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Eye & Vision Message Board

Eye & Vision Board Index

Hello - I am new to these forums but have a problem I hope someone can helpme with. Over a year ago I fell very hard on my tailbone and then hit the back of my head very hard. Since then my vision has been very blurry, testing at 20/200 at two different optometrist's offices. CT and MRI of my brain and several different tests on my eyes have all come back completely normal. I've been told I've been seen by the very best neuro-ophthalmologists in my area. I have been told by all that my vision will return to normal eventually since they can find no damage. Quite by accident, I was advised by a relative stranger to see a chiropractor because falling on my tailbone so hard could have jarred my spine causing a nerve to get pinched in my neck somewhere that could be controlling my vision. Does anyone have any experience with a chiropractor and getting their vision improved? Wouldn't the pinched nerve (if there is one) have shown up on some other test? Other than the CT and the MRI, the doctors just "looked" into my eyes with their bright flashlights after dilating my pupils. Thank you in advance for any help you might be in finding a solution to my vision problems.
There is absolutely no way that a pinched spinal nerve affects your vision. Adjusting your spine is not going to improve your vision.

Vision is through the optic nerve and the brain working together. If that optic nerve is damaged or inflammed then you'll have problems. If the brain and the optic nerve are unable to work together, i.e., such as having a condition like alzheimers or ms or blunt trauma to the eye or head.

If you are having blurred vision it is unrelated to an injury to your tailbone. I would avoid any adjustments of your neck and spine by a chiropractor if you indeed do have any type of pinched nerve. The adjustments and pinched nerve will cause you damage. Best to have physical therapy for your tailbone injury.

The back of your head had trauma and your eye doctors have examined and ruled out any damage via MRI and examinations. They've ruled out eye inflammation, eye hemorrhaging, etc? I don't discount that you are still experiencing blurred vision but it isn't from a pinched spinal nerve. Keep searching for answers and good luck! :)
Thank you for replying to my post. You sound so certain that there is no way a pinched nerve (even if it's in my neck?) could cause any vision problems. I've been trying to find the answer to my problem for 14 months now and I was really excited that I may have found a new path of treatment to follow in hopes of my vision returning to normal. I'm not having any trouble with my tailbone now - it was painful for a time but got better eventually. The person who told me this in the first place later gave me a print out of the spine showing that Vertebrae C1 and C2 affect the eyes and optic nerves. How can you be so sure she's way off base here and that I would be, too, to look for help from a chiropractor? By the way, I have an appointment set up for May 10, but now you're scaring me. Please advise. Thanks!
Is this person who suggested this in the medical field and if so, what is their specialty? Just curious. I have more info to share but want to know who gave you such a referral and recommendation.
I did some reading and it appears this is a chiropractic theory. I am not against chiropractors. I've received excellent care but believe that manipulation of the cervical spine should be avoided--and especially if one has a pinched nerve. MDs warn that if you have a pinched nerve avoid chiropractic care. Neurologists and neuro-ophthalmologists would disagree with this concept/procedure.

I can understand how it is tempting, but again with manipulation of your cervical spine, I would be careful.

I can accept that if you were hit in the back of the head that an eye injury could be possible (contrecoup). I do believe you. Maybe you'll get more responses on your original post. Didn't mean to burst your hopes--just be cautious with your neck/spine. :) Glad that your tailbone has healed!
To make a long story short, because I've been without income for so long, we are now having to declare bankruptcy. The person giving me this advice is the real estate agent who came to appraise our home. She asked why the bankruptcy, I told her, and she asked if anyone had suggested I see a chiropractor because she was in an auto accident over a year ago and still suffering some numbness and tingling in her hands and fingers and she was sent to a chiropractor a few months ago. He discovered a pinched nerve, and now she is getting traction/therapy and says she is getting better. She's not a doctor, I know, but it worked for her and I was hoping it might work for me. No one I have seen in the medical field has searched beyond my eyes for a possible reason for my blurred vision other than when I applied for social security disability and they sent me to a psychiatrist who actually diagnosed me with conversion disorder. I don't want it to be a "mental" problem and find that hard to accept, so I'm grasping at any other physical cause my blurred vision could possibly be the result of. Thank you for your concern and help.
I'm sorry that you've been going through a really tough time. Well I know that you're going to make the visit on May 10th. Good luck. Be sure to share because I am interested in what happens for you. You might ask the chiropractor if he has any specialists (eye doctors and neurologists) that he uses for referrals. Find out who he uses and their understanding and beliefs on this matter.

