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Eye symptom
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tmoody Offline

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Post: #1
Eye symptom
Check out this page, and especially scroll down a bit to the comment by JCottleMD, noting that the symptom can be caused by sleep deprivation.

This, more than anything else, is my own personal indicator of the quality of my previous night's sleep. I've experienced this symptom, on and off, for at least three years. I've spoken to doctors, including neuro and sleep doctors, about it. They dismiss it as stress, which may indeed be a component.

I'm experiencing it today. My AHI last night was 4.7, which is pretty typical for me. Yesterday I didn't have the symptom at all, even though my AHI was 9.4. I suspect it has to do with spontaneous arousals rather than sleep apnea, but that's just a guess. Spontaneous arousals were noted in my sleep study.

I just thought I'd share this, in case anyone else has experienced this hard-to-describe sensation.
05-04-2016 09:55 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Eye symptom
It would be better if you described your own symptoms instead of a link to another page of someone else's symptoms on a free-for-all medical "forum".

Just reading the top post, I immediately thought of my own experience with Effexor, the anti-depressant. For a very small percentage of users, Effexor (and I have read a few other similar drugs) has a side effect of causing weird eye stuff when coming off the medication or when it is skipped. I went through this for about a year or more until we discovered it was the medication, weaned me off of it, and got on another. It was awful.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
05-04-2016 11:16 AM
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tmoody Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Eye symptom
(05-04-2016 11:16 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  It would be better if you described your own symptoms instead of a link to another page of someone else's symptoms on a free-for-all medical "forum".

My symptom is pretty much exactly as described by the OP in the thread I linked to: a feeling like an "electrical jolt" when shifting my gaze. Occasionally it's a strong feeling, usually weak. And just as JCottleMD describes in his comment, I can make it go away for a while by shifting my gaze strenuously to the left, then right, or up and down.

Now that I am able to track AHI, I notice it's imperfectly correlated, as I described above. But I've never experienced it on a day after an AHI below 3.

Quote:Just reading the top post, I immediately thought of my own experience with Effexor, the anti-depressant. For a very small percentage of users, Effexor (and I have read a few other similar drugs) has a side effect of causing weird eye stuff when coming off the medication or when it is skipped. I went through this for about a year or more until we discovered it was the medication, weaned me off of it, and got on another. It was awful.

I've never taken Effexor or any other antidepressant, so I can't compare the experience. But it's possible, I think, that disturbed sleep could cause a similar kind of neurotransmitter imbalance.

In the linked discussion, JCottleMD mentions the "oculovestibular system". I also have tinnitus, and for about the same length of time. Tinnitus is a vestibular disorder. I suppose this is a "weak link" for me, so when my sleep is disturbed, it's where I feel it.
05-04-2016 11:28 AM
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green wings Online

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Post: #4
RE: Eye symptom
I get really stressed when doctors say that. Angry

(05-04-2016 09:55 AM)tmoody Wrote:  They dismiss it as stress

Thanks for the information that this sensation can be caused by sleep deprivation. It's an alarming sensation to have if you have no explanation for it, not least because it can be perceived as a "sound".

I've experienced it when I was taking antidepressant medications. I've usually heard it called "brain zaps".
05-04-2016 12:31 PM
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tmoody Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Eye symptom
(05-04-2016 12:31 PM)green wings Wrote:  I get really stressed when doctors say that. Angry

(05-04-2016 09:55 AM)tmoody Wrote:  They dismiss it as stress

Thanks for the information that this sensation can be caused by sleep deprivation. It's an alarming sensation to have if you have no explanation for it, not least because it can be perceived as a "sound".

I've experienced it when I was taking antidepressant medications. I've usually heard it called "brain zaps".

Yeah, that's the expression that's often used. When I first noticed this, I didn't really know how to search for it online. The sensation is very hard to describe. I stumbled upon "brain zaps" by accident, but immediately recognized it as a good description of the feeling. I soon found the connection to sleep deprivation, but at first disregarded it, because I didn't think I was sleep-deprived. I was, after all, a fully compliant CPAP user.

I don't pay much attention to it anymore; it doesn't happen that often anyway. I used to notice it the day after having more than one alcoholic drink. I didn't realize then that even one or two drinks can impair sleep. Now I seldom have a drink, because I do realize that alcohol only makes my sleep worse.
05-04-2016 12:44 PM
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Sleeprider Online
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Post: #6
RE: Eye symptom
With all respect to neuro and sleep specialists, if you're having a problem in the eyes, that would see to be in the realm of Ophthalmology. They are well versed in disorders that might be neurological or pathological in origin. If you're concerned about this, I think you may be talking to the wrong guys.

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05-04-2016 12:55 PM
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tmoody Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Eye symptom
(05-04-2016 12:55 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  With all respect to neuro and sleep specialists, if you're having a problem in the eyes, that would see to be in the realm of Ophthalmology. They are well versed in disorders that might be neurological or pathological in origin. If you're concerned about this, I think you may be talking to the wrong guys.

I eventually did that, and got the same "stress" answer, but at least I also got new glasses. This symptom has never risen to the level of a persistent problem. There does appear to be a connection with stress, but then quality of sleep is also connected to stress. A lot of things are connected to stress.

Two years ago, I'd been having several consecutive days of intermittent brain zaps, during a period of intense stress at work. My wife was to attend a conference in Hawaii and I went with her. We were there for a week. I didn't have one zap that week. I also felt I was sleeping better than I had in some time (with my S8 Compact in tow). So these things do link up.
05-04-2016 01:05 PM
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Sleeprider Online
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Post: #8
RE: Eye symptom
Well, I'll just say from personal experience that "retirement" solves a lot of stress issues.

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05-04-2016 01:12 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Eye symptom
Sit down with your GP and the two of you go over everything. List the tests you have had, who you have seen, the results, etc. Make sure the GP has all those results. Tell him/her your thoughts about the stress diagnosis and how you have problems believing that. Surely to sh*t there are other symptoms one would have to reflect stress. Have him/her go over everything and even ask they do a consult if necessary. It could be there are a lot of cooks but no one tasting the soup.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
05-04-2016 07:19 PM
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tmoody Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Eye symptom
Well, it's not that I don't buy the stress diagnosis, but stress itself bleeds into a lot of physical systems, including sleep. And I do have other symptoms, such as somewhat unstable blood pressure. But until I read that web forum it never occurred to me to connect the symptom with poor sleep. Once I made the connection, it wasn't hard to see the correlation.
05-04-2016 07:41 PM
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