How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. James Your Own Question

Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
20222826
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Dr. James is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can hypothyroidism and alcoholism cause blindness in a 54 year

Resolved Question:

Can hypothyroidism and alcoholism cause blindness in a 54 year old man?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Was the blindness sudden or gradual? One or both eyes? Recent eye exam? Any surgeries?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Blindness has been gradual he has had eye exams and was told it was not glaucoma. His memory is bad and he can't remember if the Dr told him it was Mac degeneration and or damage to the optic nerve. Did an mri scan that showed a huge pineal cyst, but Radiologist said it was not the cause of the blindness. He is hypothyroid and has not been taking his thyroxine. Lost alot of weight; diet is terrible - drinks way too much and has for years
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the addition information. It is very helpful.

Alcoholism has a direct toxic effect on the liver. You might have heard that alcohol has a lot of "empty calories". This means calories, but not a lot of other nutrients -- vitamins and minerals. So many alcoholics have vitamin difienciency.

Nutritional deficiency can cause blindness through cataracts or optic atrophy. Cataracts would have been seen by his eye doctors already. Optic atrophy may be more subtle and more difficult to tell. It is a degeneration of the optic nerve (the connection between your eyes and brain). Macular degeneration is another cause, but easy to tell if advance.

I don't believe the hypothyroidism would cause his current vision problems.

I recommend you ask the doctor if he as any evidence of optic atrophy. If so, no treatment is available. The key is to prevent further damange through proper diet. If there are cataracts or glaucoma, that can be treated -- but he has already be tested for this.

Remember to press the green accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Feel free to ask any addtional questions. Smile


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Dr. James - he was also told he might have to have cataract surg, which makes no sense if it is his optic nerve? He was told he would be completely blind by December. His memory is so poor that I can't be sure exactly what he was told. He has also been diagnosed with fatty liver; had hand tremors; been on beta blockers to stop that; but now that he has stopped the thyroxine, the shakes have stopped too. He is thin; lost all muscle tone; dry skin and hair; weak; evidence of dementia; dry eyes; and he looks like he is dying. At a loss as to what to do. Please respond
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
I recommend you have his primary doctor check his Vitamin A and Vitamin B levels. It can be a combination of cataracts optic atrophy. You can only guess as to how much the cataract is contributing. In his case, it would be reasonable to perform cataract surgery, with the understanding that the vision may still be the same.

His dry eyes can also be the cause of the vision decline as well as difficulty checking for glasses if the dementia is bad. I can feel your frustation.
-I recommend you start him on artificial tears 4-6 times a day.
-Lid scrubs with dilute baby shampoo using a q-tip (if you see debris on his eyelashes). -Ask the doctor how much the cataract is affection his vision (10%, 20%....)
-Have your doctor check is vitamin levels and supplement if needed.

Remember to press the accept button if I have been helpful.


Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Dr. James and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
< Last | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DoctorDanB/2010-6-7_6228_just_answer_profile_picture_60_pixels.jpg Dr. Dan B.'s Avatar

    Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/anupamadesai/2010-04-13_122313_Dr._A.S.Desai_new_photo.jpg Dr. A.S. Desai's Avatar

    Dr. A.S. Desai

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1903
    MS Ophthalmology with 11 years of surgical expereince
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsokoye/2009-10-28_181751_Dr._Stan.JPG Dr. Stan's Avatar

    Dr. Stan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    895
    Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/eyemd/2009-04-07_180315_pic.jpg Dr. Stevens's Avatar

    Dr. Stevens

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    629
    Board Certified Ophthalmologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CorneaDoc/2012-2-18_0390_photo6.64x64.jpg Dr. Susan's Avatar

    Dr. Susan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    217
    Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neuph94/2009-10-11_164729_gif_pic.GIF Dr. JP's Avatar

    Dr. JP

    Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Surgery

    Satisfied Customers:

    28
    Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Eye and Ear
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjcufyksv/2012-3-13_44825_crop3.64x64.jpg Dr-Trace's Avatar

    Dr-Trace

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    26
    Board Certified in General Ophthalmology
 
 
 
Chat Now With An Eye Doctor
Dr. James
Dr. James
1908 Satisfied Customers
Eye Physician and Surgeon