That's interesting about the real estate agent. What kind of accident did she have?

If you can, you might want to try researching for case studies (medical research papers) with regards to indirect trauma and/or injury to back of head/neck affecting vision.

I am sorely disappointed of the conversion disorder as I believe that is unfair for you and unlikely too.

Have you been able to review the report from the neuro-opthalmologist? There must have been some reason why you were sent. What was the eye dx and findings of the exam? Any pupil defect? inflammation? hemorrhaging? What was your eye pressures? Why is it you have a VS of 20/200, blurred vision, and told you'll get better? Can you see with correction or not? Does your blurred vision fluctuate or remain fuzzy all the time?

Dr Soyhan Hayreh, retinal specialist, says if you have had trauma to the head at any time in your past you should tell your eye doc whenever your eyes are checked for glaucoma. As axons are lost due to glaucoma. a portion of the optic nerve in the afflicted eye becomes thinner. Optical coherence tomography and pachymetry help track the progression of glaucoma. I reviewed a case study of a patient who had an airbag injury to her eye. It caused angle recession, scarring, and lead to high pressure and glaucoma. It took time for all of this to happen. The glaucoma was missed due to a retinal vein occlusion that developed (hid the high eye pressure). Angle recession occurs after injury. it could be from an air bag or due to a blow to the eye or other blunt injury. Have you seen a retina specialist?

Keep in touch! :angel:
The real estate agent was in an auto accident and had severe whiplash injury (among others).

No, I have not seen a retinal specialist because none of the 4 docs I've seen so far feel there is any kind of damage to my retinas.

I did see both reports from both neuro-ophthalmologists and they both report my eyes and the pathways to my brain are in perfect order. No retinal problems. No pressure problems. The 1st eye doc said he felt the trauma of the fall was causing me some stress and to seek counseling. He diagnosed me with non-organic visual loss. I then went for a 2nd opinion and the 2nd eye doc also found no problems and diagnosed me with postconcussion brain syndrome. I have had three vision field tests and a test where they put sensors on my forehead and I had to look at this light in the machine that was to measure some kind of response to my vision/brain activity. I can't remember the name of the test. Electro...something. These tests were all normal. I know I have NOT had an EMG, which was another test the real estate agent said I should have. I saw a different ophthalmologist on Feb. 2, 2004 and he reports my vision is 20/200 but can find no damage anywhere. This is my best corrected vision, by the way. I DO wear glasses, but they are not correcting my vision to what it was before my head injury (20/25). I do not wear my glasses now because my vision is more distorted when I wear them than when I don't. I can see things clearly at a distance of about 8-10 inches, after that the images and words are extremely blurry. I am sitting about 18 inches from my computer screen and I cannot read the words I am typing. (Typing/proofreading) was my profession, by the way). Something interesting to me is the discrepancy in the neuro-ophthalmologist's reports versus my optometrist and the ophthalmologist I saw on Feb. 2. Both "neuro" docs report my best corrected vision at 20/35 up to 20/60. Their reports both refer to the fact that I can "identify" letters on the 20/35 line (for example) but have trouble "naming" them. Do they speak a different language than the rest of us? I could "see" that there was a black speck on the line but couldn't "identify" or "name" it without prompting from the neuro docs. I don't think it's correct to say my vision is correctable to that level when I can't actually "see" or "read" at that level. The other two eye docs reported my best corrected vision at the level I could actually see and read without struggling to identify what I was looking at. I was in tears at the neuro doc's offices because I couldn't see what they wanted me to and they kept badgering me because it was taking so long for me to decipher the blurred specks I was trying to identify for them.

