Symptoms of Ocular Tendonitis
The pain from ocular tendonitis can radiate from the eye
to the head. This is one of the more prevalent problems with ocular
tendonitis and is responsible for a large percentage of tension headaches
as well as a small percentage of migraine. It has been estimated that
between 80-90% of all headaches are tension headache. Approximately 10% of
headaches are migraine.
The quality of the headache derived from ocular
tendonitis can vary from mild to severe. Usually the headache is
predominantly monocular, almost always occurs on the same side, and
coincides with the side that bears the ocular tendonitis.
The headache can last for days depending on the use of the eyes. The tension headache derived from ocular tendonitis can vary considerably in intensity, and, like other tendonitis in the body, can become quite sharp and uncomfortable. Fortunately, intense pain from ocular tendonitis can often be quelled easily and rapidly with anti-inflammatory eye drops.
Because eye muscle imbalances are greater or lesser in
different directions of gaze, people with such imbalances will hold their
heads in positions that lessen the imbalance on their eyes. This helps
ease the tension in maintaining comfortable single vision, but it creates
another problem in the process, neck and backaches.
If an individual has tension on his or her eye muscles
when looking up, then that person would tend to raise his or her chin when
looking at the computer monitor to keep the eyes in down gaze.
Consequently, holding the head back to lift the chin puts an unfavorable
tension on the neck and back.
Ergonomically adjusting the monitor to different heights can help alleviate the tension on the eyes and the need to compensate with the head.
One of the names used in the past for eye muscle
imbalance is squint. People with difficulty holding images together are
particularly bothered by sunlight. In the bright sunlight, some tend to
close one eye or squint.
Also, light and darkness affect how the two eyes align.
In the dark the eye muscles tend to diverge. A person who has a diverging
eye muscle imbalance has more difficulty in a dimly lit room and prefers
more indoor light. People who have other eye muscle imbalances avoid the
bright light and prefer dimmer light.
Room lighting and computer screen brightness can be
intelligently altered to reduce ocular strain.
The eyes and ears work together to hold our world
steady. When one has difficulty, it affects the other system. Both sensory
systems have two parts: one in the higher brain, vision and hearing, and the
other in the midbrain, balance and equilibrium. When there is an eye muscle
imbalance, the error triggers the motion control centers in the midbrain.
Individuals with imbalances that increase in down
gaze usually have more difficulty with height. While those with up gaze
difficulty often get nauseous viewing a movie in the front row.
Two attributes of inflammation are redness and heat.
In ocular tendonitis, larger amounts of blood come to surface (redness) to bring
biochemical soldiers to the site of an irritation. This extra blood acts to heat
the eye. The heat produced from ocular tendonitis becomes a contributing factor
in dry eye.
Often in cases of ocular tendonitis one eye is usually more problematic or drier and more irritated since ocular tendonitis is usually, although not always, monocular.
Ocular tendonitis happens because the eye muscles get
tired and strained trying to maintain single binocular vision. For many, the
choice is holding the images together with duress or letting one image drift to
relieve the pressure on the eye muscles. When this happens, double vision,
blurred vision with ghost-like or floating images can occur.
Frequently, computer users will see fine in the
morning, but their vision seems to blur by afternoon when the eye muscles become
In class, when an individual with problems in up gaze
looks up from his desk to the chalkboard or computer, they see blurry due to an
increasing eye muscle imbalance in up gaze that is having difficulty sustaining
Many people who have eye muscle imbalances have no
pain or irritation. Their eye muscles function well to overcome any significant
error. However, they may still feel tired eyes when performing prolonged vision
Eyestrain makes the eyes tired and tired eyes lead to sleepy eyes. Many fall asleep after 5-10 minutes reading a book. Some people whose imbalances increase in a dark environment sometimes experience sleepiness while driving at night. One advantage is that these folks do not seem to have trouble going to sleep at bedtime.