Volunteers are being recruited for a research project at Leicester University which may show a clear link between the eye problems that often affect people with ME/CFS and the underlying pathology of the illness itself.
The sight loss charities – Fight for Sight and the Thomas Pocklington Trust – say 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 being led by Dr Claire Hutchinson and Dr Frank Proudlock, 50 volunteers who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS are being 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, 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, results from which could contribute to visual symptoms being recognised as a key diagnostic feature of CFS.”
If you want to become a participant in the project, please email Dr Claire Hutchinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details about Leicester University's work on vision-related problems and ME/CFS can be found HERE.