I have researched traumatic brain injury, head injury, eye injury, etc., extensively and that's what led me to this advice board. I think the docs are saying I will get better because they can't find anything WRONG. And just in case it could be conversion disorder, I have been in therapy for 5 months. I'm trying out all the options. Accupuncture and massage therapy are next on my list. I hope I've given you some more info that might be helpful. Pick my brain if you have specific questions that might not seem important to me. Thanks!
I understand what you mean about the different VS based on reading the chart. Each office I visited had their own methods and ways of interpreting the patient's ability to see. The tech or doctor should note in the patient's chart which line was read and how many letters correctly, and what was missed in the progress notes. So the progress notes should also indicate specifically what you could and couldn't discern.

The Postconcussion diagnosis appears more sound than psychiatric. A PET scan would probably help you more as it magnifies better than an MRI or CT.
Thank you, Californiasunflower, for all your input. I will contact my medical doctor about a PET scan. I don't think I mentioned before that this injury occured at work, so being a worker's comp claim, ALL the doctors I saw were picked out and paid for by the insurance company for my employer and once they had two doctors agreeing on no injury to my eyes and a couple suggesting it could be a "mental" problem, they stopped paying me disability payments. No one ever suggested a PET scan. So, I'm on my own now trying to find the solution to my vision problems. I will try to keep you informed of what happens with the chiropractor and/or PET scan. Thanks again for all your information.
Your absolutely welcomed! I hope that you are not having to deal with this alone but able to obtain an attorney versed in worker's compensation law. I don't know what state you're in and how those laws apply where you are, but if in CA, the consultation is free as is the service for legal representation. At the end of the award process is when the attorney's office gets paid and that is based on a set percentage. It is worth the effort to help you through this process to have an expert and that kind of support all around, if you haven't already. Good luck and keep me and the board informed! :)
Californiasunflower, are you still around? I wanted to update you on my vision problems. My appt with the chiropractor was changed from 5/10 to 5/12. He took several xrays of my spine and by marking it with a pencil, he was able to show me that my C1 vertebrae is out of alignment. I asked him if it could be caused by my fall over a year ago and he said he can't PROVE it, but it certainly could have happened at that time because falling like I did and hitting my head was a form of whiplash injury. There is about a 3 mm difference in the open space at C1 on the left side of my neck versus the right. He made an adjustment on my neck and advised me to come back several times to see if it helps me with my vision. I didn't ask him, but do you think he will take xrays again to see if there has been any change after a few "adjustments"? It didn't hurt, it was just a little scary to hear my neck cracking. He knows of people who have been helped with vision problems after receiving these adjustments and I have documentation I've gotten off the internet. I'm really praying this will help and I did have a lawyer helping me with my worker's comp case until an independent medical examiner appointment by the worker's comp board of the state of Indiana (where I live) also reported he could find no injury to my eyes. Several people I have talked with (in and out of the medical profession) believe I should have been evaluated by a chiropractor early on in my injury since my eyes appeared normal. I'm excited about this and hope it does me some good. I will be contacting my lawyer if my vision does improve and maybe I'll sue the socks off the insurance company for not exploring ALL the medical options they could have. I even had a nurse caseworker assigned to me to coordinate my care and she didn't think of a chiropractor. I will continue to keep you posted. If anything I've said catches your interest, please reply, good or bad. I'm very interested in what you have to say. Thanks!
Hey Hope2seebetter!

The IME was for the employer's side, right? So they are going to try and find nothing wrong with you, although they have to be ethical about it as well.

I'm thinking it appears that this procedure may be considered experimental so the medical personnel handling your case may avoid referring you for experimental services. But, if other medical professionals have documented in the progress notes that you should be referred for chiropractic treatment, and the chiropractor's xrays show an injury, those report(s) need to go to your worker's compensation attorney to document injury and medical necessity for care. Is your attorney aware of your care with the Chiropractor? I think he/she needs to know what you're doing right now and be aware of any action you pursue so they can represent fully.

