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Vision, Heart Rate, and Medication

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Unread 05-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
wakey
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Default Vision, Heart Rate, and Medication

Hello again. I've been away for a while trying to avoid the computer as much as possible, as it and television screens seem to exacerbate my symptoms. I have made improvements since my concussion ~8 months ago, but still have all of the main symptoms; they are just less pronounced. I'm wondering if anyone has any strategies for vision, or whether it's worth seeing an or some similar type of doctor?

Also wondering if anyone else experiences their symptoms worsen when their heart rate goes up?

Finally, I wonder whether taking medications for migraines does more harm than good by masking symptoms?
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Unread 05-05-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
Mark in Idaho
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It is not uncommon for increases in blood pressure and heart rate to coincide with increased cognitive struggles. An over-stimulation can cause a increase in adrenaline which causes the blood pressure and pulse to increase.

The migraine medication question would depend on the type of migraine medication.

Have you had any upper neck work done to help with neck to skull muscle spasms that may be causing your head aches?
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 05-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
wakey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Idaho View Post
It is not uncommon for increases in blood pressure and heart rate to coincide with increased cognitive struggles. An over-stimulation can cause a increase in adrenaline which causes the blood pressure and pulse to increase.

The migraine medication question would depend on the type of migraine medication.

Have you had any upper neck work done to help with neck to skull muscle spasms that may be causing your head aches?
Hi Mark,

I haven't had any "upper neck work" done, I don't think. What does this entail? Any insight into the vision stuff?
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Unread 05-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
Mark in Idaho
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Upper neck work would be by a Upper Cervical Chiropractor (NUCCA.org) or a Physical Therapist who does a little gentle traction with gentle manipulations.

You did not explain what the vision issue you have other than struggling to watch TV or a computer screen.

Do you have a hi def TV or old normal resolution tube TV?

Is you computer a flat screen or a CRT display (big box old TV like monitor)?

Do you have surround sound with your TV?
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Mark in Idaho
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


"Be Still and Know That I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 05-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
MomandSon
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Hi,

Regarding your vision issues, I would see an eye specialist. I took my son to a very good eye specialist in Boston because he complained of blurred vision about a month after he got a concussion. The eye specialist says it's common to have vision problems after a concussion and typically your eyes do go back to normal as you recover and so it's temporary.

In my son's case, he prescribed glasses for him to wear in the meantime. He likes wearing them and says it really helps. I asked the doctor about vision therapy but he felt in my son's case that it was important to relax the muscles because he's been straining his eyes trying to see. He also felt it might help his headaches.

So far, it's only been a week and it's working out well for my son.

I know there are different types of vision problems you can have from a concussion but if you find a good eye specialist, I bet he could help you.

Good luck!
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Unread 05-06-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
wakey
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Thanks MomandSon.

Mark, my vision issues are as follows. My eyes are very sensitive to light and fast moving objects, particularly on screen. My eyes begin to "hurt" and my headache becomes more intense the longer I engage with moving pictures/computer screens. My overall sense of well being goes down as well.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wakey View Post
Thanks MomandSon.

Mark, my vision issues are as follows. My eyes are very sensitive to light and fast moving objects, particularly on screen. My eyes begin to "hurt" and my headache becomes more intense the longer I engage with moving pictures/computer screens. My overall sense of well being goes down as well.
Hi wakey,

I had similar troubles after the injury I sustained for more than a year and still do to a lesser extent and it's been almost two years since the accident I was in.

My optometrist and ophthalmologist both told me the troubles I was having was due to the area of processing in my brain was damaged and too slow to be able to interpret what my eyes were seeing fast enough. They both said it would improve over time and it has. It's not back to normal yet.

When you continue to try to watch things that make your eyes or brain hurt, it sounds like you are taxing your brain unnecessarily. That could cause a setback, or delay in the time of your recovery. Your brain is trying to heal itself. Pushing it too hard isn't good for it. It's considered best to increase its ability gently with small steps: watch something you can handle until you're able to watch something faster and stop before your eyes or brain start to hurt. Keep watching at that rate until you can watch something faster and repeat... I hope that makes sense.

It should get better in time.

I have found that my general sense of well being degrades quite a bit when I overdo it; my brain needs a certain amount of energy to function and when it doesn't have the energy it needs to function I feel awful. I really have to pace myself. I've read that a lot of people recovering from concussions and brain injuries have to deal with fatigue and that the idea is that it takes more energy for the brain to function than it did before the trauma. Hopefully, the fatigue will lessen in time.

