Editorial Note: The author of this report wants to remain anonymous for important reasons not contained in this report. He comes from the Newcastle area, where if you are a fan of sports and think of someone who was good at keeping his eye on the ball and scoring extraordinary goals, you are likely to think of Alan Shearer. So AS it is.
For sheer persistence that eventually led to goal scoring at the highest level, its hard to beat AS’s story below.
Very soon after SSRIs were marketed first, I had patients complain about similar problems – with Prozac. Online many people talk about a variety of visual problems linked to antidepressants. But in most cases these investigations have generally stopped at a standard eye examination. This is not surprising.
If you have visual changes anything like the ones AS describes below, can you get referred to have the eye tests that he had and send us the results c/o RxISK. You will need to go to the ophthalmology department in a major hospital to get tests like these done. You can bring this report and invite your doctor to contact us for more details.
If we can identify a few people with the same problem we may be able to change the face of medicine.
If you are faced with refusal to have these tests, please let us know about this also.
I took Paroxetine for a number of years and have been off it for nearly 10 years.
Soon after going on the drug, I noticed problems with my eyesight. My primary care doctors weren’t interested and just kept bringing up my supposed “illness”.
Over time I went to see 3 high-street opticians. Eye examinations revealed nothing to account for my symptoms.
Even though I had stopped paroxetine for nearly 10 years my visual problems are still there, and they have remained the same on and off the drug over the last ten years.
By this time I’d changed doctor. I only began to make the connection to paroxetine a year ago. I explained the whole thing to a different GP and was sent to a psychiatrist who said the drugs don’t cause any long-term side effects.
I demanded to see an ophthalmologist and saw the Clinical Director of Ophthalmology at our local hospital. He carried out an eye examination and said that there was nothing wrong. He said he knew of no further testing available anywhere that could be used to investigate my symptoms.
I wasn’t sure how to move this forward, since another clinic would likely do the same tests. Instead, I asked my GP to refer me to a neurologist. After a great deal of persuasion, she agreed but I now know wrote in my medical notes – “obsessive thoughts”.
I turned up in the neurologist’s office with a folder of published medical evidence about the dangers of anti-depressants, including persisting alterations to brain function in rat studies and some literature from RxISK. He didn’t look at any of it and said that people on the internet say all kinds of things.
However, he referred me to Miss Dayan, a neuro-ophthalmologist at the RVI in Newcastle. In the referral letter he said they probably wouldn’t find anything wrong and criticised my lack of trust in the system. He also discharged me from his clinic.
Miss Dayan carried out another eye exam (5th) which was normal. By this point I’d managed to connect another problem firmly to paroxetine and explained this to Miss Dayan. I don’t know why but she said that she would arrange electro-diagnostic testing for the sake of completeness. But she added it would probably come back normal.
I was given an electroretinogram – ERG. This is a range of tests which examine electrical activity within the eye and optic nerve. It involves looking at flashing lights while wired up to a machine that records the results.
My results showed abnormal electrical activity within the retina and I was invited back for further tests. I listened in to the conversation. My consultants were excited. Although certain genetic conditions can apparently produce the findings they were seeing, my results are unusual and do not directly match any known eye condition.
The pattern that AS shows is unusual. He has inner retinal dysfunction – from a change in either his bipolar cells or retinal Muller cells.
Retinal electrophysiology is not universally available. Where it is done, not all centres comply with international ISCEV (International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision) testing standards. This can make results difficult to compare between centres.
A minimum examination should involve an ISCEV standard electroretinogram (ERG) to test generalised rod, cone and inner retinal function, along with pattern or multifocal ERG to test macular function.
If these show similar abnormalities to AS, then we will suggest further, more advanced testing to isolate the problem. We know there is serotonin and dopamine input to these cells so the findings make some sense.
If the screening ERG is abnormal but different, it would be good to get further testing on some subjects to Newcastle for data consistency or to liaise with the ophthalmology department.
If you have experienced changes to your eyesight while taking an antidepressant, and these problems have persisted or become worse after stopping the medication, we would like to hear from you – anything from blurred vision through to more complex changes.
Please report your case by completing a RxISK Report, even if you aren’t interested in the causality score or taking the report to your doctor.
Also see the blog post – New Study of Antidepressants and Vision Problems (7 March 2022).
i have had severe eye problems since bein told it was safe to go cold turkey off 40mgs prozac in september 2007.by my extremely stupid Gp and several other doctors at hospitals. and a rather clever psychiatrist.all denied that i could suffer prozac withdrawal and made me feel in my utter torture that i was experiencing a “return of the mental illness symptoms”the ones i never had before taking the poisonous shit.aside from the extreme pain and mental torture and severely damaged nervous system that i have had to endure alone without help or recognition for 6 years. ive had constant visible dots,blurred vision,flashes of light.floating things,squigly lines,black dots,and flashing and cloudiness in my peripheral vision.
I too have had problems. I had severe eye inflammation and raccoon eyes as my daughter calls it. I have vision problems as well. It’s been two years since I went cold turkey after two weeks bc I went into violent sickness like I was in a Merry go round going super fast and wanted to vomit. I just recently last week February 8, 2015 just had severe flashing and twitching and my peripheral vision was gone. Lasted 5 min. I continue to have dark circles all around my eyes upper and lower especially when I’m tired or haven’t exercised in a while I’m trying to figure out what has gone wrong. L.
The flashing may be due to the retina detaching. The eye twitching may be from eye mites, little critters that live in the roots of eyelashes. Washing your lashes will kill them off but not get rid of them completely. Tee tree oil reduced to 20-40% in walnut or cashew oil can be applied with a q-tip to your lashes and eyebrows will help.
I’ve always been told that you have to wean off anti-depressant very gradually otherwise you can get a relapse.
Maybe some people do, but more get the news that their brains were damaged. Their nervous systems don’t work because they remodeled themselves in response to the drugs. Antidepressant withdrawal is not a return of the original mood problems. It’s much worse and different in many ways..
ABSOLUTELY! Paxil was a life saver for me. The terrifying part is that detoxing or cold turkey (can’t get a script filled) has the seriously TOO often PSYCHOTIC break occur. Over the last 4 weeks of tapering off and detoxing I have consistently had vision problems: “foggy” feeling, severe eye fatigue, dry eye and a sensation like my glasses lenses are not properly aligned.
I weaned off antidepressant very gradually,but I have permanent eyesight and other damages. Psych meds are poisons!
How do you know that your vision problems are permanent? Have you file a class action lawsuit?
I’m sorry to tell you that the symptoms will persist for years after discontinuing SSRIs.
Interesting / sad. I have dry eyes now since commencing withdrawl from Mirt 4 months ago. I was on it for 7 months including the withdrawl period @ 15mg. If anything its got a little worse. Will this one day go away or is that it for good do you think? What’s your experience?
Also have bad problems with sleep. Almost complete insomniac. Not sure how long this will last.
Paul I too have dry and sore eyes and use a computer daily for work and wear glasses I have severe sleep issues doctor keeps changing my antidepressants but I want better answers? Any help please? I too went to an eye specialist and they said I may have a retinal tear in my eye but this shouldn’t be the cause of the pain…..
Hello I got the same eye problems since I tapered off mirtazapine. Did it get any better?
Paul, I have been on Zoloft and Mirtazapine since 2004, i too have dry eyes and such and am trying to figure out the best way to get off of this stuff.
I am on Prisiq and am having eye problems. It started with Venlafaxine. Last year my ophthalmologist told me that I had extra cells in my eye, but that cleared up. Yesterday my sight was bad, almost double vision, but then later my left eye was all red with blood. I’m not that confident in my eye Dr. Living on a small island leaves me with few options. Where else can I go for information to give to my drs?
Hey Patricia hopefully you answer has your vision improved, I feel that nobody believes me I developed snowy vision after stop taking lorazepam and one day on Prozac I am soo scared that will not change 😞I am getting even more anxious and depressed
I quite Mirtazapine 3 months ago and have dry eyes and mouth.
I am hoping these will go away eventually. Can you please let me know why you think these many persist for a number of years.
Several years…like how many and is it worse for older individuals…like age 65? Does the vision eventually become clearer? I also was diagnosed with chronic dry eye along with the vision problems. I was on klonopin for 18 years and weaned down from 2mg to 1/4tablet of 0.5mg..soon to be zero.
Does anyone knows if the dry eyes and blurry vision are reversed after getting off antidepressants?
Its been 4 year since I’ve been off, I thought it would get better with time diet and building a better life. But since I stopped my vision was scattery. My depth perception is off my peripheral is also, I’ve had numerous testing similar to what this story portrays. No answers. And since I also got glasses around the same time I quit the meds I actually had a belief that I’ve adapted to the glasses and when I adjust them in certain ways they shift my world, how I feel and see. But being on Paxil for 7 years and having numerous other variables that could play into vision problems have an appointment to try it out again because I cannot keep living this way I’m hoping it at least stabilize me somewhat
You have described my problem with eye sight to issues exactly. My partner calls it popeye syndrome. I close my left eye to read. All my doctors say ” I have know idea and that all is fine” but it is delicately not. It started when I Started taking Prestiq two years ago and even if I go off, there is no improvements. I am very nervous my left eye is going blind.
Me too! it super sucks, but only started when i started taking bupropion. I feel good, by my eye are weirding me out. Almost like I’m coming down from mushroom high.
I recognize your problem. Totally empathize with you. I hope you read this. First, black dots and floaters indicate detachment of the retina. This can happen suddenly and a really good eye surgeon can save the retinas.
There are many other things. Did you remember having an infection that caused more symptoms than anyone you know could believe?
Floaters and black spots don’t NECESSARILY mean a detached retina. I have diabetic retinopathy and I have those specs and floaters but my retinas are intact. So it can simply mean you some bleeding into the retina from the tiny blood vessels there. This can be improved with surgery sometimes, but often your body will reabsorb the blood if you are getting the proper nutritional support.
Floaters don’t mean that you have a detached retina. They mean that the gel filled circle (don’t know the correct names) inside your eye is losing its gel like composition, which often happens as you become older and is normal. Once the gel filled circle does that, it starts to pull away from the insides of your eye and, if you are unlucky, it can pull at your retina and cause a detachment. Sudden flashing lights or black spots could indicate detachment (although this can also indicate a migraine headache, and probably other things, also) and then you have a very short window of time for doctors to be able to repair your retinas before the damage is permanent. Floaters by themselves are nothing but annoying.
ive been on trazodone and seroquel for 5 yrs for sleep suddenly i began getting seizures 2 or 3 times a yr the drs never told me about side effects my rte eye is verry blurry and full of water i thought it was a cataract they put me on depakote for seizures and now mi reaD THAT CAUSES seizures on withdrawal and blindness trazodone and seroquel do too is the b lindness permanent these drs are nuts
I have a vascular disease (I had two strokes from 5 aneurysms) and also take 4 seizure meds on top of taking the anti-depressant lexepro. My doctor prescribed me Flexeril and I believe this caused one of my eyes to lose it’s ability to stay open. He also fired me as a patient when I brought it up. We have to stand up as patients. They have too much control over us. They are negligent, and we suffer.
My vision started deteriorating after just one single trazodone 150mg dose. But doctors can’t find anything and won’t listen/don’t seem to be bothered. Have you had any improvements? I only took one tablet of 150mg over a year ago and sight just gradually getting blurrier?!
Sandra how are you these days? Any improvement? I’m on the same boat. I did it for a little over two weeks.
me too. blurred vision. sensitivity to light occasionally. floaters and small black dots in circles. drowsiness. muscle weakness. twitching muscles.dry throat. throat swelling. headaches. bruise easy. decreased interest in sex.
It is years later, and this doesn’t have to do with sight, but wanted to add that every psych I’ve ever had has been blasé about me running out of meds. If one prescription is nearly over, and for some reason, it doesn’t get filled within a few days, I’ll go into withdrawal, yet I’ve never had one say “Oh, we can’t do that” and warn me of the danger”, which is all over the research.. They’ve never warned about “be sure you don’t run out and withdraw cold turkey.” I’ve had psychs move or otherwise stop treatment just when a prescription was due, leaving me to run around trying to find someone quickly, and I’ve had emergency rooms refuse to fill if I’m out and don’t bring my bottles! No one seems to know these are as addictive as opiates….yet are not treated that way — seems addiction/withdrawal is only a problem when euphoria is involved. Pharmacists are the same way about it.
Doctors are quick to prescribe meds without telling patients of the dangers of ‘cold turkey’ withdrawals. I was once discharged from a month-long hospital stay without enough meds to tide me over until I could see a new doc, which resulted in severe withdrawals in a short [three-week] amount of time. This is the very definition of malpractice IMO. When you complain about withdrawals, lack of med oversight, or quality of care, you are labeled ‘difficult’ or ‘hypochondriac’ and get treated like you’re nothing. Now that I’m tapering off their poison pills I’m dealing with serious vision issues, the skin on my fingers have split and have open weeping wounds that won’t heal, and my hair is falling out in clumps so much that I look like a cancer patient. None of my docs believes there’s any correlation between my unique side effects and tapering. Thank God for this site and people like you who KNOW what I’m talking about. Holistic medicine is my only option from now on…
I have literally the same exact thing and am scared i might go blind. How is your vision now? Please email back im so scared!
Similar symptoms here as well. All started right when I went off Cymbalta 6 months ago. Have you improved at all?
I have the same things happening to me. I began to see a little black spot in oct. 2019. Then a line began expanding out and turned down then across the bottom and then turned up and was squiggly. Then another dot next to the one and more and more lines. left eye only they never move or change. I have made drawings of them and over time they never change except there are more lines. I take Zoloft. I have been pushed from doctor to doctor and went to a Optical neurologist at Vanderbilt in Nashville only to be sent to a conative neurologist who consulted with the head of neurology at Vanderbilt. He said I needed more advanced testing and is sending me back to the optical neros.
I wish I could find a doctor that would actually listen. But they just pass you on to someone else and probably think I had made it up or imagined it. But if I imagine it a have a fantastic memory – which i don’t, it is terrible – because I can make a complicated drawing of the lines and they match +the new ones, the drawings from 6 months ago. I need to come off the zoloft but don’t have a doctor who agree’s – not yet – I am looking. I take 100 mgs and hope to work it down soon. I am in the Ministry and am a Education and Youth Pastor. Dealing with everyone else’s problem’s is one of the things I do. I have learned to really truly listen to people. I wish doctors would learn the same thing! If you see this message, did you find an answer?
To follow up with my first post – I believe that other problems are from taking Zoloft – SSRI’s. My left eye began moving on it’s own in January. Nystagmus is what my eye doc and Regular Doc said it was. It was only my left eye and it only moved from side to side. The right eye never did it. They could see it moving. It lasted about a month and a half and I could not get to a Nero doc at the time because of Covid shutdown. I had and still do have dizzy spells that started then. A few times When I went outside my eyes would be dilated and the light was so bright the colors looked washed out and it hurt my eyes. My memory is worse than ever on recalling names or recognizing the situation around me quickly. No problems with logic as I study and write literature for Christian Education. I have been passed from doc to doc and I now believe that they think it is all a figment of my imagination. I have lowered the Zoloft 25mg and and have been at just over two weeks and am going lower another 25mg this week and see if that causes a problem. I have an appointment with,
With the help of my heart doctor I have now been off of Zoloft for 4 months. Things are SOOO much better! I still have a hard day every now and then but I am doing great! the side effects are all gone except the worst spots and lines in my eyes. I now take L-Theanine which is over the counter – I take 100 mgs. 3 times a day and I take .5 Ml CBD in the morning and again before bed – almost everyday. No depression most days and it is still getting better. I have had zero panic attacks in the last 2 months. I have lost 52 lbs. and feel better. My heart has gone back to normal – it was misfiring before.
I am grateful for having something like Zoloft to get me through the hardest – near suicidal times but I wish I had been told by someone who knows that Zoloft – SSRIs are healthy for the long term. I took it for almost 4 years and the problems started. When I tried to get off of it, it caused me to feel depressed and anxious. So I thought I still had the original problem in enough sevarity that I could not quit. That was not true for me. SSRIs are difficult to stop and should never be stopped without a GOOD doctors help. AND SLOWLY!
You can see more of my story at http://prodigalmike.com
I can relate to your story almost perfectly I have been to multiple places been told I’m fine or just refer me to a new doctor. I have been on Zoloft for about a year and in the last 6 months have developed lots of visual problems like weird shapes and littles flashes of light in my eyes and a bunch of small clear looking floaters my vision is almost like staticky if that makes sense it looks like I’m seeing through a television. I feel foggy and almost like a zombie just emotionless going through my day to day. After seeing your post I’m gonna be going off my Zoloft and trying some supplements and cbd because I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore.
My wife had something like that, turned out to be a tumor on her optical nerve. Get it checked ASAP, by a competent doc… Took multiple different docs before they finally admitted a mistake had been made… She almost lost her eye… Still might, she can’t see out of it very well anymore…
My eye sight became much sharper and more in detail when I came off Citalopram, I hadn’t noticed the eye problem whilst on them because I was also very detached and spaced out so thought it was all to do with that. I had so many side effects on SSRIS it was very hard to be specific with each effect at the time. On Mirtazapine my eyes have become blurry but I don’t feel detached.
I have vision problems in the wake of a cocktail of SSRI’s, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics. I was given SSRI’s for rape trauma, which caused drug reactions that doctors decided were more psychiatric diseases that had been “unmasked” by the SSRI’s. I have blurred vision, pain from bright light, afterimages, and night blindness.