Also, if the Chiropractor is aware of individuals who has been helped by this does he have any cited medicals cases that he can refer your attorney to about this? Any case law that your attorney is aware of with similar situation?

With regards to your eyes, have you noticed any improvement?

I'm editing because after closing, the devil advocate came out to play and is asking these questions, which are important:

1) There's no sign of eye damage but you mentioned that you were told your vision "will return" so the medical community you were seen by admits that you are experiencing "low vision." Is that correct? How are they documenting this low vision?

2) The CT and MRI indicated no damage. Did that include C1? Ask yourself how a chiropractor's xray shows C1 damage but the imaging quality---better than xray--does not reflect damage? You need to answers because the worker's comp. people to rule out your claim will be. What is the proof that your C1 is out?

3) Ask why the medical community (neuro-ophthalmologists, neurologists, MDs, Eye Doctors) does not embrace this therapy but chiropractors do?
Be careful! You could spend lots of money plus be injured more. I know that the real estate agent referred you, but still cautioning you.

What you need is proof of your low vision by the medical community and if this Chiropractor can help you, I hope that turns out well. Did you ask if an eye doctor supports his claims? Is the Eye Doc reputable?

Hoping for the best outcome for you! :)
Yes, the IME was paid for by my employer's insurance company. Everyone was! I don't believe anyone would document anything stating chiropractic treatment might help me because once I left the emergency room on the day of my fall no one ever examined any other part of my body but my eyes and brain. I reported headaches - they all attributed it to hitting my head, which does make sense, but they still haven't gone away completely. I did say something to the chiropractor about contacting my lawyer but he suggested I wait and see if the treatments do me any good. I think I'll go ahead and write the lawyer a letter next week - just to start some documentation going. As far as my vision goes, most of the time I can see pretty well if the objects aren't any farther than 1-2 feet from me. That's looking at objects. As far as reading words on paper or books, I can read large print fairly well at about 6 inches away from my face. Anything smaller, then I need a magnifying glass. Typing and proofreading is what I do (did) for my living, so this sucks! (sorry)
That's a good idea to keep your attorney informed of what you are doing and of all medical providers. Are you suppose to get authorization from the comp. carrier prior to seeing any medical providers? You might want to call your attorney's office and ask his/her assistant who will know this if the attorney is unavailable.
I'm completely on my own for treatment options now because the worker's comp insurance company terminated my benefits in November, 2003, after they received a second opinion report that there is NO damage to my eyes, so this problem of mine must be "mental". As there is no medical evidence of injury, they officially reported that I am unable to work for a noncompensable injury. Since the IME also reported no evidence of injury, my lawyer felt there would be no advantage to appealing the decision because we have nothing factual (other than visual acuity tests) to base my claim on. He did not charge me a dime, by the way, and said he would continue to fight this for me if I wanted him to - again, receiving nothing if I lost - but he didn't feel any judge would overturn the opinions of 3 doctors saying there is no injury to my eyes. Maybe this chiropractic finding is a good thing?? If I respond to the treatments and my vision does improve, that's a good thing, whether or not I can open up my workman's comp case and sue for payment. I have been checking out some threads on the spinal disorders forum and a reader had me do a "chiropractor" search - all with mixed reviews. It seems to work for some and not for others. I'm excited this option may work for me but all apprehensive that something could go wrong. I think I will try it for a couple more "adjustments" and see what happens.
Are you aware of the amount of time you have to appeal? Once you pass that appeal time, you won't be able to take further action on your case. So make sure you do this all within that time allotted and contact your attorney to let him know what you're doing and get his opinion. Keep him in the loop because he is the one who can help you and vice a versa. I certainly understand your position and wanting to try this. Good luck!