I think you might benefit from pacing yourself a little more and understanding that your brain is not able to do what it could before the trauma. That doesn't mean it's permanent, but it just needs rest. Rest doesn't mean laying down in a dark room, but avoiding overstimulating sources until it can heal itself.

I recommend that you talk to your doctors about your symptoms so you can get a professional opinion.

Even though my eyesight and brain have gotten better in time I still may have benefitted from getting some vision therapy. And everyone's brain injury is very different. There may be something you are not able to analyze or communicate that a specialist could determine by testing you. I'm still considering some vision therapy myself.

I hope that helps.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
wakey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsthersDoll View Post
Hi wakey,

I had similar troubles after the injury I sustained for more than a year and still do to a lesser extent and it's been almost two years since the accident I was in.

My optometrist and ophthalmologist both told me the troubles I was having was due to the area of processing in my brain was damaged and too slow to be able to interpret what my eyes were seeing fast enough. They both said it would improve over time and it has. It's not back to normal yet.

When you continue to try to watch things that make your eyes or brain hurt, it sounds like you are taxing your brain unnecessarily. That could cause a setback, or delay in the time of your recovery. Your brain is trying to heal itself. Pushing it too hard isn't good for it. It's considered best to increase its ability gently with small steps: watch something you can handle until you're able to watch something faster and stop before your eyes or brain start to hurt. Keep watching at that rate until you can watch something faster and repeat... I hope that makes sense.

It should get better in time.

I have found that my general sense of well being degrades quite a bit when I overdo it; my brain needs a certain amount of energy to function and when it doesn't have the energy it needs to function I feel awful. I really have to pace myself. I've read that a lot of people recovering from concussions and brain injuries have to deal with fatigue and that the idea is that it takes more energy for the brain to function than it did before the trauma. Hopefully, the fatigue will lessen in time.

I think you might benefit from pacing yourself a little more and understanding that your brain is not able to do what it could before the trauma. That doesn't mean it's permanent, but it just needs rest. Rest doesn't mean laying down in a dark room, but avoiding overstimulating sources until it can heal itself.

I recommend that you talk to your doctors about your symptoms so you can get a professional opinion.

Even though my eyesight and brain have gotten better in time I still may have benefitted from getting some vision therapy. And everyone's brain injury is very different. There may be something you are not able to analyze or communicate that a specialist could determine by testing you. I'm still considering some vision therapy myself.

I hope that helps.
Thanks. I do not go on the computer nearly as much as I need to, and so I am resting my brain in that sense. I certainly learned this the hard way. My fatigue has gotten a bit better over the past few months except on particularly bad days. It is so difficult to cope with all these symptoms--as they prevent me from leading a normal life. I know you understand.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #9
EsthersDoll
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I *totally* understand.

I try to think of it as a "pause" or "limbo" in my life; something I have to deal with until I can well enough to be able to get on with my life.

I'm very disappointed that the medical field can't offer us more. But, I'm sure many people who deal with serious afflictions feel the same way. At least our conditions aren't terminal.

Sometimes, I daydream about the 24th century (think: Star Trek) and that if we were alive then, that our concussions could be resolved instantly with the wave of a tricorder.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 06:01 PM   #10
emme727
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Hi! I've been "away" for a little while too -- so many therapy appointments!!!

Anyway, I was sent to an eye specialist under the recommendation of the occupational therapist. My eyes have changed since the accident.

I have a new Rx for glasses (my sight has changed in the 5 months from my previous check).

Depth of field is limited
peripheral sight is limited
eyes track differently: left eye tracks higher and the the right, left lower and the the left.
I was seeing slightly double, but it was not noticeable until I got the new glasses.

I will start vision therapy next week (I believe).

Esthersdoll: startrek. Yes!
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wife and mother of 5 (18, 13, 11, 7, 5)
was: design professor, farmer, and had been studying masters in herbalism and doctorate of naturopathy before accident. now: practicing patience.

What happened: Feb 5 2012 passenger in a single MVA which flipped over end and then rolled 3-4 times. Dx with moderate concussion and released. Dx with PCS a few weeks later

Dealing with: temple to temple headaches, nausea, tinnitus, extreme noise sensitivity, light sensitivity, vertigo, short term memory issues, concentration, become overwhelmed easily, word-finding, stuttering, confusion, sleep issues (falling/staying asleep), fatigue +++

Prescribed: Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, and rest!!!
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