Ocular Vasospasm – Pain Behind The Eyes

Today there has been some discussion in one of the Facebook groups I follow, about the pains that a person with Functional Movement Disorder can get behind the eyes.

After being sent myself three times to Eye Casualty, but the Drs finding no answers for the pain or increased pressure that I get. Means that I am very interested to know what and why, I get such extreme pains in and behind my eye to the point where it feels it might actually burst. Yes! Burst! That is how bad the pain is, and unbearable to cope with at times and pain relief does not always take it away.

It makes me cry in anguish, but the release of tears does not take the pain away either. In fact crying makes my tear ducts swollen, and then my eyelids inflamed, so it is all a vicious circle.
Just another of the long list of symptoms, that come with this disorder.

So I have been doing some research into it, after one of the ladies in the group mentioned that her Dr has informed her it may be “Ocular Vasospasm“, which I have never heard of it, but hey I had never heard of Dystonia or Functional Movement Disorder before either! (Both Neurological Conditions) I thought I would look into it.

After searching on the world wide web, this is some information I found:


Vasospasm can have many different causes and can occur in a variety of diseases as well as in otherwise healthy subjects. We distinguish between primary vasospastic syndrome and secondary vasospasm. The term “vasospastic syndrome” summarizes the symptoms of patients having such a spasm to stimuli like cold or emotional stress. Patients with primary vasospastic syndrome tend to suffer from cold hands, low blood pressure, migraine and silent myocardial ischemia. The ocular vasospastic syndrome is clearly associated, among other manifestations, with glaucomatous optic neuropathy and non arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. The ocular vasospasm leads to a compromised autoregulation, and therefore sensitises the eye to intraocular pressure or to a decrease in blood pressure. A variation in ocular perfusion may lead to an increase in free oxygen radicals and in glutamate. This may finally induce apoptosis cascade in retinal ganglion cells. Valuable diagnostic tools are nailfold capillary microscopy and angiography, but probably the best indicator is an increased plasma level of endothelin-1. The role of calcium channel blockers, magnesium, endothelin and glutamate antagonists are discussed.”


I own up that I do not quite understand it all, but I did note where it says “The term vasospastic syndrome” summarizes the symptoms of patients having such a spasm to stimuli like cold or emotional stress.

Here is a further piece I copied out for functional disorder, so basically where we show nothing wrong with eye testing and show no sign of glaucoma.


Patients with normal-tension-glaucoma and with visual field defects of non-known origin, often suffer from mild vasospasm in the fingers. The observation often be provocated by coldness or emotional stress and that these defects can very often be reduced by a treatment of the vasospasm led to the hypothesis that a functional dysregulation of the circulation in the visual system might occur.
The presumed ocular vasospasms provoke a variety of symptoms. Out of the large spectrum, two typical cases are described. The first case is a patient that developed visual field defect under psychological stress conditions. A drug therapy relieved the patient from the symptoms. The second case is a patient with a normal-tension-glaucoma. The treatment of the vasospasm improved the visual field markedly.”

This is a photograph showing an eye with Vasospasm


The link for where I found this information is:

It sounds like it is all to do with a circulation of blood and oxygen problem?

Please if anyone has a better understanding, please correct me :)

I think it may be something to note, and mention next time I see my Neurology Consultant. Or my Neurology Psychologist, and see what they say.
It might lead to some more tests, but if they can find out and give me something to take away the pain then every test is worth it! :)

Have to go now, as yes you guessed it, my left eye is really hurting due to me trying to read what I am writing!

Thanks as ever for reading folks, and catch up with you tomorrow for a fresh new day.
Always the optimist! ;)

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Posted on September 29, 2012, in Blog, Disability, Health, Healthy Living, Information, Life, living, Photo, Photograph, Photographs, Photography, Picture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the information. I don’t get it all either but armed with this information, someone with a medical degree should surely be able to help! Cheers!

  2. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I had Meningitis my second year reading Law, and the pain I have in my eyes is as bad as when I was in hospital and the slit of light from the closed door was too painful. If you have been through meningitis you know it immediately.

    In January 2011 I was having a very difficult time with a neighbour that broke into my former, not-fit-for-purpose flat 18 months prior. I was using a zimmer/walker, and a friend was opening my flat door so we could get in fast enough.