Maybe you'll get more responses from others who have tried this method.
I just wanted to update my post and let you all know what's happening with me. I have now seen the chiropractor for three "adjustments" on my neck and after the 3rd one, there has definitely been some improvement in my vision. I return next week for 2 more visits. I did notify the attorney I had when my worker's comp case was active (sent the letter Sunday) and I have not heard anything from him. I have another letter all ready to mail to him tomorrow telling him I am noticing some progress with my vision. The chiropractor spoke with me at length about the type of injury I have and he told me that in his opinion I did NOT receive the best medical care that I could have for the type of injury I had. He said at minimum an MRI of my neck should have been performed. As I stated earlier, the only films taken were plain films of my tailbone and a CT of my brain and a couple of weeks later an MRI of my brain. I am going to fight to get my W/C case re-opened since I AM responding to the chiropractic adjustments and because I may not have received the best medical care available to me. At present, though, I am extremely happy that there has been some improvement in my vision. My W/C case was originally closed in March, 2004, so I have plenty of time to ask for it to be re-opened. I will keep you informed of my progress. :)
Glad to hear of your progress. :)

I'm surprised there wasn't one (MRI) of cervical spine. With that kind of injury, you could have lordosis. Did the chiro explain that? Did you at least have an xray of the cervical area?
Hi there CAsunflower! No, the chiro did not bring up lordosis at all. He DID take a complete set of spinal films on me including cervical films. From what I could tell when looking at his current films and some films I have back from 1998, there is no abnormal curvature. When he was looking at my films he took on my first visit, he asked how old I was and when I told him 52, he said I have a very nice looking spine for my age. Glad to hear that! At this point he is not going to order an MRI of my neck, but I will push to get one done if I can get my W/C case re-opened, if nothing more than for comparison with the 1998 MRI. I am so happy with the little bit of improvement I see with my vision and praying with all my might it's not just another level I might plateau at for several months. I'll post again when I have news, but for now I am :bouncing: for joy!! :D :D
Interestingly, there is a medical book called Clinical Nursing by June M. Thompson, Gertrude K. McFarland, ,Jane E. Hirsch, Susan M. Tucker, Arden C. Bowens that indicates head injury by contrecoup and the example is a fall on the buttocks!

That's all it says. It does not go into any further explanation than just that statement.

Glad to hear that your spine is in good shape! Hope that it stays that way and you do get mended completely. Health is much better with regards to worth than anything else in the world!

Here's to complete recovery and staying well! :)
:wave: Thank you for your input on that nursing book. May come in handy if I have to fight anyone on my treatment. I received a letter from my W/C lawyer in the mail Saturday and he said the only way he would consider re-opening my case is if I obtain a report from a specialist stating my vision problems are causally related to my accident at work. I will ask for one from my chiropractor and see what happens. I hope a chiropractor is considered a specialist??? By the way, I walked down a flight of stairs earlier today facing forward with one hand on the railing and the other at my side. That is the first time in over 15 months that I have not come down the stairs either backwards or sideways, one step at a time, holding onto the railings or walls for dear life! I have noticed a big improvement in my depth perception. I can distinguish where the steps start and end and where the curbs are. That is such a relief for me! :D
I hope your progression of vision return continues. :)
Hello Californiasunflower - I hope you're still around. I've been away for the last three weeks visiting my sister in Michigan and then my niece in Pittsburgh and I haven't made it to a computer in awhile to report on my progress with my vision. I am so very happy to tell you that I'm noticing several changes and improvements. The last thing I mentioned was the improvement in my depth perception in May. I noticed on the car ride to Michigan (4+ hours) and then on to Pittsburgh (6+ hours) that I no longer felt nauseous and dizzy while riding in the car. That was another big problem for me along with the stairsteps and curbs. Also, I attempted to put a puzzle together at my sister's house and I was able to do it! My last attempt had been at the end of March and I gave up in despair because I just couldn't see the edges and colors well enough to assemble the pieces. The very best part of my improvement came on the 22nd of June when I was outside in Pittsburgh trying to watch a water fountain that sprayed water in synchronization to music. The sun was shining so brightly on the water that I had to put on my prescription sunglasses just to be able to look at the fountain and I noticed that my vision with the sunglasses on was greatly improved - clearer than it has been in 16 months!! :D :D I do not get the same effect with my regular prescription glasses, but my vision was somewhat better, so I'm hoping it's just a matter of time now when the blurriness clears up completely and my vision is back to normal. I have 2 more appointments with the chiropractor next week (after a break of these past 3 weeks) and I am just hoping and praying for continued improvement. I hope all is well with you, CA sunflower! :cool:
Hi! I too have been off! So glad to find your news! It sounds as though you are still photophobic with the bright sunlight reflecting on the water but with the sunglasses, you were able to view the water show! You may always need to wear sunglasses and, it is probably a good idea to have them on any time you are outside to protect your eyes from the sun's brightness and rays!