Can you get your doctor to refer you for the same kind of tests AS had?
Seroquel and Eye Pressures:
Hi David, Try this yourself or try it on a 45+ colleague: Get an eye test with pressures included. Take a very small dose of Seroquel 25mg at bedtime or 12.5mg for a week or two (the tablet divides easily and it should n’t slow you down the next day). Then get the eye test and pressures taken again and see what even tiny doses of Seroquel do to the eye pressures!
If psychiatric drug companies are heavily invested in Universities to what extent will specialist Ophthalmic research feature on psychiatric drug damage (eyesight is the first thing to go with these drugs)?
Referring to the first article on the site im not sure who to reply to but does that cause blindness
My vision on SSRIS would be like comparing a plastic plant to a real plant. On SSRIS every plant looked plastic even the trees looked fake. Off the medication I couldn’t believe how “REAL” everything looked, you could see the leaves in real fine detail unlike before. It actually made me quite emotional because it felt as if I had finally arrived back into the real world. I’m now on Mirtazapine and have noticed my eye sight become blurry but even more so at night.
Can you get your GP to refer you for the same kind of eye-tests AS had?
How long did it take to see better after you stopped taking them?
I developed ‘visual snow’ after taking citalopram (just 5mg) from May to October this year. This wasn’t my first time on citalopram – I tried it in 2011 for around 2 weeks, and again in late 2011-early 2012 for 6 weeks, discontinuing both times because of intense ‘activation syndrome’ and a worsening of my OCD intrusive thoughts. Previously I had been taking 20mg of fluoxetine, which I tolerated well, but started feeling much more anxious/agitated in 2011 which led to me asking for citalopram. I had experienced quite bad withdrawal symptoms that persisted for over a year after the 6-week period of citalopram, which actually cleared up completely after reinstating just 5mg of citalopram this year. However, I developed fairly severe visual problems – visual snow, flashes of light etc, and cognitive difficulties. I have 20/20 vision, though the optician said I had high pressure in my eyeballs and referred me to a hospital in Durham for an appointment – nothing was wrong with my eyes, and the consultant advised it was the citalopram.
I’ve discontinued it and returned to a low dose of fluoxetine, but my intrusive thoughts and general feeling of being ‘on edge’ have returned. While the visual snow is still persisting, albeit slightly improved, I am reluctant to ask for more tests given that its still early days, and also because I’m in a fairly vulnerable position regarding my health. I guess I want to be stable on something, that would at the same time allow me to work, before I think about doing a slow taper off these meds, or looking into other health concerns. SSRIs appear to have caused me no shortage of trouble.
The point behind the test is not to get you off the drug – its to see if we can work out what causes the visual snow. I could easily imagine someone deciding that they get enough benefit to continue with the meds, but at least we would all know something more about what these drugs do. And this might be important when it comes to checking out children whose mothers have been on them during pregnancy for instance
OK, I’ll ask my GP the next time I see him, though I suspect he will be reluctant to refer me for these tests owing to the time/cost requirements to the NHS.
Hi Peter, i know that it’s ages since you made this post, but if you read this i would like to know if your visual snow eventually subsided?
I took a look at RxISK for reports of visual problems on paroxetine. The most common by far was “vision blurred” – 599 reports (PRR 1.5) But the most impressive “PRR numbers” were connected to various birth defects. (PRR stands for Proportional Reporting Ratio, which serves as a rough guide to how likely it is that the condition is connected to the drug.) Here’s a sample:
Strabismus 75 (67 congenital), PRR = 6.2
Strabismus, congenital 3, PRR = 5.1
Oculoauriculovertebral dysplasia 16, PRR = 99.9
Retinopathy, congenital 35, PRR = 3.1
Retinopathy of prematurity 54, PRR = 32.9
Optic nerve disorder 15 (11 congenital), PRR = 1.7
Optic nerve hypoplasia 7, PRR = 9.5
Eyelid ptosis, congenital 17, PRR = 50.1
Congenital eye disorder 14, PRR = 8.7
Tunnel vision 22 (15 congenital), PRR = 4.0
This would seem to fit with the idea that AS’s doctors came to — that these visual symptoms are a nervous system problem. Could be a small clue?
Would be great if someone with a little time could do the same check on RISK for other SSRIs
One other thing I noticed on Paroxetine my pupils used to be so dilated but on Citalopram they were very constricted. Makes you wonder why the difference when there both the same type of drugs.
This might be down to the fact that paroxetine has greater anticholinergic effects – its more like atropine which was used as Belladonna eyedrops to cause pupils to dilate making the woman appear more attractive – perhaps because pupils dilate when you are attracted to someone.
Sertraline (Zoloft) gave me nasty visual snow & palinopsia (afterimages/trails) several years ago and it never improved. I have bipolar disorder so it wasn’t the right drug for me anyway. However I don’t think the SSRI causes the effect as much as it precipitates a lurking condition. By the way, there is a very active visual snow forum on facebook. Cheers, Stu.
I am really happy to see this finally reported. I haven’t been on any psych meds for years, but had visual issues with both klonopin and prozac. The most noticeable was after-images, from bright lights and in general but I also sometimes saw flashes of pretty colors in my peripheral vision or elsewhere. At first I thought I was hallucinating and assumed it meant I was becoming more mentally ill! I also had floaters and other irregularities. When I went off prozac I would see flashes of light when I entered a very dark room. Fortunately, now that I have gone completely off these drugs all of my vision problems have disappeared. Funny how that works! Drs should learn about these side effects and warn patients — it was terrifying to have these issues bc I thought they meant I was going crazy.
Users of the acne drug Roaccutane are also reporting eye problems, notably blurred vision and eye dryness, which they link to using the drug.
Their situation does not improve even when ceasing to use the drug. The damage is deemed to be irreversible.
I am very interested in these reports. I have been on many psychotropic drugs since 1998, including SSRIs and atypical anti psychotics. I have slowly weaned myself off, but still take clonazepam and zopiclone. Thus I am not much use for linking the eye problems described to a specific class of drug. But, I have had blurred vision, acute sensitivity to sunlight, a sense of not seeing properly, real problems in low light, an odd sensation in my left eye particularly and headaches for the past three years (before the clonazepam). Recently I have experienced odd visual effects after using my iPad at night (never for more than 30 minutes). After switching off and preparing for sleep, I have a black shape in my central vision, both eyes, but worse in the left. Looking at the window, which is illuminated by a streetlamp, I see a yellowy-brown swirly mass (like brown ink dropped into water). It is worse in the left eye. After about 15 minutes it goes away. The first time it happened I shot off to the optician, who gave my eyes the all clear, and had no explanation for the visual oddities other than that they were migrainous. I had no headache before, during or after them (although I have been told that you can have a migraine without a headache….!). I have hesitated to tell any medic, as struggled so hard to get any of them to take my physical withdrawal symptoms seriously after I had stopped the antipsychotics.
They’re probably thinking of “optical migraine”, and indeed I get a headache less than 50% of the time with those. I think that may be an antiquated term add well as an antiquated theory, but my migraines are do severe and chronic I haven’t bothered to research it. I’d suggest researching optical migraine, ocular migraine, and visual migraine aura, because that’s what the doc seems to have been referring to. However, your description of your symptoms don’t fit the typical visual phenomena. There are other migraine subtypes that probably do fit with your descriptions, but in the U.S. at least, most docs don’t have much familiarity with the rarer migraine subtypes, even many neurologists.
My symptoms since starting SSRI’s
– Blurry Vision
– Sensitivity to sunlight
Since stopping the drug 16 months ago, i have all this (Exactly the same as AS) and more with no signs of improvement:
– Blurred vision that doesn’t seem to be picked up in a standard eye test.
– A general feeling that my vision is not quite right / not the same as it used to be
– Difficulty recognising people at a distance or reading signs/posters.
– Reduced vision in low lighting
– Bright lights remaining as after-images for longer than normal. (Much, much longer than normal)
– Objects appear darker when in front of a bright background eg. faces can look unusually dark when in front of a window with sunshine outside.
– When I look at a plain background – say a wall – in low light it can seem to show a speckled haze or visual snow or graininess. (This is huge for me)
– Heat wave vision – You know when you look on a tar road thats very hot and you see the ” heat waves” coming from the tar – well i have this with all objects!
– Millions of floaters
– Very high eye pressure readings
– Pain behind eyes
– Eyes get tired very quickly and always feel sore
– Things look 2 dimentional
– Colours look alot brighter than normal
From the looks of things, these eye symptoms are permanent… That scares me. Is there nothing that can help us??
How are you now? Did the symptoms go away?
I have so many of these symptoms.
Started when I came off sertraline.
Have tons of these eye symptoms…..on ssri’s, mood stabilizers, anti anxiety……but is there anything I can do? I am in canada?!
There have been vision issues reported at the Effexor withdrawal topix site.
I had a reaction to lidocaine at the dentist no epi in the shot as previous episodes at the dentist stopped them using it.
My one eye would not close the other would not open… odd to say the least. The next day I had my usual eye exam scheduled. I could not see certain things they were just gone … the bit of letters and numbers they shine on the wall one block was just white empty… when i told her so she got all excited… did a few more tests one picture with small boxes looked fine thru one eye on the next the boxes were devided by an extra line that was not there… something was off with the dot in the center too but I can’t recall what. She sent me to my gp who sent me to the hosp for a cat scan saying I was leaning as I walk and my pupils were not reacting properly to light. Off I went to the hosp had a cat scan which showed a small calcification in my brain… the hosp sent me to a ophthalmologist who tested my eyes and said they were fine… when I talk to him about further testing he said i would have to follow proper channels and that a neurologist was the next step so I got in cue to see him… he did another I think he did yet another mri on my brain… sent me to a drug study to see if I was allergic to lidocaine… that took a year or so… apparently I am not allergic tho I did have a sever pain in my head moments after the small amount of the drug was pricked into my skin… I was told at that hosp I had a TIA and that it just happened as a coincidence when I was given an injection of lidocaine at the dentist. I have not had lidocaine since…. I am scared to.
After the injection I walked home as it was close and I could not drive.talked breifly about the possiblility that I was having a stroke….. I had some soup that was made already by a family member had him take a picture of my odd face and promptly passed out. I woke feeling odd and far away but could open and close both my eyes.
I had wanted to see a neurological ophthalmologist but never did as no doctor thought it useful.
Drugged 18 years with various antidepressants cold turkey from Effexor 7 years ago… long line of crap since.
MY eyes went bad when I was on a combination of effexor and celexa it was sudden…. or seemed that way to me. Have had glasses since during cold turkey I had many vision issue and had many since.
There has been one person on the Effexor topix site who has severe issues with his eyes and did get the testing needed I am not sure what country he was in and have not found his post but it is there some place if I find it I will send him this message.
This is in fact one of many problems with antidepressant drugs just one of many but I guess you have to start some place
I started having issues with dental freezing after the cold turkey I have also been extremely reactive to medications so much so I could not take anything. I know in my gut this is related to antidepressants.
You sound just like me. Everything you have been through and some things I’m yet to go through. I don’t feel so alone and I think I should taper off zoloft slowly. I hope this can help this eye pain!
post from efffexor withdrawal topix Re: hemmorhage in part of the eye sorry there is not more information due to the post being deleted by whoever monitors the site.
“Off effexor xr for two months, just went to retina specialist today, said looked like a different set of eyes from my first visit! Hemorrhages gone, vision is 20/20, 20/30. Have been gradually decreasing pred forte drops, and with the tapering of drops eyes still healing!!!! Again if anyone takes this med, and experiences vision degeneration, PLEASE GET CHECKED!!!!@@”
original posts disappeared as they often do on this site.
but here is a bit that was captured in a quoted post.
just switching med today. Wanna see if hemmorhage clears up. Too coincidental with the start time of effexor and the blurring. Happened within a week! I will post with update of condition. Hang in there! Can you find out if it was actual hemmorhaging or glaucoma. Read that is possible as well with seniors. Although I’ve suffered with gad and bouts of depression for yrs,always had eyes like a hawk! Wish I could take Paxil again! Was on it for 18 yrs before it pooped out. Didn’t have any unnormal anxiety issues for that whole time! Sorry if any spelling errors, can’t see worth a crap!
more missing posts but the topic was caught in a quote here
change my name wrote:
I had a sudden lack of vision while on effexor I too thought it was just blurred vision but then the sudden change which never did improve. I too effexor a couple of years after that with new eye glasses of course that I needed all the time before I did not have glasses. I went to the laser surgery doc to see if they could fix it they only said they could not guarentee my surgery and it would cost me 8 grand they did not say why or what was wrong. I just assumed my eyes suddenly went bad for now reason. No doctor has said anything to me about Effexor causing bad eyesight and I have directly asked them when this happened. I would think the eye exam I had for the surgery would have shown if I had this damage… the person running the diagnostic was not my cup of tea I knew when I left if I ever did have this done it would not be by that particular business. Have you been able to recover you vision??? I would like to learn more about this is there any way to repair it?
just switching med today. Wanna see if hemmorhage clears up. Too coincidental with the start time of effexor and the blurring. Happened within a week! I will post with update of condition. Hang in there! Can you find out if it was actual hemmorhaging or glaucoma. Read that is possible as well with seniors. Although I’ve suffered with gad and bouts of depression for yrs,always had eyes like a hawk! Wish I could take Paxil again! Was on it for 18 yrs before it pooped out. Didn’t have any unnormal anxiety issues for that whole time! Sorry if any spelling errors, can’t see worth a crap!
I took prozac for several years off and on. I started having issues in 2006 after being off the drug for a year. I started getting anxiety and got light sensitivity and shaky vision. I started the prozac back up and most symptoms went away. Once I stopped it in 2009 I started getting trails in my vision and flashing lights when going from a dark room into a bright room. I restarted the Prozac in 2010 and switched to zoloft after a month due to a constant headache that started from the prozac… within 3 days I was seeing the visual snow. I stopped it immediately and have had symptoms ever since.
I’ve taken mild antidepressants for years; several years ago I developed Adies Syndrome. Maybe you guys can look into that as well
I take Sertraline and Minanserin, the first for depression and the second for sleep issues. I have been taking this combination for six monts, and during that time my vision has become gradually worse. I don’t know which causes the issue; it could be either or both.
Now my vision is blurry most of the time, and I have trouble reading. Sometimes I see double too. I am going to a optician next week, but I don’t think she will find anything. A year ago, my vision was perfect. I should not have any age related issues, as I am only nineteen. When I hear about people suffering permanent vision changes, it makes me feel anxious.
I would like to help you in your research, but I don’t dare to ask for an hospital eye test. I just quit antipsychotics eight monts ago, and my new doctor does not support that decicion. I am doing so much better without them, and I am afraid asking for a test could make him lose trust in my recovery. Being what he calls “a bothersome patient” just feels too risky right now. Even riskier than possibly damaging my vision without knowing why. I am afraid a lot of people feel that way.
These are my eye symptoms: When I move my head, normally my eyes should come around instantly at the same time as my head. This doesn’t happen. There is a ‘lag’ or a time lapse between my head moving and my eyes catching up. This makes me uncoordinated, and my judgement poor. I stumble a fair bit, and bump into things if I try to do things at the speed I would have done them say five years ago. Living this way makes me nauseous, agitated, easily stressed and withdrawn. This is largely because I can’t engage in activities the way I would like to. My vision is‘blurry’ all of the time and I feel as if the muscles at the back of my eyes are constricted or slow to work. It eases at night time by about 20 percent. When I am trying to adjust my focus from near to far, and far to near, I get pain behind my eyes. When I move my eyes from right to left, or up and down it hurts at the back of my eyes and there is the time delay. When I wear my glasses, it is okay when I am not moving around, but when I am moving, turning, etc, wearing the glasses worsens my symptoms even more. In bright sunlight and in night driving I feel I get ‘blinded’ more severely and the effect lingers for too longer by comparison to how it used to be. Most evenings around 8pm, my eyes start to look very pained and sore. 15 minutes prior to that, my eyes feel very lazy and its difficult to move them around and I have a ‘tumbling’ sensation in my head. I don’t know if this next bit of information is helpful, but I can tell you when I DON’T get these symptoms: I don’t get this happening if I am sitting still – fixing my gaze on one point: like working on the computer or chopping vegetables, or writing.
Ann Kelly, I have the same problems and I am miserable. I weaned myself off of Klonopin, Lamital 400mgs, and now I am down to 10 mg of Prozac. These drugs have ruined my life!!
I have exactly the same problems coming off Citalopram. Within a few days I had major vertigo and lots of static snow. After a week of barely being able to stand up for vision problems I decided to go back on the pills for a while. Within in *ONE HOUR* of taking one citalopram pill the vertigo and snow had completely gone.
This is pretty identical to what I’ve been going through when you wrote this is when I got off and started to notice these issues. I’ve also noticed depth perception issues. But definitely when I move my head it takes time for my eyes to focus instead of being in a bubble I was very athletic now I’m more timid with my vision and feel isolated as everything is stressful like you said. I am going to dabble with antidepressants again after 4 years of looking for natural solutions and Alternatives and medical answers. Found nothing. I already feel like hell so I have nothing to lose at this point but the try and see how I feel again. There are other variables to why Vision could go bad but it does seem like there’s a strong correlation between these antidepressants causing these issues.
