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Visual disturbance ???

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I was wondering if visual disturbance can be a symptom of cervical problems.

My physiotherapist was working on my neck, just gently mobilising my neck, at the higher levels. He moved my head over to the left shoulder and was working on the right side. I noticed that my vision went very strange. I can't describe it very well because I closed my eyes. I did tell him, but he didn't seem to be too concerned and continued to work on my neck, just telling me to get up very carefully when he had finished.

Is this a common symptom from the higher cervical levels. I have been getting lots of headaches and ear pain in both ears too.

I do get very slight light headedness, but not enough to cause great problems. I have been ignoring that.

I am going on holiday in 2 weeks, and I just want all this to wait until I get back again, before following up to see if it needs investigation.

Am I unusual, or have others had similar problems?



  • The occipital lobe is located in the back of your head and is where vision is processed. The greater and lesser occipital nerves can be pinched if you have muscle spasm from the back of the neck. I suffer from this ever since I herniated the disc at C5-C6.

    Visual disturbances can also make you dizzy - I've been dealing with this for months and it's gotten better since surgery.

    As for the hearing issues, I too have had that due to tight muscles at the side of the neck. I used to have tinnitus, but that went away after surgery.

    Anytime neck muscles spasms and are tight, you can get visual as well as auditory disturbances.

    Hope you have a great vacation! :)

    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Check out the cranial nerves. I learned from bad experience that most of the nerves that control things in your head travel down the spine and exit at the T1 area. Then they run back up the front of the neck and into the head...talk about taking the long way there!!

    So the short answer is that yes things in your neck can affect hearing, vision, taste and smell. It can also affect feeling in the face and scalp.

    Jelly I have damage to my cranial III nerve where it exits at T1/2 and it affects my vision. My daughter who was in the car accident with me has had ear pain since then and my guess is that she has a nerve being affected by muscle spasms in her neck.
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  • I am so fed up with all of this!

    I try to stay positive and know that there are so many people who have much worse problems than me, but I just want to be able to forget about spine problems!

    I suppose I am lucky that I only get the pain in my ears when my headache is particularly bad.

    Some good news I got this week (trying to think positive) is the dentist told me at my check up that my teeth were perfect. :D

    My spine is rubbish, but at least I have good teeth.

  • fwiw...my vision is very blurred..not sure if its from getting older or what, but it's much worse since the surgery.

    Gentle hugs to you my spiney friend. Keep smiling and flashing your pearly whites!!!! And happy One Year post op anniversary!!! You rock!!!

  • Lili, thanks for the vacation wishes. I really need this holiday and can't wait. 2 weeks today we set off.

    Kris, I checked out the cranial nerves, and Wow! I see that this visual disturbance could definately be from my neck.
    Even more interesting is that 6 weeks after my fusion I was thought to have had a TIA, but after brain CT scan and ultrasound of my cartoid arteries in my neck, everything was normal so they said it must have been a migrane.
    My symptoms were severe visual disturbance with scotoma and the strangest thing of all was that I lost the ability to read. I could speak fine, but couldn't make sense of the written word. Now I see that the part of the brain that deals with this function is at the occipital part of the brain, right next to the visual area. Now I wonder if that episode was due to my neck problems.


    Thanks for the hugs and anniversary wishes.

    Take care all my spiney friends >:D< >:D< >:D<

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  • The headaches and the ear pain and noise can be also. My daughter is having a test on the nerves to her ear tomorrow. For the last two years she has suffered with intermittant ear pain. We've tried every specialist and treatment with no help. I'm not sure what is involved but it is being done by an audiologist.

    I'll let you know what I learn. Maybe we can finally get some answers.

    Oh another thing I learned about vision. The anti-depressant type drugs like Lyrica and neurontin do cause vision problems. When I stopped them my vision got better..not perfect. But it was so bad that I couldn't read for more than 5 minutes.

  • hope that your daughter's tests all went well and that they have been able to discover what is causing her problems.

    What an intricate thing the human body (and especially the brain and spine) is.
  • Well the ear nerve test was something new. They put two electrodes above her eyes. Then they put these ear plug (those squishy ones) in her ears with leads attached. All this is attached to a computer. It sends beeps at different volumes to her ears and records the nerve activity from the electrodes.

    The whole this took a half hour. More setup than anything. Now we wait for her to analyze the results and talk to the doctor. Probably won't hear from him until Tuesday.

    Isn't it sad when you hope they find something just so you know what to do?

  • I think when we have symptoms and don't know what is causing them, we just want to discover the problem so we can formulate a plan to deal with it.

    These medical puzzles can be hard to solve, but knowing what we are dealing with is better than the uncertainty of unsolved puzzles.

    Do let us know, Kris, how things go. I'll be thinking for you. :-) >:D<

  • I was wondering what the results of the ear nerve test that your daughter had were.

    Did you discover what is causing the pain in her ears?

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