Working your brain and eyes together is going to also help you get back to recovery. I'm glad to hear that you were able to relax with your family and participate in doing the puzzle. That is a great idea!

You have a great attitude and I'm sure that you'll have your vision back to normal. It appears as though you are on the side of recovering! And that's good news! :D

So glad you were able to endure the long trip to your family's.

Your pal,

Cal Sun :cool:
Excuse me? I don't understand what these letters mean. Can someone please explain?
In order to completely delete a post, you have to leave a few letters, so CEL just typed some random letters.
Thanks, Torre! I was afraid I was getting cussed out and didn't know it! :confused: I feel better now :D
Californiasunflower, are you still around? :wave: I wanted to tell you that after a little over three months of chiropractic adjustments on my neck, my vision has returned to normal! :bouncing: :bouncing: I have been driving for about 2 weeks now and hope to find a job soon so I can be a productive human being again!! :D I know you were skeptical at first about my seeking the help of a chiropractor, but I thank you tremendously for your support and concern! My optometrist thinks we had a "miracle" :angel: (maybe he shares the same opinion of chiropractors as lawyers and insurance companies since my workman's comp lawyer would not accept a report from my chiropractor because chiropractors are not viewed as a "specialist" where an insurance company is concerned). Whatever it was that happened to me, I thank God and all those that prayed for my recovery and I'm just one happy, thankful person right now. I hope all is well with you and may God bless you for being a caring person.
Your healthboard buddy,
Dear hope2seeyoubetter!

I am so glad that your vision is restored and you are making progress since your recovery. That's what is important. Thank you for the blessings. I appreciate them and wish many for you!

Your pal,

Cal Sun :cool:

What great news! Exactly what kind of treatment did the chiropractor give you for your neck? Did he do that unpleasant wrench to the left and right? Some chiropractors don't do that anymore because it can cause problems (one of the problems being a lawsuit). When I used to go to the chiropractor, he would give me that neck twist, but beyond that didn't do anything else on my neck. That's why I'm wondering what your chiro did that helped so much.

My chiropractor did do that unpleasant wrench to the left and to the right. While it didn't hurt, it was frightening to hear my neck cracking. Before he would do that, though, he always felt on the right side of my neck until he found what he was looking for and then cracked it at that point. He originally said my neck was out of alignment at the C1-2 level, which he felt could have been a form of whiplash injury from the type of fall and jerking of my head I suffered. Whatever my problem was, I have no one else to give credit to but my chiropractor because no other "specialist" was able to help me. I am so relieved to have my vision back to normal!!
Hmmm, he didn't do anything different then, than my chiro did. I used to get my neck "cracked" before my eye problems started and haven't tried it since, so I don't know if it would help me. Anyway, glad it worked so well for you.

Torre, I'm so sorry your are having vision problems! Mine were the direct result of a hard bump to my head during a fall and my chiro said I should have been seen by a neurologist for a neck MRI to check for nerve damage when it was determined by all the eye specialists that my eyes were not injured. However, it was a workman's comp case and I went where I was told and did what I was told by the insurance company and no one ever suggested any other medical treatment beyond my eyes. So, I went nearly 9 additional months (18 total) in a world of blurriness before someone new to the picture suggested seeing a chiropractor. I'm so happy I did but I'm not going back to him again because the procedure is just too unpleasant for me to go through if I don't really need to anymore. I hope you find a solution to your vision problems also! If your family is anything like mine, they don't have a clue what you're going through, and because you don't "look like anything is wrong", they often forget the help you need. Hang in there!

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