Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 14, 2018
When a part of your body isn’t working properly, we usually assume that a problem with that body part is causing the issue, but that’s not always the case. Injuries or damage to one structure can cause symptoms to appear in other areas of the body, and that’s especially true for your spine. Issues in your spine or with your spinal nerves can cause problems in your hands, feet or your vision.
If you are having vision issues like blurred vision, dizziness or headaches, you probably aren’t going to assume the issue is housed in your spine, but it very well might be. Today, we take a closer look at why this can happen, and how to treat spinal problems that are causing vision issues.
Spine Problems Causing Vision Issues
There are a number of reasons why spine problems can cause vision issues, but one of the most common is associated with the onset of ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis that is associated with long-term inflammation in the joints of the spine. Most people just assume their pain is normal, but left untreated, inflammation can spread and affect other parts of your body, including your eyes.
In fact, statistics suggest that up to 40 percent of people with ankylosing spondylitis develop inflammation of the eye. This inflammation is called uveitis or iritis, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
Left untreated, the condition can also lead to permanent vision loss, which is why it is so important to treat ankylosing spondylitis before it spreads.
Treating Vision Problems Caused By Back Issues
Eye problems can also develop if there is damage or an issue with nerves along the central nervous system, which is protected by the spinal column. No matter what is causing your vision issues, the best way to treat the problem is by getting a thorough diagnosis by a spine specialist if you have reason to believe your vision issues are a symptom of a larger problem in your spine.
Your doctor will begin by conducting a physical exam and asking about your symptoms. From there, they’ll likely confirm their suspicions with an imaging test to look for nerve compression or the onset of inflammation. Once your doctor has an idea of what may be contributing to your vision issues, they’ll talk you through your treatment options.
Spine Doctor in Minnesota
Treatment involves addressing the problem at the source. Whether this involves physical therapy to decompress structures or exercise and anti-inflammatories to control worsening inflammation, your doctor will explain what therapies you should pursue and why they’ll be beneficial. It’s important you stick to the program, and if something needs to be adjusted, contact your specialist before adjusting your rehab on your own.
For more information on the link between spine issues and vision problems, or to set up an appointment, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.