The eyes could have it! | ME/CFS volunteers being recruited for sight study at Leicester | 29 January 2015

January 29, 2015

Two sight loss charities are about to pay for research at the University of Leicester that may show a clear link between eye problems that often affect people with ME/CFS and the underlying pathology of the illness itself.

The charities – Fight for Sight and the Thomas Pocklington Trust – say the people with ME/CFS often suffer with intolerance to light and dry, itchy or painful eyes but little research has been done to understand exactly how and why the eyes are affected.

In a study to be led by Dr Claire Hutchinson and Dr Frank Proudlock, 50 volunteers who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS will be recruited for tests and matched with an equal number of healthy volunteers.

Checks will show how their pupils respond to light, how well they can focus at different distances, their clarity and depth of vision, how they perceive colour, the shape of the eyes and the condition of the photoreceptor cells at the back of the eyes.

Dr Dolores M Conroy, director of research at Fight for Sight, said: “It’s clear from patients’ self-reports that the visual problems they experience have a marked impact on their quality of life. They also represent distinct, quantifiable, clinical features that could significantly improve diagnosis, provide insights into underlying pathology and represent a candidate for treatment, thereby improving the everyday lives of patients.

“Fight for Sight is delighted to team up with Thomas Pocklington Trust to fund this important research project, results from which could contribute to visual symptoms being recognised as a key diagnostic feature of CFS.”

The amount of funding earmarked for the study has not been disclosed and no start date or contact for volunteer recruitment was given in a press release placed on the university's website last week.

3 thoughts on “The eyes could have it! | ME/CFS volunteers being recruited for sight study at Leicester | 29 January 2015”

  1. Thank you for this article. It is very welcome news for me, as I suffer with both light sensitivity and painful eyes, Often flashing lights and optical migraine without the headache.

    Tests have shown nothing so far, yet for a full year last year I had to sit in the dark and buy dark glasses. I’m pleased to say that this week I’ve been able to buy transition lenses although I’m concerned they may not be enough to protect my eyes constantly. I use ‘Optive Plus’ eye drops as and when and now more often, which helps a little.

    My new glasses will have the new ‘Blue Light’ protection designed to protect from the screens of computers etc and soften the glare to help. Fingers crossed that they will be ok.


  2. Good thing and good luck to its researchers! I’m severe ME sufferer, and before having a diagnostic and understand what was happening to me, I went to see no less than 7 ophthalmologists …they nothing to see or help me !! Theanswer was always, all is well! While for the ME, fixed constemment saw me, I lost side vision (with worsening over time), I can not look to the sides or top without horribly wrong. My eyes are always dry, worse than Goujerot Sgorjen (1/6 obtained in test strip), I often post -orbital pain, and a dramatic photo-intolerance (I can not stand the light ). I remember reading a study where it was mentioned that the patients with ME / CFS non-migraineurs had received doses of triptans (migraine medication), and this had significantly reduces their photo-intolerance. As ME and migraine, I confirm that. Sorry for my English, am French.

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