Christopher / All,
Has anyone experienced any improvement since posting on here? I am coming up on 5 months being off Cymbalta for a short time and experiencing much of the same issues. Scared as heck.
People improve all the time from what I understand but leave these websites when they do… who would post if they could live life?
These are my symptoms: When I move my head, normally my eyes should come around instantly at the same time as my head. This doesn’t happen. There is a ‘lag’ or a time lapse between my head moving and my eyes catching up. This makes me uncoordinated, and my judgement poor. I stumble a fair bit, and bump into things if I try to do things at the speed I would have done them say five years ago. Living this way makes me nauseous, agitated, easily stressed and withdrawn. This is largely because I can’t engage in activities the way I would like to. My vision is‘blurry’ all of the time and I feel as if the muscles at the back of my eyes are constricted or slow to work. It eases at night time by about 20 percent. When I am trying to adjust my focus from near to far, and far to near, I get pain behind my eyes. When I move my eyes from right to left, or up and down it hurts at the back of my eyes and there is the time delay. When I wear my glasses, it is okay when I am not moving around, but when I am moving, turning, etc, wearing the glasses worsens my symptoms even more. In bright sunlight and in night driving I feel I get ‘blinded’ more severely and the effect lingers for too longer by comparison to how it used to be. Most evenings around 8pm, my eyes start to look very pained and sore. 15 minutes prior to that, my eyes feel very lazy and its difficult to move them around and I have a ‘tumbling’ sensation in my head. I don’t know if this next bit of information is helpful, but I can tell you when I DON’T get these symptoms: I don’t get this happening if I am sitting still – fixing my gaze on one point: like working on the computer or chopping vegetables, or writing.
After taking 10mg of Lexapro for 8 months, I slowly weened myself off because I was experiencing brain shocks. I felt great after two months of being off of it, but I slowly noticed vision changes. My vision was never 20/20 and I’m near-sighted so I’ve always had difficultly seeing words clearly from a far. Now anything past my nose is blurry. I have to sit back from my computer to focus on the letters on the keyboard and I have problems driving because everything looks foggy or blurry, especially at night. When I wear my prescription glasses I get headaches because I’m squinting, which I normally only do when I can’t see words from a far. So I asked my doctor if this was a side effect of coming off Lexapro and he said no. I took his word for it, but I’m not convinced. I’m only 24 years old and I know my vision didn’t change that drastically over 8 months.
A long time ago (1977) I was given Stellazine, an anti-psychotic. Within a day, I was seeing double vision. I also had no depth perception. I complained to a nurse, who said, “Don’t worry, that’s just a side effect of the medication.” So I demanded to see the doctor to get my prescription changed, and was told that he was not there, and I would have to wait a week to see him. I threatened to sue the clinic. They took me off the drug. The problem stopped, but it recurs periodically, even to this day.
I took anti-depressants and benzos for many years. I do not see well at all, especially at night. I am currently 45 years old, but have had a strong prescription (bifocals) for a number of years.
A few months after I’d started taking Celexa, I started waking up in the mornings with double vision. It would eventually go away during the day, but I noticed that it would happen after naps too. And then, I noticed that it would happen after computer use or an extended period of watching television.
After playing around with my eyes for a bit, I started to narrow down the problem: my left eye wasn’t moving as you’d expect it to. My vision was “jumping” or “skipping”. If I covered my right eye and only used my left, and stared directly at a small object (say, a hair clip) while bowing my head, the object would appear to “jump”. If I did the same without any eyes covered, the clip would double (vertically, I believe.)
I went to an ophthalmologist who DX’d it as a partial paralysis of…something. I don’t have the notes handy. At this point, I didn’t connect it with the Celexa at all.
But several months ago, I was transitioned from Celexa to Zoloft — and I haven’t had the eye problem since.
I am researching along these very lines. In the article you state you took along medical evidence about the dangers of anti-depressants, including persisting alterations to brain function in rat studies and some literature from RxISK. I was wondering if you had the links to these references? Also any of the other commenters who said they had seen other published medical info about it.
Hi sorry if this double posts not sure on moderation-
I am a researcher and some of you mention articles you have read eg persisting alterations to brain function in rat studies and some literature from RxISK. Do you have references to these articles? And if anyone else in the comments section has any to have they would be appreciated.
I too have symptoms, I’m ringing the doc today. Mine are strange though, it’s colour changes. Black text changes colour to reds or, purple and green when i`m reading. It’s in both eyes and can be different colours in each, like some of these letters are now purple and some green. It happened on Zoloft 5 years ago, disappeared with prozac and after 18months on paxil it’s back again. Optician says my eyes are fine. It’s weird.
I was just telling someone today that for some ‘crazy’ reason, my eye sight seems to have declined at an incredibly rapid rate since going on new anti depressant medications. For several years I was on Effexor. For whatever reason, the medication seemed to stop working and I ended up going through the worst depression of my life. My doctor took me off the Effexor, and after going through some horrific withdrawals from that medication; he put me on Wellbutrin and Remeron. I am 47 years old and previously noticed that my eyes were getting ‘old’ and I could tell I needed reading glasses. However; my eyesight seems to have gotten really bad all within the last month. (I have been on the new meds for a couple of months). I kinda thought I was imagining it – especially going through such a horrible depression..I just figured I MUST be imagining it. After all, I could not see how an anti depressant could create a rapid deterioration of my eye sight; and then I read all these comments. Maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought…LOL
Hello all. I have just come back from the optometrist. To give you some background, when the dose of Effexor-XR was hiked to 325mg daily, I lost eight diopters of sight within weeks, and developed vertical diplopia (double vision stacked one on top of the other) sparking a panic that led to an urgent MRI investigation for a brain tumour. There wasn’t one. I was duly prescribed graduated lenses to correct distance, middle and close vision.
When I was withdrawn from SSRI/SNRI therapy I was warned by my clinician that visual skewing was a possibility and told not to drive or ride a bike for at least six weeks. I did indeed experience visual tilting/skewing with the muscles in my eyes causing my house to look as though it was tilted at 45 degrees. It was terrifying.
Since withdrawing, my eyesight has improved, even allowing for normal changes due to aging. However, the optometrist has had to change my prescription and add prisms, as my eye muscles are still to go different ways. I have SSRI/SNRI-induced dystonia/dyskinesia.Lisa, you’re not crazy. David H, the World Health Organisation mentioned visual disturbance in relation to SSRIs some time ago and also recommended that people should not drive during withdrawal. As an aside, I no longer need corrective lenses for distance and middle vision, only reading. The optometrist has no doubt that the divergent inner eye muscles have been affected by SSRI/SNRI medication.
Dear Linda. Your story stood out s in some spectacular I can empathise. I am 52 and have a very high prism correction in my varifocals which I have to wear constantly. I have 9 yes 9 prisms in total and my optometrist can only see this amount increasing! This depresses me a lot. The lenses are thick at the outer edges and therefore conspicuous. I have been on seroxat (paroxeteine) for 20 years and I never considered there could be a link between the drug and the effects in eye muscle movement. How can I prove this is so? This ‘disability’ has meant I can’t drive, I struggle with reading because the print keeps jumping around so in all, I am very distressed by my condition.
So here we are, four years after my last post on this topic. Today, I still have light sensitivity, vertical diplopia and an issue with driving at night, in that the light emitted by streetlights and oncoming cars splinter into thousands of radiating rainbows – in much the same way as kids draw the sun. It’s a prismatic effect. Three years ago, I underwent extensive specialist testing not available from an optometrist. From memory, I was tested over about two hours. The conclusion was that the issues with my eyes have resulted from “TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) caused by serotonin syndrome/SSRI/SNRI medication”. So now I wear amber coloured sunglasses to drive at night, and these work well. I also wear special glasses for reading. My eyes are slow to refocus after reading at close quarters and this makes the diplopia (double vision) worse. It’s like the ghosting on a television, with the real image below and a “ghost” above and slightly to the right. Incidentally, no, I don’t see two cars, or two houses, lol! Vertical blinds or patterns, print, computer screens, reflective number plates and street signs are the worst offenders. I also have a sheet of pale grey acetate over my computer screen, which helps somewhat. I never told anyone, until that day (because I thought any doctor or optometrist would think I was dotty) that the print used to move on the page when I was reading. It was the reason that I stopped reading books. I now know that it is a very real phenomenon and that it was part of the issues with my eyes. That, thank goodness, has passed with time.
How are your now ?
Hi, I can relate to this so much. I’ve recently had to have prisms. I’m all over the place with my vision and it’s been 6 years now.
“Rainbows” around lights and pain — with light sensitivity are all glaucoma symptoms, which I have. Seems like every prescription and many OTC drugs say can increase glaucoma, but there are meds I need and I don’t have a choice. Back on an SSRI (with other meds) 3 days ago, and the pain in eyes is more intense, but what can you do? Mope around and be anxious all the time? Can’t do that. So, oh well — funny — I have glaucoma, but 20 years past the age people start reading glasses, my reading vision is superb. Can’t have it all.
I experience the same symptoms, i used Prozac , Anafranil and S-citap :
– Blurred vision that doesn’t seem to be picked up in a standard eye test.
– A general feeling that my vision is not quite right / not the same as it used to be
– Difficulty recognising people at a distance or reading signs/posters.
– Reduced vision in low lighting – I now know this is called nyctalopia.
– Bright lights remaining as after-images for longer than normal.
– Objects appear darker when in front of a bright background eg. faces can look unusually dark when – in front of a window with sunshine outside.
– When I look at a plain background – say a wall – in low light it can seem to show a speckled haze or visual snow or graininess.
– Episodes of a bright green haze on waking.
I just noticed the green haze this morning which is why I’m here! Just on opening eyes and soon adjusting. Also noticed that eye get jittery eyes, as though muscles aren’t quite in control. Almost always feel on verge of migraine.
Was on mirtazapine 30 to 135 mg for eleven years. Have been off all psychiatric drugs now for three years. Was diagnosed with “normal pressure” glaucoma a couple of months ago and prescribed drops. I tolerated the drops for six weeks and then found my eyes were hurting, I couldn’t wear my contacts any longer. I stopped the drops and have not yet been back to my optometrist.
Is this yet another “legacy” effect to using mirtazapine for 11 years? Does anyone have a similar experience and what have you found out or done for this? Any comments would be appreciated!
I started along mirtazapine in January 2014. The first m night I took it when I woke up in the morning I had really bad visual snow and palinopsia. My eyes were really blurry. I eventually stopped taking it in late February, when I quit cold turkey thinking I would be fine to do so after only six weeks on it. I has vertigo for three days and have since been diagnosed with a bilateral failure in my vestibular system. I also noticed a huge sensitivity to light, fluorescent lights and to bright colours and patterns. I have problems tracking fast moving objects
And feel dizzy in crowds. I had none if these problems until I started the mirtazapine and they seemed to get even worse when I suddenly stopped taking it. I have had my eyes examined thoroughly by a neuro opthamologist and my eyes themselves are very healthy. What tests can be done and does anyone know a hospital in the somerset area that carries them out? I hope this isn’t permanent 🙁
any improvement ref light sensitivity, flouresent light since your post?
For ten years I have been living with visual snow, tinnitus, afterimages, flashing lights, memory problems, brain fog……… Before that I had a lot of migraine attacks. Because of problems sleeping through the night and an early menopause they gave me Mirtazepine. Mirtazepine works great for sleeping but I am experiencing an increase in light sensitivity, visual snow and memory problems. Mirtazepine didn’t cause my problems but certainly make them a lot worser. I am now in my sixth week and if the symptoms remain then I will stop taking Mirtazepine.
My little cat was started on 5mg/day of Prozac (for obsessive behaviors and atypical aggression) and his behavior changed immediately. Among other things, he became very lethargic and his left pupil remained dilated, even in bright light. He is already blind in his right eye, so this was and is significant. I stopped the medication (8 days total on it) and his left pupil started constricting more normally, but I can tell his vision is still off, including having clear depth perception problems where they were minimal previously. He obviously is having some kind of strange visual phenomena, or is losing his sight in his left eye which I hope is not the case. He has neuro issues and I think the Prozac was like dumping gasoline on a little spark, because he is not at all the cat he was prior to the Prozac. Today is day 8 off the Prozac.
I am over 3 years off ssri’s. I was a long term user. And was on 3 different ones over a 13 year period. I have had blurry vision that the eye doctor has done numerous testing on and sees no problems. My blurry vision over the last 3 years has morphed into floaters, pixels, black dots. I now feel like there’s a haze over my eyes and I am barely see clearly mostbof the time. Other times it feels to get better. But recently it’s been constant. I almost feel like I cannot focus on any single thing at times and it’s quite scary.
I have been on Celexa for a little over a month and have had it upped to 20mg. It works great except I noticed that I have been seeing things in my peripheral vision. Like I’ll see a shape that appears to be slowly moving toward me, so, thinking it’s a spider on the wall I’ll turn my head and nothing is there. It’s not always the same shape though. Any help?
I have been on seroxat for over 20 years for OCD mostly successsfully. However in August 2013 had a major relapse with several changes of medication. All through this period I have complained of strange vision which has not shown up in vision tests and has been dismissed by doctors as health anxiety. The visual problems have made me depressed which feeds my ocd. Also as I am a professional driver it has affected my work and my cricket as I am a wicket keeper. I will show this article to my doctor next time I see him
I quit antidepressants (tricyclics) after many many decades.(I kept telling the doctor, they didn’t help. I did not have the confidence to quit until two years ago.) I noticed no difference except after I quit I had symptoms, like nausea. I also started to experience Ocular Migraines (no pain), just double vision for a few minutes, or flashers and floaters for a while. I haven’t had one for a while. (it’s been two years since discontinuing the antidepressants.) It’s been several months now, without the visual problems.
I’ve been on a few different combinations of these drugs off and on over the last 10 years. Sertraline and Celexa, Seroquel, and Mirtazapine. Side effects in the past have been common and mild – slight vision blurring, dry mouth, ocassional muscle twitches. However, after being off all drugs for a few years, I was put on higher doses of Celexa + Seroquel, then Sertraline + Mirtazapine, and am now having some very strange and scary side effects. My vision is definitely much worse, where a recent eye exam indicates that I should now be wearing glasses for distance. I also had an increase in eye floaters. A thorough retinal exam indicates the start of PVD in both eyes and a retinal tear in one eye that has been repaired and several additional retinal tufts in both eyes that need to be strengthened. At 43, it’s not altogether uncommon to have PVD, but it’s not typical either. I’m having severe dry eye problems with ghosting in both eyes, that resolves when wearing pinhole glasses. Upon waking, and staring at the ceiling I can see a distinct geometric pattern of large dots in my vision that tends to be in a greenish, yellowish hue, that disappears after a minute or two. Also, I’m having the ocassional visual aura in the lower and nose-side of the visual field of my left eye. I have no previous history of migraines or aura. The aura doesn’t last long, but it looks like the reflections you see on the top of water on a windy day and tends to be greenis-white in hue. The most concerning visual issue I’m having now is a persistent aura in the nose-side of my left eye visual field that appears to be rectangular in shape, but it can fluctuate a bit. Luckily it’s mostly in the peripheral area of the visual field, and not very bright, so it’s affecting my vision a bit but not significantly. It is greenish-gray when my eye is closed and purpleish-gray when my eye is open and also seems to be filled with some static depending on the current lighting situation. Initially, I thought it was related to the retinal tear, but the retina specialist indicates that I have not had any retinal detachment. Also, while getting to sleep I will see morphing colored blobs, brief flashes of multi-colored static in my visual field, not bright, but enough to notice and cause concern. After my next follow up with the retina specialist, I may try consulting a neuro opt to see if this is related to the meds. All of this seems to have started after this new round of meds, although the retinal tear complicates the matter and may be the cause of these visual symptoms.
Just an addition to my previous comment, which I forgot to mention. I’m also having persistence-of-vision issues, with strong after images that last for 3 to 4 seconds after the visual stimulus is removed.
Have been on various ssri’s and tri-cyclics for anxiety without any problems however 3 years ago I was prescribed paroxetine. Advertised as having “absolutely no side affects” (I had read that there were lots of side-affects but my G.P reassured me that this was bogus. To cut a very long story short, after 11 months of appalling withdrawal I have been clear of all medication now for a week….. However since quitting my eyes which were slightly affected, are now really playing up. I cannot focus, I have flashing lights and residual images. I am booking an appointment with my G.P on Monday. What I really want to know if there is a ‘recovery’ period or is the eye/neurological damage permanent??? I am really struggling. So glad to have found all of this now!
It’s been 12 years since I took seroxat and my vision is no better. I think it’s going to be permanent for me 🙁
I realize this is an older post..however was wondering if you were told it was a temporary or permanent issue? Thanks
I am experiencing some very scary vision/cognitive issues. I take Abilify, Lithium, wellbutrin. I see the world as if my pupils are dilated. I have light sensitivity as well. It makes it difficult to navigate through the day, and gives me headaches.
This post is old so I’m not sure if I’ll get any replies but I need help! This is the post I’ve been hunting the web for, for 12 years. I’m currently banging my head against a brick wall with the nhs who won’t properly look into my symptoms. I’m adamant that seroxat caused the exact same symptoms as AS describes. Any help at all would be gratefully received. Thanks.
i took 1 sertraline 50mg antidepressant 2 days ago i was prescibed i got horrible side effects and blurred vision all the side effects have gone now but the vision is still very slightly blurred im shocked this can still be from 1 tablet has anyone else had this?
