early twenties. The fourth was two years after Id unknowingly contracted Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and possible bartonella from a tick bite.

Following that surgery, people started commenting, Why are your eyes two different sizes? My surgeon and I were both perplexed. Recovery was slower than it had been from previous operations, and my right eye appeared wide open while the left had a noticeable lid droop.

In their book Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide, Brian Fallon, MD and Jennifer Sotsky, MD describe a case of an eight-year-old boy who had difficulty seeing the TV screen a couple months after visiting a Lyme-endemic area. A visual exam found severely decreased vision due to swollen optic nerves. Because the child also had headaches, fatigue, and intermittent pain, his doctor considered Lyme disease sure enough, the boy tested positive. After treatment, his optic nerves and vision return to almost fully normal.

Touched By Lyme: Rehabilitating Your Lyme

Lyme Disease Eyes

Dr. William V. Padula is a pioneer in the field of how Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can affect your vision. Hes worked with patients from all over the world. Many of them had no idea that Lyme and TBDs were at the root of their deteriorating eyesight.

Though treating the underlying infections is necessary, he says such treatment alone may not be enough to resolve vision problems. Instead, he finds that many patients need various kinds of visual rehabilitation, as well.

In a recent Zoom conversation, he explained to me that among other things, Lyme disease can cause spatial-visual processing dysfunction. This isnt a defect of the eye itself. Rather, the issue is that the brain has trouble processing the signals the eyes send to it. Its a neurological impairment.

Spatial-visual processing dysfunction can result in eyestrain, headaches, light sensitivity, and double vision. Also, people who have a compromised spatial-visual process can have difficulty in crowded, moving environments, he says.

As a result, people with this disorder may feel overwhelmed by seeing anything moving in their peripheral vision. Much like people who have suffered concussions, Dr. Padula says, many folks with Lyme find they must strictly avoid busy supermarkets and other congested places.

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Improving Quality Of Life By Reducing Symptoms

Did you know that glasses can sometimes lead to symptoms such as headaches? Dr. McCrodan describes a neuro-functional process for prescribing glasses that is aimed at improving vision clarity and reducing symptoms that are caused by the way our eyes and brains work together. Symptom reduction can also be achieved through vision therapy therapies or exercises that help recalibrate the ways that the eyes and the brain work together. For example, for those who have issues with eye tracking while reading, there are exercises that train both eyes to work together. Dr. McCrodan elaborates on this, and other treatable visual symptoms in his Tedx Talk from 2014.

When a patient comes in who has Lyme diseasewe want to separate kind of whats visual, maybe related to the Lyme or not, from what is truly just the Lyme diseasea lot of the visual problemsmay be a visual condition related to the Lyme disease, but the visual condition is treatable, and thats where optometrists really need to look at a full work up of how the eyes and the brain actually work together.

Dr. Cameron McCrodan

Thank you Dr. McCrodan for showing us that the interaction of our eyes and our brains are clear indicators of our health, our brain function, and of our well being! We look forward to hearing more about this exciting field of knowledge and the expanding role that optometrists have as new therapies are discovered.

Importance Of Comprehensive Eye Exams

We can spot various major health risks, including diabetes, with a comprehensive exam. Many conditions, such as high blood pressure can affect your eyes without your awareness. These diseases are often referred to as silent because they can damage your body for months and years before symptoms become apparent.

Proper diagnosis of Lyme disease is traditionally tricky because it can imitate other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Thats where specialized exams can help.

Integrative Medica provides the highest quality of care to residents in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. Treating patients of all ages, Integrative Medica combines old-fashioned personalized attention with the latest technology available. Schedule an appointment through online booking now or call the office at 801-406-1939.

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Lyme Disease And Vision

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. In its early stages, Lyme disease commonly results in a rash, which can appear anywhere from one day to one month after a tick bite, joint pain and headaches. Later-stage Lyme disease is characterized by arthritic pain, cognitive difficulties, fatigue and other symptoms that can have an enormous effect on a patients life.

One tick may carry more than one disease, so sometimes people get more than one co-infection from the bite of a single tick. Experienced doctors may be able to distinguish each of the tick-borne co-infections and order appropriate tests and treatment.1 If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year in the U.S. However, some experts suggest this number may be under-estimated.

Stage : Localized Infection

Think the Lyme Disease Rash is Always a Bull’s-eye? Think Again! | Johns Hopkins Rheumatology

After an incubating period ranging from 3 to 32 days, a classic erythema migrans occurs at the site of the tick bite. It starts as a red macula or papule that expands slowly to form a large circular lesion. As the lesion expands and increases in size, it often develops a bright red outer border and central clearing, creating the classic target-like rash. The center of the lesion can become indurated, vesicular or necrotic. Even though the rash may start anywhere in the body, the usual places for the rash to begin are the thigh, groin, and armpits. It is important to mention that nearly 20% of patients do not exhibit the classic target-like lesion.

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Eye Problems Associated With Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection that is caused by a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of a deer tick.

The disease has a strong geographical incidence, being highly concentrated in the Northeast United States and now also has a high incidence in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Lyme disease was first discovered in Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. It can start with a characteristic bulls eye rash, in which there is a central spot that is surrounded by clear skin that is then ringed by an expanding rash. It can also appear just as an expanding rash.

This rash usually starts within days of the tick bite. Eye problems can occur along with this rash in the first phase of the disease. This includes red eyes that can look like full-blown pink eye, along with eyelid swelling. It also can produce iritis or uveitis, which include sensitivity to light and inflammation inside the eye.

The second phase of the disease usually starts within a few weeks of the tick bite and this occurs because the spirochete gets into the blood stream. This stage often has rashes starting away from the original bite site. It can also produce joint pain, weakness, and inflammation in several organs including the heart, spleen, liver and kidneys.

The diagnosis is made through observation of the presenting symptoms, being in an area where there are significant numbers of the disease-carrying ticks, and a blood test that can confirm the diagnosis.

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