    This time it wasn’t fast enough. He ran down the corridor, and slammed my head so hard against the brick wall that I was on the ground. He previously threatened me that he would “break my legs and would make sure that I would never get back up. I was down, and he jumped onto my zimmer, the Swedish Gate RollX, and deformed the piece, and I think he was going to finish the job when my friend returned, yelled some profanities, and then ran back into his flat just behind mine, but he locked the gate to the back garden, and it messed with the flow.

    Now I see double, and I feel moments where I was certain my eyes were going to pop out of my head. I have Blepharospasms, and I want to thank you because, if you do not mind, I want to print this out for my eye examination.

    • Gary I am honoured you want to print it out to use, thank you. I also have Blepharospasm and still have time when light effects me and hurts.
      I wonder myself if my pains behind my eye are more to do with my non-epileptic seizure attacks, but the questions are never answered.
      I was supposed to be seeing a Neuro Psychologist that also specialised in Epilepsy, my Neuro Cobsultant had specifically asked for me to be seen by him. But as we all know they are all busy people with lots of patients, so I was seen by a different Neuro Psychologist who could not answer the Epilepsy questions!
      Sometimes I just despair, but will bring this up at my next appointment. I hope yours goes well my friend :)

      • Thank you for everything. It appears that you and I are going through many of the endless tests (initially), then, as your inability to work lengthens, and our symptoms grow, you are given contradictory results, and for me four years of vocal therapy that has left my voice that most just nod their head out of politeness.I am an advert for Disability Living Allowance and Employment Support Allowance in a country primed for an intense hatred of people that are incapable of working.

        I’m a mobility scooter and chemist with drugs that make sure I’m in less pain occasionally, but my eyes! Seeing double is bad enough. Add photo-sensitivity and I can go blind to the point of legally blind. 33 pills each day. Narcolepsy and Epilepsy are commonplace. I did the Neuro Psychologist and Psychiatrist.

        Let’s evaluate our situation. I’m socially hesitant due to the looks like others are willing to give me, and they have no idea that my body is moving around like a breakdancer. No! I represent the 2.1 million of people that, for most, do not appear disabled. A few are not. Many with benefits look like the same as anyone else. We that are visible are treated horribly. Spit in the face. Called many ugly names. And the stress makes me want to pull out my eyes because of the pain and discomfort.I worry that I will have a seizure.

        The verdicts from the Psychiatrist and Psychologist? I’m depressed. REALLY? I LOOK LIKE A FREAK, TREATED LIKE THE WORST PERSON ON EARTH, AND THEY CAME UP WITH THIS? Every time they show the Disabled here in the UK for compassionate stories they start off with a person that worked for 46 years, HARD WORK because unions assured the middle class were given the generous benefits, but now was denied Benefits. I’m 46! Yes, I worked overseas and doubled down on paying taxes that transformed what could have been a very well-paid life into a life of okay.

        Why? I FELL IN LOVE WITH AN AMERICAN. After 8 years, and an engagement we are no longer together, but he wrote yesterday “I wish you the best, always, and there is no animosity, discord, or hate. Please take my word on that and never mention such things again.” Easy to say when you kept everything and abandoned me in my time of need. Easy to say when you can see, speak, and have the ability to meet someone else and your not blinking in Morse Code and twisting. And we are supposed to be comforted by the fact that my medical reports are grim. Who will give us the chance for Love? Even my ex, in spite of the break-up, said to me that I was the greatest lover because I am so incredibly kind, intelligent, and funny.

        And I read your brave blog after this, and sobbed.

        And here in UK the Benefits Office, the DWP, are testing all of us working age people that are Disabled. The Work Capability Assessment is flawed, and they sent a 20 page form to fill out. I can’t read it. I can’t write. I can’t do much with my hands. So I crawl into my surgery to speak to my GP, because the ramp and entrance can’t take my scooter. A grand mal happens.

        I’m sorry to taking this long rant, but I think you and I have been through these emotions, and our eyes are more punishment.

      • Oh Gary I don’t and never have thought of my blog as brave hun, and your story breaks my heart. You sound like such a great guy who has such a lot to give, I am so sorry for your circumstances. I dearly hope that you one day find a special person, because I truly believe you deserve one.
        You have my absolute go ahead to have a rant here anytime you need.
        I only wish society could be taught to change its views on how it looks at disabled people, after all no one knows what will come of them tomorrow!
        I send you (((((Hugs))))) my friend :)

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