Sue: has the blurry vision issue gone now?
The worst eye problems I experienced were with Effexor. I felt like the path between my eyes and brain were electrified. I could feel and hear zaps of electricity running thru me. Seemed like every time I blinked it would get worse.
I finally asked my doctor to switch me, because if was starting to worry it would not ever go away. Even off the drug, the eye zapping side effects lasted more than 2 months. Years later I will experience a temporary recurrence.
Raven thank you for this. It has added another piece to our jigsaw of trying to follow what our son described, he having been put onto Effexor and later advised by a psychiatrist to stop it, cold turkey. I so wish we had known about RxISK then, and read your comment. Our son died about 2 and a half months later. He could no longer concentrate on his web design work, the electric shocks in his head, he said, were terrifying. Reporting these back to psychiatrist and social worker, he was berated for being attention-seeking, humiliated, and decided he must be completely mad. He drowned himself. We feel he was driven to do this by callous rejection of the facts he was reporting about effects of the drugs.
I pray no one else will give up their precious life because of the lies of Big Pharma and the self protecting dismissive prescribers. Keep sharing all this information. Gradually we will be able, hopefully, to piece together what is actually happening to eyes and brains. And then, hold some feet to the fire. Too late for our son, not too late for the rest of you.
I have the same problem after taking cymbalta. Tok 1 30 mg and I got blurry vision. Its been 3 weeks and no improvment. Did you recover?
I’m kind of having the opposite problem… I was on Seroquel for 9 years and since my doctor weened me off I’ve noticed that my eyesight is far more blurry and my pupils are constantly EXTREMELY dilated. My pupils started dilating quite soon after I was weened off the Seroquel, but I didn’t notice my vision starting to blur until a bit over a month of being completely off of it.
I have vision problems with divalproex sodium er (depakote er) and they got/get worse adding lorazepam. A strange wavy vision, constant blurred vision, after images.
I have had all of these symptoms and not one person can seem to figure out what is wrong with me! I took one dose of 20mg paroxetine in July of 2015 and it is now November and while all of the other symptoms are gone like the nausea, fatigue, spinning feeling etc. my vision problems are still there and seem to have been consistent. I could not put it into words more perfectly than this post. I have been to two primary cares physicians, ophthalmologist, neurologist, MRI, EEG, and everything has come back normal. I have an appointment with an optician in few days to see if I need me contact lense prescription changed (highly doubt it considering I have had the same prescription since 18 and I am only 23 and vision changes occurred only after taking paroxetine) and if that doesn’t work my neurologist said to come back. I feel pretty hopeless at this point. I wonder if I will ever get to live my life normally again. I can’t drive at night and working is very difficult considering I have to stare at my computer all which makes the problem worse. I was prescribed the medication for anxiety and it has done nothing but make my anxiety worse. I hope the damage is not permanent and I pray every do to get better but it seems like it won’t and most doctors treat me like it’s all in my head or send me to someone else. If this has happened to anyone else and you are being treated for it please let me know.
I’m still trying to figure it out I’m about to personally get back on the medication it’s been 4 years in my vision is hell I feel peripheral is off that the perception sense of bubble. My life has also deteriorated. But I’m going to try to keep going, the drug that I was taking was for 7 years and it was Paxil. Of course there are other possible variables but I feel it’s related to this as well.
I am exactly the same. This happened to me after taking trazodone 150mg just the once last jan 2019 and EVER since my vision has been gradually deteriorating. No one can find the problem. Doctors tell me I’m just experiencing anxiety. I don’t know what to do. I’m completely gutted. They tell me the medication can’t do that but I know it has because there’s no other explanation. I feel my life is over. I can’t drive anymore because my brain can’t keep track of anything in motion.
I just don’t understand.
How are you now? I realise you posted this 5 years ago. Were you able to locate the problem?
Ellen how are you these days?
I too was doing trazadone. For about a month. Have vision problems
My vision still continues to get worse even though I’ve been off medication for over 5 years now. I believe it put my brain into a permanent migraine aura state.
I will try to get electroretinogram ordered. For years now I’ve been going to the optometrists and ophthalmologists with complaints about my blurred vision and other visual problems, that come and go. I finally had cataract surgery only to discover that it did NOT help- I still have severely blurred vision, often in only one eye, but not always the same eye. It seems like there are clouds that obscure my vision sometimes. At my last exam by an ophthalmologist I was told that I have a “wrinkled retina” (macular pucker) but when pushed, the doctor admitted that it was very mild and that it could not explain the difficulties I am having. Most especially that if the problems were due to the macular pucker, they would not change from day to day. I will have days, or hours, when my vision is fine. Other times I can barely see at all and need to ask for help in stores reading labels etc.
During this period of time I have tried unsuccessfully to go off of a very high dose of lexapro (40mgs) I’ve been on lexapro for 13yrs. The eye issues have been esp bad after going off the lexapro abruptly and then going back on it many months later.
I’m due for another eye exam in 9 mos, I will push for more testing. There are days when I need to use a magnifying glass to read small print, and yet I score 20/20 and 20/30 on eye exams. I don’t understand how I can “see” this well, as the test seems to show, and yet not be able to see, at the same time. I remember talking to someone about how vision is more than what happens in your eyes/retina, etc, it’s what your brain does with that information. So to me, it seems my brain is not able to use the incoming images properly at certain times, and can process them just fine at other times. Hopefully I can convince the doctor to do further tests.
Has thing gotten better for you? I’m having the same issues from lexapro and I’m hopeless.
Have had a dramatic change in vision since taking celexa and wel-butrin , i have severe vision loss , double vision ! Very scary , going to Doctor this week ! Ill let you know what they say ! Thanks
I have what I’ve called ‘purple haze’ from sertraline for a number of years. I used to get it more when on higher doses but it never fully went when on lower ones. I only told my doc about it coming back today. I’d got quite scared things had got out of control. It’s not really an ‘episodic’ thing like with auras. It’s there all the time and sometimes extends to distortions in my hearing too. Like I hear sirons and car horns in the radio or I hear music when in heavy traffic if that makes sense. It’s quite pretty but really shouldn’t be there.
Much much worse in low light. Especially when there are bright lights about. Eg night driving or being outside in busy lit streets in the city where there is a multitude of different light sources.
Things move, waver, pulsate and flicker across my vision in many neon colours (lots of purple hence the name).
Movement causes trails or cascades of sparkling droplets. It feels like I can move the air around with my hands.
During the day colours glow like they’re alive and the walls ‘breathe’ and quiver. The world is more than 3d. It’s like it’s in 4d if that’s even a thing.
Did anyone get any answers from any tests?
My doc decreased my sert to 50mg from 75mg and we are waiting til it goes. I’m also on 37.5mg mirtazapine too but it was added only last year and I don’t think it makes it any different. It’s deffo the sertraline.
Thanks for any input
I have been on many anti-depressants for almost 30 years now. I’m also on topamax for migraines (for about 12 yrs). Didn’t notice my eyesight deteriorating until the last 2-3 years, also my eyes easily irritated by the light. Can’t wait to see an ophthalmologist after reading all of these posts! 🙁
I quit effexor 2 years ago after being on it for 2.5 years. Got visual snow from the first dose. And light sensitivity that is still getting worse
I have had enduring eye problems now since I tapered 225 mg of Effexor. My optician kept telling me my eyes were fine, but I insisted that they send me to an opthamologist at the local hospital, who also told me my eyes were fine. I asked for an electroretinogram which they reluctantly referred me to and it showed some kind of abnormality at the back of my eye which they refer to as a ‘subtle abnormality’. (My eye!!!!)
Anyway, now, I want to ask for the test results so I can ask for another referral to Miss Dayan for a second opinion, and they are reluctant to do this. On my last doctors visit, my GP implied that she couldn’t even see evidence on the portal that the test even took place!!! (Total mince… they are stonewalling me and reluctant for me to have access to the results)
The symptoms show themselves when I try to move my eyes or my head. My eyes seem to move much slower than my head resulting in me bumping into stuff, and being generally clumsy! I was told these drugs contain heavy metals, and I wonder if there are deposits in my brain resulting in some kind of neurological problem… any insights and ideas would be welcome!
I have been on Sertraline 50mg – 100mg since 2002 and am currently weaning myself off. I am on 25mg now. Over the past few years I have had an annual appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital where they diagnosed AZOOR. My peripheral vision is awful, in other words. I have a lot of flashing lights in my left eye too, particularly when I am tired. I asked the doctor if this could be related to Sertraline (I have asked this every year I have had an appointment) and the doctor dismisses the link immediately.
I started taking Citalopram 20MG only a month ago. And I’m having blurry vision. I use reading glasses all of the time. It’s just been within the past week that all of the sudden I needing much stronger reading glasses.How random that I considered doing a search for ” blurred vision and SSRI’s” and found over seventy posts just right here. But I’m also so spaced out and forgetful these days that I probably won’t anything. One I won’t do is sleep. Nope don’t do much of that since starting this med.
I live in New Mexico and seeing a psychiatrist is a rare opportunity. I’m on a waiting list. I actually got this perception over a year ago from my Gynecologist and it has been in the medicine cabinet. And only took it because I’ve had to wait almost two months for an appointment with a GP and of course because I was/am/was/am… well anyone taking SSRI’s understands.
Antidepressant type medications very definitely cause blurry vision for me. I am now taking 25 mg of Pristiq because that’s the dose the company has produced for people trying to taper off of it. I have been prescribed low doses of antidepressants over the years for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, which have since been ruled out! No wonder the various antidepressants were so hard to tolerate and didn’t help my fatigue. I know the antidepressants caused blurry vision because when I would go off of them my eyesight would sharpen back up again. I don’t know if it will now because I have since had my lenses replaced due to cataracts. My vision was so blurry I couldn’t even see the largest letters on the chart. People with cataracts usually claim that colors are brighter or their vision less foggy. Mine was just so blurry that my husband’s face across the table was blurred.
I am convinced that SSRIs are not the only medicines inducing eye problems.
Many medicines are inducing defective vision, in many people and I am very worried that pharmaceutical companies are not divulging this kind of information.
If one has a procedure to correct defective vision, induced by meds,the additional medicines given pre op/ post op, may further induce other catastrophic problems.
Does one put up with the problem or look forward to perhaps a decline in health for the sake of having ‘better vision’?
What if the problem can not be resolved due to the individuals meds causing further deterioration of eye sight?
When defective vision can not be restored and they try the conventional methods and fail, they then may blame it on something else.
For example: macular degeneration, choroidal metastasis, retina detachment, inflammation of the cornea etc………
If medicines are causing defective eyesight and the vision can not be restored, honesty is the best policy.
The humane way is the best way.
I have been on ssri for 20 yrs. Had no idea it impacted eye health. I have advanced glaucoma and have had operations, microstents, micro shunts and nothing has worked. The ssri must be the problem. Do you know of an antidepressant that does not damage the optic nerve?
I admire masters of their profession however, I don’t trust Big Pharma.
My eyesight has deteriorated profoundly, since my horrific experience with an adverse drug reaction.
It continues to deteriorate however, I am trying to slow down the process of attrition by keeping myself healthy and eating all the right super foods.
I can afford to do this however, many unfortunate people can’t because they are on a treadmill of ‘endless cocktails of medicines’.
What does a poor patient do when they have to watch what vegetables and foods they eat and they are unable to participate in maintaining optimum eyesight due to the meds they take?
Big Pharma, this is not quality of life.
This is like being chained to the devils clutch ~ no control and no quality of life!
Meds, more radiation and unable to enjoy healthy eating seems like deterioration of the whole vital system which keeps us well and fully alive.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could ditch all the meds and start all over again!
Once you are on that horrendous treadmill it is very hard to get off.
It seems like every organ of your body is attacked by these dubious meds.
It is never ending………………………………………….. : (
The body, despite all good intentions, will never be the same again!
I was on the maximum dosage of Effexor SR for several years. Around the time I started taking it, I was diagnosed with astigmatism and 8 years later I was diagnosed with Kerataconus. Coincidence?
I’m on Effexor ER. I’ve been on 75mg for 2 months and my eyesight is already showing signs of astigmatism when just 2 months ago i had 20/15 vision! Right now my dr is assuming its dry eyes yet Im not so sure. She told me to do eye drops/gel for a week as much as possible then see an eye dr. Now I’m worried.
I’ve had multiple little eye infections since discontinuing Cymbalta a year ago. The doctor says the infections have no known cause and are specific to soft contact lens wearers. I’ve worn soft contacts for 30 years and this last year is a first for these infections. They are coming on in both eyes (not simultaneously). They make my eyes burn and make me light sensitive. Doc says it’s clumps of white blood cells. It’s leaving tiny scars each time. I believe it has something to do with damage to my immune system. I wear disposable contacts.
🙁 If anyone else is experiencing this phenomenon, please reply. Thanks.
Challenge me, either an optometrists or ophthalmologist.
I believe that many meds, combined with the impact of radiation, form hard plaques behind the lining of the eye.
Even young people are having some much problems with defective vision.
Too much technology is causing defective vision which may perhaps be the reason why we see so many young people with myopia.
Not enough sunlight, too much of the eyes focusing on technological software and poor diet lead to increasing the strength of the glasses.
It seems like the younger generation will experience further deterioration of eyesight because of stronger magnification of lenses inducted at such a young age.
I’ve always had a bit of lazy eye and shortsightedness in my right eye but didn’t really affect my life much. After adverse reaction to prozac my right eye wants to close all the time, if I’m alone and/or tired I just can’t keep it open whilst my left eye there is no problems. I can notice also that my right eye appears smaller than it used to be with drooping.
These medicines, like many other medicines, assault every organ in the body.
Like a thief in the night, they are capable of doing so much harm and then we wonder how these medical problems originated!
Is Western medicine really that clever?
I think it has mastered the art of how to generate more complications and how to stimulate the economy without having any regards for the patients well-being.
Big Pharma, you have overstepped the boundaries of healing.
How can these medicines be good if they are compromising ones health?????
It is a vicious cycle ~ you go to fix up one problem and then a dozen diseases are created.
We need to invest more research towards an innoculation of compassion not one based on harm or greed.
There are some people out there who do not have the best interests of the people they deal with, in mind.
What type of an individual are we, if we do not question everything you see?
We are being ‘hoodwinked’ by educated professionals who just want to rip people off or create problems that do not exist.
How can you trust everything someone tells you?
All the tricks of the trade can easily fool one into believing that there is a perceived problem.
I honestly can’t believe how some people practice their profession.
Either they think some people are so stupid or they believe that ‘they can fool anyone with lies and deception’.
Some professions, treat some people as if they have not got the intelligence to see right through their dishonesty.
My opinion, if you can’t be honest don’t bother.
My boyfriend became blind in one eye after taking Citalopram for only a week. By day 3 he was complaining about blurred vision and by day 5 he had damage to the retina. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any lawsuits currently representing individuals regarding loss of eye sight?
I’m burying a friend next Saturday. She died by Prescripticide.
An ssri was her first experience with antidepressants. She had 20/20 vision. She developed some bizarre and major symptoms
in her eyes. She never did make it to an opthamologist. Her citalopram experience was short-lived.
That’s terrible! I’m so sorry! How did they measure the damage to the retina? I want to try and get that measured too.
I tapered off Celexa after 8 yrs. I did a very slow taper with guidance from my psychiatrist. It’s been 5 months since I totally stopped and although I’m doing fine without the medication……I haven’t been able to see properly since. I’ve been to optometrist and ophthalmologist. My eyes are fine according to them. I have double vision and blurriness and strained eyesight all the time. My psychiatrist did tell me that this can be part of withdrawing from the antidepressants and could not tell me how long it would last as everyone is different. I also had vertigo for short time when first tapering off.
We all know where this is leading to ~ litigation.
‘Bravo’ Big Pharma and ‘Tanti Auguri’ to all the clinicians and lawyers who are rubbing their hands in glee.
In my opinion, we have come so far with technology but have not sophisticated ways and means to prevent risks.
If medicine has come such a long way, it should not harm.
This is where things can get out of hand.
The tests that are conduct on your eyes or any part of your body, can be very ambiguous.
Tests are not just black and white. There are many shades of grey.
Many tests don’t show up anything which can be very dangerous and very risky if they want to get down to the bottom of something and perform more invasive tests.
What if a condition is made to look like something and it isn’t.
You will be in for a very big shock.
The tests that you are subjected to are also very risky.
Some clinicians don’t tell you this.
You have to do all the research and try to tease all the information out of them.
If you embark on a certain procedure to correct the defective vision and it is not what they have diagnosed it to be, you may be left with a bigger problem than what you went in with.
Hypothetically speaking, the probability of unsuccessful procedures may be 5% or more.
What if the misdiagnosis leads the poor patient to worse problems with their health?
God knows however, I would hate to dwell on this concept!
I am not convinced that a diagnosis is always correct.
What if they claim they can fix a vision problem and then the procedure does nothing to benefit the patient concerned.
If one asks questions about procedures and meds, some clinicians can build up barriers.
If you ask about the risks, the answers common answers you are more likely to receive are as follows:
– We don’t know what will happen? (Which is the noble answer)
– If they go ahead with the procedure and they make an error, they could turn it all around and say that they found something worse ( they bury their mistakes)
-post op, there may be other meds involved and how do those post op meds impact your wellbeing especially, if you are ingesting other meds
– They will say you have anxiety issues and that it is all in your head, There will be no problems! ~ they throw it all onto you
and the list goes on………………………………………………………….!
I get very worried when they cannot resolve a problem and despite knowing this they still go ahead and conduct a specific procedure.
You go to a specialist, with the hope that you will have your defective vision restored but what if the meds have done too much damage beyond repair.
It is better to be upfront from the beginning then to put the patient through unnecessary pain and suffering and perhaps further risks.
What if you are planning to go ahead with a specific procedure and you end up with the very thing you are trying to cure ~Blindness!
We are placed in a rock and a hard place because if you go ahead with the procedure there are risks and if you don’t you could end up blind : (
I just can’t understand western medicine.
If it is meant to cure, why are there so many risks involved?
Rita, I am interested to find out if the CPI, consumer information pamphlet mentions that it can induce your boyfriend’s condition.
I have been on the receiving end of what so called safe medicines can do but if information is deliberately being withheld, this is a deliberate form of cruelty to mankind.
In the distant future, many clinicians will have to resort to other alternatives to heal especially, if BIG PHARMA are not doing the right thing!
We are so clever at covering things up and clever at disguising things and making them look like something else.
We are not that clever!
We are just decieving mankind and making money out of the vulnerable.
I took celexa with abilify and after afew pills had acute blurry vision. changed to Zoloft and sight got worse . went to ophthalmologist who said sight was ok. At the time I was experiencing darkness in my vision. The darkness has gotton worse.
Im afraid this medication has ruined my sight.
I am so sorry to hear about your vision deteriorating.
Why can’t opthalmologists or any other medical profession, take their heads out of the sand and say it the way it is?
The tools in your tool box are destroying so many lives.
Medicine like this – ‘can not and will not’ be in the best interest of the patient.
If the relevant bodies are not publishing this kind of information then the professionals prescribing, who can see a pattern emerging should immediately eradicate these medicines out of their tool box.
Spread the word.
Let other professionals know of the damage it is causing.
It is within your ‘duty of care’ to do the right thing by your patients.
If your vision was fine before you ingested these meds, there is something in the medicines that is causing darkness in your vision.
John, I hope you find someone who will advocate for you.
It seems that turning a blind eye to these catastrophes is not the answer.
Finding an honest professional is like finding a ‘pin in the haystack’.
All the best John.
I hope you find someone who will give you answers and will put your mind at ease.
Before ypou have assessments of your beautiful eyes, ask the professionals what the risks are.
The medicines have put you in a compromised position and now you have to put yourself through further harm by trying to understand the cause of your problem.
The perils of medicine!
In today’s Guardian (8.8.16). Many symptoms overlap with what people have reported here – bad news is there is no medical explanation as yet – and as the consultant says ‘It doesn’t exist. I’m going to make it exist’. There is absolutely no mention of visual snow/dragging vision being linked to prescription drugs. Good news – someone is trying to get the condition recognised. Declaration of interest by me – Professor Goadsby was my mother’s consultant at the neurological hospital in Queen’s Square, London. He’s a neurologist with a particular interest in migraine. I wonder how best to raise the matter of a possible link to psychotropic drugs?
correction – there is a very brief mention of ‘unproven’ links to legal/illegal drug use and auto-immune diseases.
Plus a further thought – people posting their experiences here of visual snow could contact Prof Goadsby?
It is a known fact within the medical fraternity that auto-immune diseases are induced by some antibiotics. I would not be surprised if other medicines induce auto-immune diseases, also.
Just because the information is not all out there, it does not mean that these medicines are exempt from causing so much dubious harm within the body. Many people are unable to make the connection therefore, they believe everything a professional tells them.
Auto-immune disorder just does not come to you, from the sky.
It has to manifest from some dubious medicine.
The people who have been harmed can, slowly but surely, go back to their medine history and have a fairly intuitive feeling which one may be the root cause of their problems.
People, with commone sense, research and with the help of David’s website can piece the puzzle together.
These medicines, ruin the neurotransmitters of the brain.
I believe this is why so many people are having visual problems.
So many people are suffering from neurological problems and not attributuing their problems to the meds thay ingest.
We have to question the credibility of so many meds?
Like visual snow, some patients can suffer from neurological maladies.
I still believe that random flawed batches are at play.
A selected few are given flawed batches to see what happens.
For the people who do not suffer, they would not understand where the sufferer is coming from?
Like I said, these medical problems don’t come to us from the sky.
These drugs have destroyed my life. I have persistent effect of double vision 3 days since being forced into taking quetiapin in a psych ward (only had anxiety previously). Now everything I look at appears doubled horizontally, yet I can’t quite say I see two images at the same time, it’s just messed up. I’m unable to drive, work or anything, the only time I see properly is about 10 inches from my face. It’s been 2 months since I withdrew from the drug and it’s not getting any better, I’ve had numerous eye exams and have 20/20 vision and no visible problems with my eyes (except top end of scale eye pressure) due to see an opthologist shortly. I’m seriously scared this is a neurological issue that can’t be resolved and it’s making me suicidal. I’ve searched everywhere for answers, could it be dopamine issues, hppd, high pressure in my eyes, midbrain problems, nerve problems I have researched and researched and am struggling to find anyone with this issue. It’s debilitating and intolerable and started 3 days after taking mirtazapene/seroquel. If anyone knows/has similar issue please let me know.
Since sertraline my visual symptoms are weird and getting weirder – vibrating/jumpy/twitching vision, static, patterns or heavy detail causes a sort of flickering. I see blobs, streaks, haloes, jerky vision and such prolonged after images (negative and positive) that I have trouble focussing. If I close one eye it sees greener, the other sees redder – and not just a little bit either, it’s quite pronounced. Vision in low light is terrible and I’m seeing all kinds of odd things like a rectangle LEANS when I know it’s straight. It’s like all the angles are wrong! The latest is double vision, but only when looking downwards. (I noticed it when I was trying to glue a drawer together and I couldn’t work out which of the edges to glue only to realise there was one edge, not two.)
It’s hard to explain but it feels like my brain isn’t making the images from both eyes merge properly anymore. Like my vision isn’t double when I look at an object I see one…BUT I’m really aware of what’s *behind* what I’m focussing on as well and that’s all doubled too. I think it’s normal for it to be doubled but it’s like my eyes want to look at the background equally.
So sorry to hear about your experiences with this medication.
I can not imagine what you and many others must be going through.
It must be very distressing and unbearable for you.
I honestly do not know what to say to drug companies that are destroying so many lives?
I do not know what to say to the professionals who prescribe them?
Are we evolving as a human race that is fit or capable of fending or looking out for one another?
Somehow along the way, power and money has become more important than our species.
Please hang in there and be strong.
There has to be an end to this diabolical situation,sooner rather than later!
We fight to have our rights as human beings however, no one is listening.
Ignorance is total bliss for those who are suppose to be the gatekeepers of our well being.
Since when did medicine become so corrupt?
Thanks for the response. ‘Psychiatry’ is legalised murder indeed, not only do I have a host of health issues (double vision, visual snow, night blindness, nerve damage, weakness in my muscles, arms feel like lead weights, toes now out of line, low blood pressure, inability to walk hardly, cognitive/memory issues, tinnitus, inability to feel emotions, depersonalisation, derealization, dizziness standing up, numbness/tingling, joint ache, insomnia, inability to exercise or feel pleasure) I also went through what could be described as torture in the ‘hospital’. I regretfully got convinced into voluntarily admitting myself after a relationship breakdown and a few other issues became too much, ‘while i was vunerable’ the county hospital said it would do me ‘good’, oh how I’d give anything (even prefer a long prison sentence) to go back in time and say ‘no’, Before this cocktail of poisons was forced on me I had perfect vision, was really healthy, a keen cyclist, canoeing, walker, good career, intelligent (PhD), and so much going for me (but I didn’t see that at the time cos I was focused on the losses), now my health and subsequent ‘life ‘has been completely and utterly destroyed (I can barely see properly) thanks to these drugs and noone is accountable, since there’s no ‘physical’ issues observable (my eyes are fine, it’s my brain that’s f**ked). These issues are indeed intolerable, and the only thing stopping me from jumping in front of a train is ‘hope’ that my health will eventually return, I’m due to see a neurologist soon, in addition to weekly doctors visits to try and decipher and possibly fix this damage. Moreover my health is equivalent to having been an alcoholic for 50 yrs, drug addict, obese, while I didn’t even drink alcohol, the torture I now have to endure with all these health issues is worse than a life prison sentence for the crime of doing what??? Being vulnerable?? It’s incomprehensible how such drugs could even be legal, let alone claimed to ‘help’, if I have to live with these health issues for too long with no avail I’ll probably give in…I can’t even watch TV without seeing a mess…i cannot put into words how devastating and intolerable it is…
Did your eyes ever get better, my eyes are doing things as well…
Not really. I still have gaze fixation issues (shaky wobbly vision) and double vision looking at the TV etc.
What are your issues?
So your visual snow improved/recovered?
Luke how are you?
I get you Luke. Please don’t give up hope.
Please do not give up hope.
I am hearing about so many organizations that are doing the wrong thing and being caught out red-handed.
Drug companies, trust me, will be next in line – it is only a matter of time!
They can’t keep doing what they are doing and not be held accountable for their actions.
Many innocent people are ruined because of these ‘so called therapeutic meds’ and are being poorly misrepresented, ignored and deceived by some of these medical professionals.
How can anyone fight a system that is so corrupt?
If I had my way, I would be talking to the public about my experiences and the injustice I have experienced, along the way.
This silent health disability prevents me from doing so.
There are days where I feel alive and forget about my weakness and limitations.
If I try to do so much whilst in this ‘strong state of mind’, I then fall down into a heap of nothing. No energy to do anything. Very crippling, indeed! :'(
I would pave an easier way for all, just so that people’s dismal situations could be improved.
Unfortunately, I have been mislead, misrepresented, ignored and denied of any civil rights.
I understand Luke, when you say your are suffering with poor health because these meds ‘suck all the vitality’ out of you and the people who are meant to help us, give us the ‘run around’ and treat us like a ‘nobody’ ~ It is all in our mind!!!!!!!!!!!
Hang in there my friend.
Be strong and believe that something good will come out of all that many people like yourself are enduring.
I just can’t understand how the gatekeepers of our safety are letting this fall through the cracks, like water through a sieve.
Surely, after witnessing negative changes in behaviour, witnessing so many deaths and damaging so many good people’s health, one would think that changes would have been made a long time ago.
Even if we make a song and dance about matters that impact the human race, who will take our concerns seriously??????
Hang in there and do not give up hope, we have to believe and trust that help is on our way.
Somhow, somwhere, out there, someone will challenge the wrongdoings of these companies.
Interesting to note, perhaps it should not be placed in this section, that Adolf Hitler was on a long list of meds.
His medical reports, fully detail that he was on barbiturates and I wonder if his long list of meds (poisons) had anything to do with his unstable state of mind?~ very dangerous!
We just have to listen to the media today to see that things have not really changed.
Indeed, very sad state of affairs.
Many would say that the meds have nothing to do with ones behaviour ~ I say look deeper.
There are patterns from history that are repeating over and over, again!
Also worth noting the holocaust has its roots in psychiatry. In fact psychiatry as a whole is mass murder somehow legalised. In fact there’s an interesting video here https://youtu.be/_5dSZnbugpc . I had the luxury of watching it twice in the same sitting due to the double vision I’m experiencing, moreover I’m not able to decipher the propaganda or bias or make any intellectual judgement on this video since my brain is so mashes nowadays… I live in hope thank you Carla for the kind words.
We have to remain positive, look forward, not back.
We as individuals, need support to do our job, also.
If we are misinformed, deceived, misrepresented or ignored, how on earth can we break the silence that is considered such a taboo to human rights?
I can not believe the dishonest medical field money hungry doctors. I also have been damaged by these drugs. I was supper healthly before the drugs. Into sports and great sex drive. I have been off the drugs for almost 7 years and the damage is still here. Smh. How do they get away with this. I guess they don’t care it’s not their body. They just want the money at any cost. More than sad. I have told every doctor I have seen and they all say the same thing. Can’t be the SSRI. I know for a fact it is. We all know it is. But the doctors continue to play dumb. Smh. I wish I could go back and have my body before the drugs I took I was told were safe. More than sad. I hope someday the doctors get to feel what they have done to me.
Everyone has secrets. But while they may be terribly embarrassing or humiliating to the people who keep them buried year after year, their exposure rarely makes a ripple beyond the outer boundaries of their lives. Powerful institutions like governments and business also sometimes have information they would rather keep from the public domain. Shady practices, incompetence, or outright illegality are all things that these institutions have a vested interest in keeping under wraps, even though dozens or hundreds of people in the institutions may have knowledge of them. How do they do it? They take advantage of the fact that most human beings don’t like to rock the boat. Whether their secrets involve them having an affair or their company poisoning children in the Third World, most people swallow their distaste and allow bad things to happen, rather than upset the lives they have built.
But some people reach a point where they can no longer keep the secret. Whether it’s because they are morally outraged or just want plain revenge, some people risk their status, friends, careers, and even their lives to bring the truth to the light of public scrutiny, no matter how ugly or damning it may be. We call those people whistle-blowers.
Of the great advancements in science that marked the 20th Century, one of the most remarkable has been the creation of thousands of new drugs and medicines. Diseases and conditions that once caused suffering and death across the globe can now be treated with just a few pills.
Life expectancy is up, and people can live healthier lives than we ever dreamed possible. Unfortunately, sometimes the guys who make these wonder drugs are more interested in raking in as much cash as they can than making peoples lives better.
Take GlaxoSmithKline for example. In 2003, Glaxo Quality Assurance Manager Cherly Eckard warned her bosses that standards at one of their huge factories in Puerto Rico were leaving a lot to be desired. Drugs were being contaminated and frequently contained more or less of the active ingredients than they were supposed to.Eckards warnings went unheeded. Despite the fact that her job was on the line, she repeatedly complained to the company and tried to get the factory up to code. For her trouble, GlaxoSmithKline fired Eckard. Undeterred, she went to the authorities and blew the whistle on the companys wrongdoing. After a lengthy legal battle, GlaxoSmithKline was fined $750 million and forced to clean up the problems at the factory. And Cherly Eckard? She was awarded a cool $96 million in damages. Doing the right thing can be profitable sometimes.
~ Geoff Shakespeare July 30th, 2016
What about the poor people who had been maimed or died as a result of ingesting these dodgy meds?
Did they ever get compensation?
Since taking mirtazapine and diazepam for several months. I also take warfarin. I notice once in a while I have zig zag pattern in one eye which lasts about 20 minutes then fades. No headache. I contacted my optician who did full eye testing and said he could see nothing out of the ordinary and it was something several patients had. I am wondering if this could be due to one of the medications. Anyone comment on this?
You could be describing an ocular migraine.There are many triggers.
Sorry to hear about your eye condition.
If you never had this eye problem before you ingested these meds, I strongly believe it is one of the meds inducing this problem.
There, I said it!
If some clinicians are cowards and are not able to say that a med (meds) are inducing your condition, I will say it for you.
I have had sensitivity to light for a long time.
I believe that some meds cause problems to the optic nerve.
I hope your condition gets sorted out however, before you have any tests or procedures, always inform yourself about any risks.
I am into my 15 days of Paxil and i am noticing that my vision is changing.
In my case though it is improving. Before it was a little foggy and i was alwais tensing the eyes. Now it is sharper the fog is gone and i see everything brighter.
Hopefully it stay like this and do not get worst
In 2014 the Insurance Industry in the US approved limited genetic testing to see which specific drugs where most likely to work and which ones should be avoided, so they could save money so people could go on drug most likely to work. I have two bad gene variants one from each parent that makes my case worse, my body does not process FOLATE (B9) correctly, called undermetholated. This along with environmental stresses causes my depression,because I don’t process neurotransmitters properly, the older I get the longer the “cause” goes untreated and gets worse and worse. I also have genes that effect thecones in my eyes, premature molecular degeneration from my metabolism being out of wack, light sensitivity and night blindness. I am on a high dose of food grade L-Methylfolate activated B9), folic acid is POISEN and for my gene type toxic.
Now some background info: I have been on ssri’s for 30 years. When I became severely depressed they added gabapentin and serequel on top of ssri. Well, My vision was so blurred I could barely read and I had terrible eye headaches. I have suffered all kinds of visual problems and side effects from being a Guinea pig. Various doctors have tried so many meds. But the answers where in my genes, blood and urine samples. Now that I am treating my whole body and environment I am slowly returning to normal. My vision is now improving and so is my mood. I eat organic whole foods, very little suger, no alcohol. I must walk for memory and depression, and get sunlight or take D3k and take quality food grade supplements which also address my eyes. I also have pyroluria, the heem in my hemoglobin grabs onto my magnesium and zink which leaves me deficient and causes copper toxicity So since I have had genetic testing and had much deeper blood work I can address my genetic and environmental stresses and treat accordingly without guessing. I found allot of answers in my genes to many to go into. So there is hope, I am so glad I have answers now and am starting to feel better after a life of just going through the motions and going downhill until I layed in bed for about 3 years and became numb. Im seeing a naturopathic Doctor in addition to 6 specialists and will never give up. I hope this helps everyone not only with their vision but living a more normal life.
Can you tell me what dose of high grade l-methyl folate that you take as I have also found out that I have a homozygous TT allele for C677T, which means that I also can’t metabolise folic acid.
How did you reach the optimal dosage that you now take? Did you have serum or other folate level checked in your blood or homocysteine level checked?
If your health was relatively good before you ingested the medicines, I strongly believe that there is something flawed with the medicines.
These medicines damage the vital fabric of the DNA structure, that we are all interwoven into.
Once the delicate fabric is damaged, many have to change their lifestyle to accomodate the residual damages that these meicines induce.
Why is it that many people can have so many medicines at once whilst others suffer from ongoing health issues or mysteriously pass away?
We have to be civil and ask ourselves these fundamental questions.
No one has come forward and openly discussed the debate of random flawed batches.
I have researched this area and have discovered that some pharmaceutical companies were found to be doing illegitimate things.
– medicines being concentrated
– medicines being mixed up
– medicines delibrately manufactured to induce diseases which may result in death
The list is endless.
If there are no authentic labs that will test a medicine to determine it’s authenticity, then there is something fundamentally flawed with our system.
One person who would like to seek the trutth will have all the cards stacked up against them because if the truth were to be revealed it would demonstrate how dysfunctional and how flawed the systems and processes, really are.
Genetics, persons metabolism, damaged DNA etc. can definitely be risk factors that determine unfavourable health outcomes.
I am convinced that random flawed batches are at play, until this theory gets ruled out, the other factors are just by products to an ongoing systemic problem.
I have optic nerve damage from mirtazapene…deficiency in color vision, night blindness, blurred vision and other neurological complications such as hearing loss and oscillopia, my life is ruined completely and utterly, and it seems progressive. I was a university lecturer and senior engineer, now debating wether to live disabled or end my life at dignitas, I’m only 39…the makers of these drugs should be disemboweled…
Luke what tests were used to diagnose your optic nerve damage, and how was it tied to mirtazapene? I have night blindness and blurred vision, tinnitus that all came on rather suddenly. Feel the same as you. Went to a near-opthalmologist who did a slit-lamp exam he found nothing. Also have seen retinal specialists and ophthalmologists. Has your condition improved? Thanks.
Luke, I understand. I am also 39 and have so many issues and concerns about the SSRIs and meds it seems I have to take. I am pursuing disability though obviously don’t prefer that. I am also intelligent and have a master’s degree, but at this point, I depressingly feel I might as well have been a high school dropout. The article about genetic testing and natural wholesome lifestyle and diet provides some encouragement. Tho I don’t know how to get my psychiatrist or PCP to order such tests. Please don’t surrender your life. Keep seeking help through friends, counselors, doing relaxing things, God/Jesus through the Bible etc. Hang in there. As my friend reminds me, there is always hope.
Are the symptoms still the same? Or is it better?
Im withdrawing from mirtazapine and got the same symptoms.
I have electric shocks in my head as soon as I see any bright light, look at a screen, or read.
My neurologist just told me I have “functional neurological disorder”. Basically a nonscientific nonsense diagnosis that is used to catch all neurological symptoms neurology can’t explain.
Except for an old MRI, no tests were done. I was refused the electroretinogram and evoked visual potentials that I asked for.
If anyone knows a way to get these tests done privately, please give me a shout.
Keep an eye on the dishonest!
There have been many medicines that have ruined people’s lives.
When many people complain, there will eventually be class actions left/right and centre!
What makes people think that these medicines don’t cause a long list of health problems?
Slowly but surely, these medicines sneakily creep up on the individual without the patient (s) knowing where the problem came from.
Some medicos fool the patients saying that they do not know what caused their problem??????
If the system was honest anyone who wanted to get down to the bottom of ‘FOUL PLAY’ would have a credible lab test the dodgy medicines for sinister signs of deviousness.
There is no such thing?
In 2014 a lady took pain killers and the coroners reports stated that she died of an overdose?????
I would question the credibility of the drug and the coroners findings before anyone states anything false.
The dead cannot speak but those who know what is going on can question things from every angle?
Is there anyway to stop the visual disturbance? I took 1 dose of lexapro and have an adverse reaction and it has been 6months and I have all those symptoms and it’s making more depressed because I’m scared I’m going blind or something. Please help!?
I also thought my vision went downhill after 3 years of citalpram. I switched to Zoloft, and Bupropion combo, when my doctor had trouble getting my new eye glasses prescription. One other thing that has happened with my eyes is fast motion occasionally looks blurred. I now wear glasses.
I have been weaning off Cymbalta for over 2 years and continue to have blurry vision, severe dry eye and also was put on drops for potential glaucoma. I was on 120 mg Cymbalta and am currently down to less than 20 mg yet when I reduce the dose my vision gets really bad. Since reduction , the pressure in my eyes has gotten better and no longer need the glaucoma drops but still can’t see well at all most days.This is SO frustrating. On top of that, I just weaned myself off all benzos last year after being prescribed them for over 30 years! YES, 30 years!
Good for you!!!!! 30 years and now benzo FREE 🙂
I am having sort of the opposite effect. I have been on prozac 60mg for at least 6 or 7 years now and I stopped last month. I asked if I needed to wean slowly, as in like months, and my psych said no and had me go down to 40mg for a few days then down to 20mg for a few days. In total it was less than a week before I completely stopped. About a week or so after I stopped, my vision became blurry. Fast forward a month, and nothing has improved. Talking to my psych is like talking to a wall. All he says is that “there is no way the prozac is causing it”. I asked him about prozac withdrawal and he said he has “never ever heard of vision problems with it”. This last month has been pure frustration at dealing with the blurriness and my doctors apparent ignorance. After reading all these posts, it also sounds like it is permanent. Will it fix if I go back on prozac?
I have been on Lexapro 20 mg for two days now. My vision problems have been similar to what most of you described. I feel terrible, my eyes hurt, vision blurry, and I’ve had a constant dull headache and eye pressure. I see colors and squiggly lines when my eyes are closed at night. My pupils are severely dilated.
Two year now indoors light sensitivity from benzos ….my eyes burn in any light as does my face. When i reduce the dose i cannot even look at a car light. I haven’t seen any daylight as i said for two years…do they believe me NO…they think its all anxiety….
I ingested one tablet 16 years ago and still today, my eyes are extremely sensitive to light. I don’t take any medication. Some days it feels like my face is burning. I believe it is all vascular related. Tell the professionals that you see to come to this website. It is not anxiety related. The meds do the damage. Even after you stop taking medication, the damage continues. Neuropathy, Peripheral neuropathy, Diabetic neuropathy, Guillain–Barré syndrome, inflammatory myopathy,systemic lupus, cardio myopathy and the list goes on and on and on……… I believe these diseases are all caused by these meds. I never had the medical problems I have today before I ingested Valium. Where are all the medical problems listed?
Some professional know about it however, they are too afraid to come forward and state the damages these meds and other meds, induce.
I believe all meds come with a risk however, some of the negative reactions are not printed for fear of not making profits. Consumers may read the fine print and say to themselves: It is not worth the risk! ~ If I had all the information Peter, I would of definitely disposed of the poison immediately! ~ No questions asked!!!!!
Good luck with your journey to healing.
I was on Neurontin ( Gabapentin) for several months for stress and racing thoughts. It was a very small dose (300 mg and 100 mg PRN) X1 day. I started having some weird eye issues and brain zaps. I told my PCP ( and he had me go cold turkey) off the medication. This threw my body into crazy shock with really bad withdrawal syndrome and heavy anxiety. Anyhow My eye symptoms are as follows:
If I focus too much on an object or drive for long periods of time, particularly on the highway my brain starts to feel weird sensations near the front and sides of my brain where it’s almost a pressure ( or a bad headache without the pain). It will make me feel as if I’m going to pass out.
If I wear my glasses for too long I can see clearly however that same sensation starts to happen again and I feel very disconnected almost confused. I’ve been trying to push through because I’m a healthcare professional (Occupational Therapist) and I need to get back to work. I am 46 years old with 11 and 13-year-old daughters. I have a very good marriage, relatively healthy and a great and successful career. CT scan negative and my blood work has been negative. I’m very concerned that this I think that has lasted for four months is not going away. It is very debilitating and I am very worried. It is adding to anxiety which I never really had before the PCP quit my meds cold turkey. I hope it’s not the medication but nobody seems to have the answers….
I’m in New Mexico. If anyone has any ideas please let me know
I have similar problems, what I’ve noticed is depth perception and peripheral issues, it’s my understanding now from doing for the research that these medications permanently change how serotonin is processed in the brain, serotonin plays a role in many things but also vision, at this point it’s been 4 years and nothing’s gotten better for me personally, so I am going to try antidepressants again to see if it at least reduces the symptoms so I don’t feel trapped and disconnected it’s especially noticeable with glasses like you said things are clear but still feel off.
I really am glad I found this sight, it’s such a relief to find out that I am not alone in linking the use of SSRI’s to problems with eyesight.
Throughout my life I was always known to have exceptional eyesight and had never had a problem until a month or so after I was prescribed Citalopram. I noticed that I was having difficulty focusing on distant objects and then that my night vision was deteriorating. After a few months it got noticeably worse and I was prescribed glasses to wear whilst driving (it was especially noticeable around dusk).
After two years on Citalopram (which turned me into a zombie) my GP switched me to Trazadone which helped me to think again but I still suffer from bad eyesight. The odd thing is that it comes and goes, some days I do not need glasses to drive during the day, some days I cannot start the car without donning my specs.
Going to try and kick the SSRI’s into touch in 2017 and am waiting for a plan from the local medical team to wean me off them and the other side effects are such that they outweigh any benefits in my opinion (Tinnitus, nerve pain, poor eyesight etc.).
I do hope that the harm that these cause can publicised as it would make GP’s think twice before reaching for the prescription pad and dishing out anti depressants like sweets.
I have trouble with gaze fixation (cannot keep any still image – things bob around very slightly) in addition to dim, hazy (bad visual snow), and colours look darker.
This was from withdrawal from Lorazepam, Remeron, and Seroquel over 6 months ago.
I was only on these drugs for 3 months, how could I possibly still have withdrawal? It seems this damage is permanent, its completely destroyed my life – I can see to function however any sort of quality of sight is out of the question – things move constantly and look dull and unpleasant.
As a ‘minor’ addition I also have hearing loss and tinnitus…
I contemplate taking my life daily.
These drugs are pure evil
What a relief to find my dry eyes are the cause of my 13 day cold-turkey off anti-depressants. Withdrawal symptoms on the negative side are low, whereas the positive effects of getting off are very high, e.g. clear thinking, more energy, not over-eating, no longer feel robotic, eating healthier, and last but not least, even though one of the side effects is insomnia, I am sleeping better than I had in years. Drs. kept giving me more more drugs to help me sleep. Nothing worked. Thank you for your website. Am 72 year old woman.
I have a young patient on sertraline who sustained a retinal detachment, but ophtalmologist did not consider an association/ causation.She is still on the same SSRI, and the problem has not re-occured,
After being on SSRIs and SNRIs for 21 years, I decided to withdraw over a 12 month period from early 2016. About 2 months prior to commencing withdrawal, I had routine eye test (I wear glasses for astigmatism). All was fine. By early 2017 (the final stages of paroxetine withdrawal), I had another eye test and was diagnosed with pigment epithelial detachment. First eye specialist told me whatever caused it had only just happened in preceding months. This coincided with SSRI withdrawal and associated distress
After being on SSRIs and SNRIs for 21 years, I decided to withdraw over a 12 month period from early 2016. About 2 months prior to commencing withdrawal, I had routine eye test (I wear glasses for astigmatism). All was fine. By early 2017 (the final stages of paroxetine withdrawal), I had another eye test and was diagnosed with pigment epithelial detachment. I noticed increase in floaters. First eye specialist told me whatever caused it had only just happened in preceding months and diagnosed me with macular degeneration (!) This coincided with latter stages of SSRI withdrawal and associated distress. As I am just 38 years old, I went and got second opinion. Not macular degeneration this time, but isolated PED with no apparent cause, although it may have been central serous chorioretinopathy. I mentioned paroxetine withdrawal and associated stress and he mentioned it was quite possible. Considering retina contains 5HT receptors, it’s possible the disruption to serotonin levels caused the detachment.
After a return to sertraline (couldn’t take the anxiety any longer), eye floaters settled.
I have since read that SSRI’s are sometimes used to treat eye conditions (including central serous chorioretinopathy), so the connection is there.
This article – written for optometrists – contains a lot of info about the adverse effects of psychotropics on eyes. Much of it is very technical – and you’ll have to ignore some comments about the nature of mental illness – but if Rxisk is still gathering information about visual problems, might be helpful. It bears out my feeling that you get the best and frankest information from specialties other than shrinks and GPs. I was checking things out to see if wet macular degeneration (the nasty kind) is associated with psychotropics. Looks possible. If quoted a short extract from the article below, as was fascinated by the statement that the eye is an extension of the brain – which made mine boggle for some reason
“Retinopathy and Optic Nerve Involvement”
“Because the eye is developmentally and anatomically an extension of the brain and the retina is on that continuum, it can be affected by medications that have psychotropic effects. Also, this thin and fragile tissue can act as a reservoir for deposition of the drug reaching the eye through its vascular supply.8 As such, drug toxicity can affect both the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the neurosensory retina (mainly, rods and cones).4,8 Deposited medication in either the RPE or sensory retina is not easily cleared and can lead to potential damage.”
I’m investigating for a friend who has had a horrible vision reaction to Pristiq after less than a week on it. Six years off of it now, she is still totally disabled by it and I’m trying to find out information for her as to what exactly caused this and how she might be able to treat it. So severe the first few years, she had to board up her whole house to not let a speck of light in. She still can’t go out in the day, cannot go online at all, can’t handle contrast, has trouble opening the fridge due to the light, wears special glasses to block direct and peripheral light, and is basically a prisoner in her own home. Doctors say her optic nerve is fine, her rods and cones are at 30% (but they don’t know what they were functioning at prior) and they have offered no help. Their suggestion is to go back on antidpressants because she is so depressed at her iatrogenically induced disabled life. Does anyone know of a treatment for this????? Please help and thank you.
In October of 2015 I had LITHIUM toxicity with a serum level of 2.3. My #’ s were always .6. By February, I had already lost 10% of my inferior peripheral vision and by May, I started to lose my side peripheral vision. This is extremely aggressive. We are all born with 97 nerve fiber layers of each optic nerve. I am 24 months in and my numbers are 64 in my right eye and 65 in my left. I was diagnosed with mild cataracts about 2 years on lithium at the age of 40. Optometrists and opthamologists are taught in school to be aware of ocular problems that could be brought on by medications. My optometrist at that time said it is unusual at my age and the fact that no one in my family had cataracts, but assured me not to be concerned, as they are mild.
This is my story.
This is so upsetting to hear. My lithium has exacerbated severe eye dryness after laser eye surgery and I’ve been having trouble recognising things in my peripheral and having flashes now since starting on it a year ago. It’s the only drug that has ever stopped my depressive episodes with bipolar and saved my life. I don’t know what to do.
so what ended up happening to AS? Is there any treatment available? Do the problems ever resolve?
My Optho just referred me to a NeuroOptho for the visual problems i’ve been having since going off Lexapro (can’t look at screens for more then 20 minutes being the main issue – but i also have some of the other issues described which i chalk up to withdrawal/anxiety making the eyes hypersensitive/hyperaware)
I took prozac for 11 years and cold turkey withdrew in 2013. My eyes has so far not recovered, I can’t even describe what is wrong with my eyes it’s just not right. I have constant dark patches, I can’t see properly In the dark and it feels blurry like a sticky coating is over my eyes that I can never clear. Normal eye tests give me 20/20 vision and my gp says it’s because I’m tired (sigh) the light hurts my eyes and if I go for a walk I feel constantly scared I’m going to trip. Strangely it’s worse if I over sleep and is always worse in the a.m. It really gets me down which doesn’t help me when I beg my dr for further investigation
I’ve been on Lexapro since 2000. It’s been wonderful for dealing with my depression, but I do have to wonder about my vision. There are age related changes and it’s hard to discern these from anything that may be related to the med. Mild visual snow has been a thing along with floaters and occasional tiny flashes of blue light. Nothing detected by eye doctor. I just ignored it. Recently I have started experiencing the “heat wave vision” mentioned by some other people on here. The left eye is definitely worse. As soon as we are in a new plan year and I can go see the eye doc, I’m going to have this looked at. I need new glasses anyway. I looked up signs of macular degeneration, but I don’t have the dimness, loss of central vision, etc plus I’m still a bit too young for that as I am only 49. I’ve always been very nearsighted. I decided to get some Ocuvite vitamins in the meantime. It can’t do me any harm.
Over the last 20 years I’ve been on & off prozac, citalopram and more recently mirtazapine – I’m currently taking Sertraline (switched from mirtazapine around 6 months ago). Recently I’ve noticed that my vision doesn’t seem as clear as it was and now & again everything seems foggy. It’s intermittent too. Sometimes I walk into a room and it’s like it’s full of fog, or sometimes I turn on the TV and it seems completely blurry.
This post & comments reminded me of the Andreas Lubitz case – the German Wings pilot who crashed his plane, killing 150 people – apparently he was convinced that he was having sight problems and nobody would take it seriously.
I’ve taken Cymbalta (120 mg) for appx 12 years. I believe the medication has damaged my eyes but explaining it is difficult. Although I have trouble in focusing properly in certain lighting conditions, I am more concerned with my experiences with flickering of darkness and also eye movement create the dreaded brain zap or electrical sensation. I have noticed that Ibuprofen helps a little with some symptoms. I live with this and know these symptoms are at least in part due to cymbalta because if I am late taking it then it gets worse. If I ever miss a day or two I get very sick and these symptoms become horrible. I do not believe the symptoms will fully reverse because I had similar problems with Effexor and was off of that drug for almost a year before starting cymbalta. While off of Effexor the symptoms reduced but never fully subsided.
I have taken Vuminix (Fluvoxamine), 50 mg for 7 months and have been experiencing dark colored objects and surfaces appearing blueish), white colored surfaces and objects appearing greenish and snow vision. The snow vision andd blueish hue get worse in darkness or poorly lit areas. I have also trouble picturing or visualizing mental images
I’ve only been on Sertraline for a few days on it’s lowest dose and already have noticed vision changes. I’m getting off and seeing my psychiatrist in a few days and hoping I don’t get put on something worse since I seem to get really bad side effects from everything I try.
I have also experienced all of these eye symptoms. But my were caused by stopping melatonin after several years! I recalled the same thing happenning when I was taking Effexor for a year for pain and had the same eye problems after coming off of them! Melatonin is not natural and safe. It is a man made chemical and affects your brain, your circadian rhythm and eyes. When I went off I had severe insomnia, lights flashing, migraine with aura, for a few months, brown spots, disorientation, anxiety and depression. It has taken a long time to balance my brain, body and vision again. My eye tests come back normal also but I still have blurry vision but it is getting better. Thank goodness the light sensitivity is gone. What has helped my vision is adding methyl B12, iron and methylfolate as I was diagnosed with b12 deficiency and iron deficiency. Once I added these it has speed up my eye recovery. My 20 20 vision from lasik surgery is now gone, I have corrected lenses which help, but still have difficulty seeing.
I have very similar problems to Author. 200mg Zoloft for 12 years then CT for 4 months. Got sick of feeling sad so re-instaed 200mg dose. Felt ontop of the world within half an hour. 24 hours later mind/body crashed. 3 days later I suffered a complete visual change and that was 5 months ago.
I got different sized pupils after taking antidepressants. One of my pupils don’t constrict normally in the dark and it’s much bigger than the other in light. It’s weird and makes me self conscious because one my pupils are big and the other is a lot smaller. This happened some hours after I took them. I noticed that my pupils were huge, but only one of them got back to normal.
Same.. my pupils are 2 different sizes after taking Zoloft a month. Was on Lexapro for 3 months prior and did not have this issue but switched to zoloft and pupils are unequal. Did this ever go away??
Not to mention that my sight already is horrible. I already had -3.00 in fourth grade and I’m now down to -6.00. So I always have to wear contacts or glasses. But I’m used to it and my vision didn’t change when I started antidepressants. Everyone has different perception of colors (rods and cons etc) and some can se better in the dark than others. I can’t see anything because of my bad eye sight..
I have been on various antidepressant / anti anxiety medications for over 20 yrs namely clomipramine , effexor , citalopram , sertraline and Pregabalin.
my longest stint was 20/30mg of citalopram for ten years until december 2016 when because of additional self medication using large amounts of alcohol I was admitted to hospital for a Detox. Up until this point I had only experienced minor troublesome side effects but after being discharged my Meds were changed to the cocktail of venlafaxine ( effexor) and Pregabalin. Initially my vision was affected like never before as well as experiencing aches and Pains which made me feel 20 yrs older than my 52 yrs but after a few months things settled a little until approx 6 months after commencing the new regime my vision deteriorated all round. I started to experience dreadful Dipoplia ( double vision ) which was terrifying but intermittent . My vision was also much more blurred than ever before as well as becoming sensitive to light and considerably worse under low light conditions.I also had trouble with what appeared to be a lag between looking at something and seeing it clearly ( accommodation ?) which , as a keen cyclist caused me much anxiety as well as reluctance to drive. . I felt sure it was the meds and spoke to the Doctor as well as my brother who is a GP but was assured it was not the cause and to have my eyes tested.
My eye test was normal with a little presbyopia as to be expected. To cut a long story short I eventually swopped the pregagbalin /effexor cocktail for some sertraline and have seen a definite improvement ..mainly with the double vision which haunts me less and less now but the blurred vision and far worse close up vision troubles persist ..I’m just not seeing things as I used to and the time lag still exists a little which makes for a lot of stress as I feel frustrated by the constant struggle to focus on everything and take it all in ..something which was effortless not long ago. TBH ,,you may laugh but my vision after 12 pints of beer or a bottle of whisky was better than I experience now !
Final update ..I weened off the sertraline 2 months ago hoping that for the 1st time in 20+yrs being drug free things might improve ..particularly the sight issues but after 6 weeks I felt too irritable and was unable to concentrate ( lifelong problem ,,actually suspect ADHD) so am back on a low dose of citalopram .
Good luck and best wishes to all and thank you David Healey and others who take our complaints seriously.
just a quick update…finally after 16 months of eye troubles as described above I got to see a very experienced consultant opthalmologist whose opinion is that the meds may well have triggered my double vision etc . I had been considering going back on pregabalin but when I mentioned that he said he wouldn’t advise it as it was already under suspicion /suspected to cause troublesome conditions such as those I have been experiencing. my eye muscles are apparently out of balance/weak and I have been referred for an assessment at the optometry dep’t of our local hospital . I had also developed dry eye which wasn’t helping things another common effect of many medications . Oh well fingers crossed.
Hi william, Have you had any luck with getting treatment for your vision issues with the hospital?
Hi Andy..apologies for the delay in responding but I got no notification of your question.Anyhow…yes I have had 3 hospital visits to the orthoptic dept now and seen a neuro opthalmologist just to rule out any organic cause . I’ve been diagnosed with “decompensated heterophoria “or a manifest
latent squint which may well have been dormant previously but activated by the change in medication. Been given some glasses and that’s it really ..not much they or I can do . it’s certainly had a major effect on my life and may well stay like that but that’s life I guess. Hope that answers your question
*** Vision Problems. Please Read ***
I apologize if this is wide of the mark but thought that it should be noted in case it helps some of the affected people. Note that I am not a medical professional.
I am researching material for a book about dyslexia and stumbled onto this blog while looking for vision problems relating to the occipital lobe. This is the part of the brain that processes vision.
It goes without saying that medications affecting dopamine levels will have an impact on the occipital lobe. This in turn affects how your brain processes visual data.
Vision problems are obviously a common side effect and it is disappointing to see that medical professionals tend to be dismissive of the notion. Particularly when they should know that the potential exists for a direct connection between cause and effect.
If true and the drugs cause a problem in the occipital lobe, then eye tests can be normal and vision can be affected. Further investigation such as EEG of the brain may help some of the affected people to track down the cause.
If anyone wants to provide me feedback my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, they can recall certain lenses for when cataract surgery is performed by ophthalmologists, so why don’t they recall meds when they maim or cause death?
Indeed, very interesting article!
I started talking Lexapro (the generic version) about 6 weeks ago and have had subsequent vision issues including blurry vision, difficulty seeing in low lighting, difficulty transitioning from bright light to low light and vice versa, and what I can only describe as feeling like my eyes are just not working together. I have an eye doc appointment set to make sure its not just that I need reading glasses, but I truly don’t think that’s the case because its not happening all the time.
i have been taking ativan for anxiety on and off for the last 5 months and now have blurred vision.
Has anybody had the same or been to dr and found out more. I will be going this week.
Does the blurred vision go away after you stop taking ssris?
I’ve been on Zoloft for 20 years. I made the mistake of reducing the amount I take by myself.
I developed muscle arches all over my body, muscle twitches and a strange sensation in my eye.
Continued on my regular dose and just waiting for some relief.
I have congenital nystagmus! I’m 62″ It’s never changed until now! I have had a health anxiety and doctor gave me sertraline first and then citilipram bith made me ill, then gave me mirtazapine with diazepam and then zolpiclom. My eyesight started to get worse something I have nit experienced ever before, VA became worse, blurry reading , sensitivity to bright lights and central vision misty. Loads of eye tests revealed all normal and I’m sure they think I’m making it up, they think I’m obsessive too but I know my own vision . I’m convinced the anti depressants are the cause as my eyes sight is continuing to get worse. No one believes me , I’m absolutely distraught , headaches, don’t go out or do anything at all
My congenital nystagmus has now halted , this shud never happen, I have been taking mirtazapine and sleeping tablets! Now nothing eyesight just getting worse. Opticians can only see normality in my eyes , but I know what it was like before, really scared, as now don’t work, sleep and they all think I’m obsessive.
I was going to have my orbits scanned with sinus but sure they will cone back normal I’m due a brain scan again with contrast but prob won’t show anything either. I have do many other problems too not just sight but severe weight loss too. Buzzing in my legs and feet.headaches noisybears etc, feel so very unwell,
Interesting thing about Remeron (Mirtazapine). I was in the hospital on New Year’s Day and the following night I started taking Remeron, I got out on Friday and I slept well taking Remeron with Lunesta, then I noticed something strange. I have been wearing glasses for over 30 years and just last September I went to see my eye doctor for the annual exam, she said that there was very little change in my eye sight, so I didn’t bother to replace the lenses. While taking Remeron, I noticed that my vision improved! Until 3 years ago, I could watch the closed captioning on my TV without my glasses, then after I stopped taking Remeron my vision is still improved for far distance, I mean I can drive without my glasses and watch the CC as well! When I put my glasses on, I noticed the blurred vision, so I take them off and I can see clearly. I stopped taking Remeron because I’m scared that it will make my eye sight worse, I’m Deaf and I value my vision more than anything, I cannot go blind. I used to work with DeafBlind clients and their lives are so much harder than mine, they are very isolated and they need assistance almost all the time.
I will see my eye doctor again this coming Tuesday to see what’s going on with my vision, has it improved due to Remeron and should I start taking it again and see how it helps with my depression, anxiety and insomnia.
I think I have developed permanent visual problems 12 years ago after using different anti-depressants. I also have memory problems. Psychiatrists have prescribed oxazepam for almost 10 years and for the last 4 years zopiclon ( They had no idea the sleeping problems were from an early menopause at age 35) I quit taking it all my myself. What can we do about this. Is it possible to start a law suit? I still have all the visual problems and the only thing doctors are prescribing again are anti-depressants.
Can anyone relate to this – I was on escitalopram (SSRI) for 1,5 years – came off cold turkey by accident – did not know about tapering off (was not informed) – 8 weeks of brain shocks, zaps and everything in between.
Since then I have developed terrible problems with looking into computer screens – I get deep pains behind my eyes which causes extreme pain and strain all over my head to occipital nerves at back of head and on top of scalp – lasts for days. Its affected my ability to do computer work. 2 Neurologists, 2 opthamologists, MRI and they can tell me nothing. Has anyone else noticed similar.
This is a late reply but I hope you’ll get it. I was on Celexa (citalopram, cousin to escitalopram) for 15 months. Took 10 mg, then halved it to 5 mg 4 months ago, and a few weeks ago started to get terrible headaches exactly as you describe. My psychiatrist told me that it was likely due to the SSRI and to stop taking it. That was April 1 and I still have the headaches and they seem to start when I work on a laptop. I’m a writer so that’s pretty much every day. I thought it was maybe due to the head forward and bent down posture that I use when I’m on my laptop. Psychiatrist says “give it a couple more weeks” but it is torture. Yesterday I was out all day, no working on computer…and no headache. I’ve been experimenting with using the laptop while standing but I’m not sure it helps. I’m sorry for your pain. Please let me know if you’ve had any relief.
Kathleen, how are you now?
I”be been experiencing the same for 3 months. With just little improvement.
But it is so hard to work on the computer all day. I get headaches and dizziness.
I hope you are better to give me hope 🙂
I have been taking Zoloft for 5 years and noticed several changes in my eyesight throughout the years. The most recent issue that I am now struggling with is, after spending thousands of dollars on Lasik surgery, I am having intense blurred vision and severe dry eyes. The only thing that I can relate to these issues is the Zoloft because I don’t take it every day, per my doctor’s instructions. The issue with the blurriness only happens the next day after I take the Zoloft. I don’t know if that is the actual cause but it is the only constant that I can think of. I told my doctor at the lasik clinic today and he kind of sloughed it off. I’m hoping that the zoloft doesn’t ruin the money that I spent on this surgery. I’ve been wanting to be free of contacts and glasses my whole life….
I’m like you
Had lasik, I stopped anti depressants ,
And I get blurry vision quite ophen
Even with glasses I can’t get a clear view
How are you now coping
Have you worked out what the cause was
Did you have light sensitivity
My daughter took wellbutrin and was on it for 5 days and got a major headache on the right side, the next day she woke up with blurry vision and she stopped taking the medication. It’s been about a month and a half and still hasn’t gotten better, shes 15 and I am worried. We’ve been to opt. And nuero opth , everything shows fine but the neuroopt wants to start her on a medication that helps with eye spasm that supposedly can’t be detected.
Approaching this from a different angle. I had laser eye surgery and suffered dry eyes every night, my eyes would rub themselves dry during rem sleep. Started taking lexapro for unrelated issues (10mg) and my dry eye issue is gone. I don’t know if lexapro reduces rem sleep or my anxiety is less so my dreams are not as fraught. I think it’s unlikely lexapro is lubricating my eyes as a side effect!
So back to the original question. I wonder if during ssri withdrawal and after withdrawal dry eyes is being caused by increased rem sleep?
Call me crazy but some of the symptoms of dry eyes are: eyesight not quite right, reduced detail, blurred vision, eye redness, itchy eyes, sensitivity to light, eye fatigue etc etc
Hey Nick, did your dry eyes stay away still from being on Lexapro?
I am both relieved and incredibly upset ive found this post.
Has anyone had this issue acknoldged and received any treatment that helped fix the problem?
I knew i wasn’t going mad and there must be a reason for my vision problems!
Exactly the same deal i have visited 5 opticians and 1 specialist optician in the last 2 years having stopped taking Duloxetine. I have had many similar and permament symptoms from long term perscription of anti depressents (unreviewed or monitored by my shocking excuse of a GP) .
– cloudy or grainy vision like its not at all crisp anymore theres always a haze
– night blindeness, headlights and street lamps are an issue now
– Blurred vision that doesn’t seem to be picked up in a standard eye test.
– Noticeable and distracting dark spot on my vision in my left eye that doesnt show on any tests, and these what i can only descirbe as waves like im trying to look through a piece of cling film.
– A general feeling that my vision is not quite right / not the same as it used to be
– Reduced vision in low lighting – I now know this is called nyctalopia.
– Bright lights remaining as after-images for longer than normal.
– Walking into Supermarkets/shops is like someones just shone a torch in my eye eyes never adjust to the brightness and im walking around with blurred vision and squinting.
I am going back to my GP as soon as i can to insist on a referal to speak with a neuro ophthalmogist, im so worried i wont be able to get any resolution though 🙁
How are you? I have something similar but only with one and always the same eye. Feel like looking through the film and feeling that something is in my eye. I am tapering from Seroxat btw
Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but my pupils are constricted, along with vision issues. I stopped taking Zoloft 2 was ago and my pupils are still constricted.
I’m also experiencing vision issues after having a kindling reaction to trying to reinstate Citalopram after 9 months off it, I had no idea at the time how dangerous these drugs are, otherwise I would have never gone back on them or on them in the first place, but I didn’t know, unfortunately now I do but it’s a little too late. It only took 6 pills to totally de-rail my life, now I’m in debt and had to leave work.
I have had many other symptoms and have been to hell and back, luckily I’ve improved in some areas but my vision isn’t one of them.
my vision just doesn’t seem right, the vision part didn’t get worse until about a couple of months after the bad reaction I had.
It’s more than just a focus issue, it feels like my eyes are restricted, I have trouble playing computer games because I feel like I can’t see, but I can. So hard to explain, it’s harder to see things in motion and at night. There’s this weird feeling of my vision being delayed. When I shuffle through Netflix through the shows, as you sipe there’s an animation of the tiled movie titles as you pass through them. This motion makes my eyes feel like they are lagging behind trying to catch up, it’s the odd feeling like I’m drugged or drunk and it’s affecting my vision.
Perhaps I’ll push for that test the OP mentioned, funny enough I’m in Newcastle as well now, I had to move from London, so I’ll push to get to see that specialist. I’m sure I’ve already been labelled obsessive anyway, my last doctor, of course, accused me of having health anxiety even though in the past I never once complained about any symptoms despite having anxiety for over 10 years.
Labelling is so dangerous, in the medical field, once you have a label, that’s it, they don’t listen to you, no matter how rational your argument is.
It’s 100% because of an SSRI, there is zero doubt in my mind, I was an artist working on Hollywood movies in London, My eyes were always focused on the details, looking at motion blurred frames of a movie was my work. So I know my eyes have had a dramatic shift. I also loved to play computer games but now I just don’t feel like it as they appear different, It’s like I can’t really see what I’m doing. It’s been so hard.
I really hope the medical profession wakes up one day to how dangerous these drugs are, I wish I could sue big pharma, they owe me my life back, they owe me a career, and they owe my life as this has affected her as well.
Iv been on sertraline for 2 and a half years. 50mg. Been tapering off them now for 6 months 2-5% drop every 4 weeks I’m doing it slowly as a forum I’m on advised. Iv had so many side effects while tapering. Gut issues, muscle spasms, reflux, but my vision is the worrying part at the moment. I have cataract, I’m short sighted and wear contacts. Had shingles round my eye 18 months ago. But gave me the all clear?? But my vision is blurred more in the left eye. I’m now getting bright lights at the top of that eye when I move it. Iv made an appointment at the opticians. But I went last year and she changed the strength in my lens 3 times but still didn’t make my vision any better. I was on Prozac years ago and didn’t have any issues at all.
I started on SSRIs in Sept 2018. Eventually I made my way to taking Mirtazapine in Feb 2019. In June 2019, I noticed that I was having difficulty reading tiny text up close. In a matter of days (this last week), I’ve seen a considerable drop in close-up eyesight and now I have to read everything 18″ away. I’m only 42 and my body is such a piece of junk 🙁
I was prescribed Paxil in early August after 10 days I experienced a deterioration in both my acid reflux and my vision (both of which I think were initially caused by Sertraline, which I only took for two weeks). I stopped taking Paxil as the side effects were making me more anxious. My eyesight has continued to deteriorate. I see floaters pretty much all day, consistent backgrounds (Sky, white walls) all look grainy. My eyes are dry and I get headaches. Adding to this my swallowing mechanism is also impacted and feels weak. Taking SSRI ‘s if anything has made me more anxious. Think carefully before taking these!
Wow so good reading through as all of this!
I have been on effexor xr for about 5 to 6 months now.
Instantly my eyes dried to the point of not being able to open them at night without drops.. I am only 31years old.
I now permanently have eye drops with me.
My eyes are sore and fatigued all of the time.
I work at a bank and am scared I will need to quit my job.
I struggle to focus and have major light sensitivity.. I have had office lights changed to dimmable lights and wear green tinted glasses.. Or sunglasses all the time!
I feel like everything is ‘over exposed’, all of the time.
Eye lady has given me exercises and says my eyes aren’t working together and my sight is like I’ve had a bad concussion.. I have not.
MRI clear and neurologist and doc both telling me it’s a constant migraine effecting my eyes.
I feel disorientated all of thd time.
I am weaning off effexor as I need to know if its casing all this.. I’m praying I recover!
So far down to 3/4capsule every 2nd day.
Fingers and toes crossed.
My husband has been dealing with all of the symptoms you explain as far as sensitivity to light, eyes closing.. he has to hold his eyelids open at times and he squints a lot. Sometimes it’s fine and most days it’s bad. So I think there is something that should be done with so many having this issue!! Think we should all do something!
Sounds similar to my experience coming off Cymbalta after being on it a very short time. Have you seen any improvement in your vision symptoms since this post?
Hi Kurt, sorry for the late reply,
Unfortunately I haven’t improved, not sure I ever will, I’m learning to live with it. Everything feels so slow, my brain, eyes. Not great.
sub: Blurred, doubled, overlapping letter eyesight problem with seratalin
I have been taking 50 mg seratalin for the past few months. Particularly when I read news or books in my iphone, I find it hard to discern the letters like if you shake the book when you read. It is not really blurred. and I need high contrast for me to be able to read comfortably.
I never had this problem before this medication.
It did not start straight away. It took several weeks before I noticed. What I need to know is that will my eye sight go bad gradually or it will just stop at that side effect?
Hmm, interesting reading. I’ve been taking Mirtazepine since 2014 and have had central serous retinopathy in my right eye for the last couple of years. Could be age (I’m 42) or could it be a side effect of the Mirtazepine? My eye consultant says usually this condition is caused by steroid use – I have never taken steroids. Anyone else have this same condition that I do?
I am a 47 yr old male. I have been on various antidepressants (effexor, welbutrin, trazadone, pristiq) at varying doses for 13 or years. In 2017/18 I started to feel like the meds were just not working anymore. Around this time I also had my testosterone tested and it was very low. Just above and below what is considered the bottom range for healthy Testosterone. Started trying different doses and even tried Pristiq. Pristiq was terrible. If feel this is relevant. I changed my lifestyle quit any alcohol and also started back at the gym. Weaned myself off of the meds all together, from Jan 2020 to June 2020 med free.
Then I had a routine eye exam done in June 2020 and found that i had started to develop drusen on my retina. Following this and ongoing work stress, I had a relapse of depression and a break down. I started meds again. Celexa and then added Remeron (Mirtazapine). I was on Remeron for 4 months and then noticed dark region in my sight upon waking in the morning. Four months later I was diagnosed with CSR – central serous retinopathy. I have also changed from Celexa to Zoloft (and still on Remeron) in the last couple of months. I know stress is linked to CSR but I can help but think that one or all of these medications has some effect on causing or worsening the CSR and eye sight in general. I do also occasionally suffer from dry eye. I did also notice my vison becoming blurry a few years ago but that it was just due to age. There is next to no research available. I also can’t listen to another Eye specialist or other doctor say “There is nothing in the literature” or “there is no research that shows a link”. There is nothing there because there is no real research being done.
I will add the caveat that I did have cataract surgery young in my early twenties. Anyone else out there feel that the meds are worsening their CSR rather than helping it?
Back in October of 2017 I took a single dose of 37,5 mg of Effexor XR. 30min later I experienced some very scary symptoms that most of them lasted for a couple of days, however my vision issues (Visual Snow,light sensitivity and floaters) persist until today.
Its crazy how a single dose can cause such a permanent damage to my vision…
How are you these days?
Tapering off sertraline, was on 50mg, Dr. Recommended 200mg but I was too nervous to go that high. Not noticed vision problems until now, down to 25mg, eyes dry, scratchy today, breath bad this morning, figured out dry mouth! Was telling my cousin about other physical issues I felt, achy, headache, but hadn’t connected the dry eyes! Very glad to know why. Used warm compress and drops, some relief but not long term soothing effect. Will keep going with tapering, I’m more resolved than ever when I think how powerful these supposedly low doses are. The Dr was real quick to up dose too, but I was suffering bereavement, so I figured it was natural to be upset. Too quick to medicalise everything. Was on tummy antacids for ulcers, tried elimination diets and discovered eventually I’m lactose intollerant. No Dr would ever get to that diagnosis, I’m going the natural route, fed up with big pharma!
You are a lucky one!Please keep tapering slowly!
Don’t listen your doctor on tapering and go as slow as possible to allow your brain to adjust as smoothly as possible.
I have been taking Paroxetine for 8 years in the last 14 years with pauses lasting from 1 to 3 years, depending of my situation. I am 46 now.
During last year or so I have been experiencing problems with my sight (having in mind that I had sight problems previously) . I can say that I have almost all the symptoms mentioned in the article plus strange variations in the eye pressure ranging from 10 to 20 (which I understand could be very worrying). after the standard exams, I have been getting more or less the same explanations as provided on this page and am still very upset as I feel that my sight is slowly but surely deteriorating (I am programmer and getting more and more tired even of few hours in front of the PC). The level and medical standards in my country are not high and I was thinking of eventually getting help abroad( I am from Macedonia). Any suggestions or experiences would be welcomed.
P.S. Beside the eye symptoms I also experience sporadically slowness in my thinking or delays of several seconds in remembering some names or things/words. I did not do more serious neurological exams so far (after advised that there is no indications to do it for the moment) but this tells me that problem is probably systematic(brain, nerves) and not the eyes itself.
Well this is an interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I have been recently diagnosed with new daily persistent headache syndrome Via the headache clinic in south east Kent, but upon seeing a headache specialist physiotherapist, she has concluded visual snow syndrome.
I have a whole host of other issues, joint hypermobility syndrome, fibromyalgia, postural tachycardia syndrome, scheuermanns disease of the spine, hip bursitis, along with this I have the things that coincide with my conditions- chronic pain, fatigue, IBS, weak bladder, depression, anxiety, migraines, continuous headaches and many many other things, everything has been a struggle.
Dates for medications are as follows:
Duloxetine – Sept 19 – May 20
Morphine – Sept 19 – current
Pregabalin- May 20 – current
Citalopram – June 17 – Sept 19
Diazepam – Ongoing for 10+
Tramadol – 2010(-) – Sept 19
Steroid injection L Hip – April 19
Anti sickness – May 18 – current
Baclofen – 2014 – current
Amitriptaline – Nov 14 -2018
Setraline – Nov 15 – June 17
Beta blocker – Dec 17 – ceased asap
Omeprazole – May 17 – current
Nexplanon implant – Jul 14 – Nov 15
Depo injecton – Nov 15 – Jan 20
I’m on an extensive list of medications. I wonder if any have contributed or made my conditions worse.
The diagnosis of new daily persistent headache syndrome last year fits me well, then the physiotherapist brining in visual snow syndrome also sums up my issues perfectly- the dots, shakey eyes, terrible night vision, when I shut my eyes in the dark and open them it’s like a visual light show, I can’t find any research if any of these syndromes can coincide together. I’m in the process of asking my physiotherapist to write me a letter to take it back to the headache clinic. To see if it’s possible to have both. If anyone can shed any light, as both are ‘rare’. Some help would be greatly appreciated. Candy x
I found this site because i started taking effexor about 6 months ago and ive been noticing some odd vision effects. In particular my left eye has developed a blurriness at night. I didn’t associate the effexor at first, in fact for a long time, but eventually i became suspicious.
I am sorry for the horrible time you had with doctors. They can be so cruel and dismissive if you dont go along with everything they want. Not all of them, but too many.
Has anyone lived their life and had things improved or can provide ANY sort of Inspiration?
I replied to your comment further up. But you don’t get notified so I’m replying here too.
How is your vision now? I never got mine back after taking the trazodone. It’s been two years..
Thank you for the reply ellen seriously. I’ve been struggling with my vision. I can drive and see well but there are other phenomena that happen like weird peripheral movement and trembling. Also longer after images. Basically if I focus on a solid line depending on the contrast it’ll vibrate. Do you remember your symptoms and how long it took for you to feel normal again? I did 50mg of trazodone for 19 days and stopped cold turkey. I’m on day 51 of being off them. I hate this. I’m so glad your vision is better btw.
My vision didn’t improve, it’s gradually worsening ever since. For me it’s like my brain isn’t quite getting a clear image anymore/ everything is fuzzy. I’ve told numerous doctors and none of them believe me. But it seems a lot of people are suffering with visual system damage from antidepressants.
I took 50mg of Trazodone for about two weeks, then 100mg for another week or so and had no problems but then took just one 150mg tablet and ever since my vision has been gradually deteriorating. I think it changed the way neurons are firing in my brain.
I’m so depressed. Cannot believe it’s happened.
Have you spoke to any doctors? I hope it improves for you. But for me after two years, I think it’s permanent…
I misread in the last post Ellen sorry. I am almost in the same boat as you and it’s a shame that we’re in this. I have gotten a brain MRI and been to several specialists but everything seems to be looking normal. I too feel that things like this are permanent. When you went off the trazodone was it cold turkey? Because I too did 50mg and I did for exactly 19 days at night only and
stopped immediately by my doctors orders because of very bad side effects. The weekend came and it’s when everything happened. The following week I noticed more dark floaters, more bfep, vibration in parts of my vision, flickering on my peripheral, and other strange things happening when I blink. If you don’t mind me asking were you on any other medication? I was only on trazodone and hydroxyzine during that time and discontinued both that weekend. How are you these days? Have you found any ways to cope? I’m barely 53 days off these things and never thought it would cost me this much.
It’s really tough. Especially when nothing shows to be wrong. Doctors are very quick to fob you off when they can’t find anything. No one really wants to do anything further for me.
I stopped immediately yeah, I didn’t wean off. I didn’t have any problems on the lower doses but after the 150mg, it was the very next day that my vision problems started. I woke up in the morning with a horrific headache and weird vision in my right eye. My left eye became as bad three weeks later and ever since there’s been a very slow decline. It’s my acuity that’s affected and everything is just hard to look at that it gives me awful headaches.
I keep getting told that Trazodone “doesn’t do that” but after reading people’s comments, it’s very apparent that these meds can have adverse reactions for some unfortunate people. Ironically I was taking the medication to help with anxiety about my fear of losing my sight… unreal huh.
I wasn’t on any other medication at the time.
I find it hard to cope as it’s put my brain in some kind of weird aura state and I constantly feel dizzy. It’s just destroyed my life if I’m honest. And the worst part is I just get viewed at as being crazy. I’ve been to a&e numerous times begging for help and they’ve just escorted me out the building. It’s disgusting the way my case has been handled.
Have you been referred for electrophysiology? It’s a good test to see if you have lost any function in your retinas or optic nerves. It’s very objective testing. It’s very specialised and the wait is quite long for it depending on where you live but it will show if you have lost any function.
Have you seen a neurologist?
By the way if you would rather email me than talk on here you are welcome to. My address is email@example.com
All the best!
Any vision recovery success stories here? I am experiencing the same vision symptoms but was told that my symptoms are protracted withdraw related and would fade away over time.
20 years on different SSRI, SNRI. Same side effect for all: the higher the dose, the more blurred, double-lettered distant vision. If I skipped a dose, I notice the vision is much better. Planning on getting an eye exam for angle glucauma?
Any one tried syntonics after for their issues. Mine are the same and trying syntonics. Vision feels off with extreme light sensitivity day or night. Just started syntonics light therapy to see if it goes away along with eye exercices. Brock string convergent issues after the meds.
I was on Citalopram for 10 years due to a generalized anxiety condition. In the last 3 years, I started to develop severe dry eye syndrome, which was starting to really impact my life. I had to take eye drops on the hour with little relief, and paid a lot of money on heat therapy so that I could enjoy just one week without having extremely sore, gritty eyes. I had to stop working for a number of months, stop wearing any eye makeup and became quite depressed.
I wanted to have a baby, so I decided to finally come of Citalopram very slowly (over about 12 months). I finally came off it, and felt fine for 2 months. Then in month 3 I suddenly started experiencing some really strange visual disturbances – a fuzzy sheen over everything, weird flashes in my vision, lines appearing wavy and a lot of floaters. The worst side effect has been extreme sensitivity to light. I cannot enjoy the sun anymore, if i’m walking towards the sun, even wearing dark sunglasses, i have to squint and shade my eyes. I was diagnosed with Visual Snow syndrome from Sue Wong, head Neuro Opthamologist at Moorfields. I kept bringing up the fact that it all happened after being on Citalopram, but no comment has been made on whether it was due to being on SSRIs. One year and a lot of therapy later, my visual snow seems a lot more manageable, but my sensitivity to light is as bad as ever, and I’m petrified this is a permanent issue, with no idea of who to turn to next.
I decided to go off of celexa cold-turkey after being mostly on it for 15 years. It’s was only the 20mg dose, but still, it was stupid of me. After a few weeks I got massive and regular heart palpitations, like every 30 seconds. I knew it was an SSRI withdrawal effect, but I had just had a complete cardiac work up that year, so I wasn’t too concerned. I figured it would play itself out (it did). Then, for the first time in my entire life, I noticed I was having trouble seeing things at a distance. Almost like double vison? Maybe just blurry? I can’t really say, my eye sight was always 20/10. Well, one full eye exam later and it was chalked up to age related vision loss. Then I saw this page. It makes total sense now. I’m going back on celexa. I’m hoping and praying that will remedy my eyesight. Either way, I’d rather be emotionally numb and half-blind than fully awake and half-blind.
I’ve been on Effexor XR for roughly 12 years. A low 75mg per day.
aside from the usual reports of excessive sweating, hot flashes, dizziness episodes, general overall loss of balance, etc., I do get some “strange” symptoms.
– The occasional green vision upon waking that almost instantly disappears after about 1 eye blink. During that approx. 1 second, my entire vision is solid green, the same as if you had a tv and it was black and white, but all of the shades are shades of green rather than shades black/gray/white. It’s very strange. I have a “daylight” type of lightbulb in my bedroom (it’s not the usual yellow bulb, but the bluish type of bulb), and I had sort of chalked it up to possibly having to do with that, in how it shows a different hue through mu closed eye lids which was affecting my “cones n’ rods”, but the anti-depressant has always remained another possibility in the back of my mind.
– When I miss my “pill schedule” by a few too many hours, and increasing in severity the longer it goes, I get dizziness along with a very strange, faint “swishing” sound “somewhere in my brain” whenever I move my eyes back and forth. The “sound” (but it’s also a feeling at the same time) occurs in sync with a sort of bouncy vision as well. Like my vision “snaps” into place at whatever I’m focusing on rather than simply moving smoothly from focus to focus. The “sound” I cant really tell if it’s coming from my ears, my brain (though I realize a brain doesn’t make sound, but it “feels” that way when it happens) or what, but it’s very disturbing and disrupting to the ability to function normally until it goes away. Similar to a bad headache where you want to just lay down until it goes away because trying to function through a bad headache can be tough.
Once I take the pill again, it slowly fades away over about a few hours. I’ve had the same thing happen when I tried Buspar, only it was sort of the opposite; I’d not have the symptoms, take Buspar, develop the symptoms, and upon stopping Bubspar and letting it’s effects wear off, the symptoms also disappeared.
– I also frequently, almost daily, get some degree of speckled vision episodes, where for example I’ll be reading some text on a page/my phone, etc. and if the text is black one white there will be random missing, white, “specks” in the black letters, or if it’s white text on black background, the specks will be black specks in portions of the white letters. the specks are random as far as where they appear, but many. And then about 1/3 of the time that will turn into what I’ve so far read to be some sort of visual migraine, where my center of vision slowly disappears for about half an hour. I can look directly at something, and it’s just “not there”, but I can see the rest of the room in my peripheral vision. It’s usually not occurring during any actual headache, nor does a headache follow it.