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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7922
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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I have been on 5mg of Abilify for 3 weeks now and I have blurred

Customer Question

I have been on 5mg of Abilify for 3 weeks now and I have blurred vision. I already have reading glasses but could see the computer screen. Now the computer screen is impossible to see as well as many other large type documents. What causes this... It seems I will have to spend money on new glasses. Also, does the blurred vision go away if I stop Abilify
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

RickMD :

Hi. My name isXXXXX completed an Internal medicine internship in NYC and have two decades of clinical experience. How can I assist you today?

RickMD :

What is the power of your reading glasses?

RickMD :

Does this blurry vision affect your distance vision at all?

RickMD :

Are both eyes affected equally?

RickMD :

Is the vision blurry all the time or does it come and go?

RickMD :

What other medications do you take and what medical problems do you have?

RickMD :

Other than the blurry vision, do you have any other ocular symptoms?

RickMD :

I see that you are offline. I will switch to Q&A format. This format works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)

Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

RickMD : Hi. My name isXXXXX completed an Internal medicine internship in NYC and have two decades of clinical experience. How can I assist you today?
RickMD : What is the power of your reading glasses?
RickMD : Does this blurry vision affect your distance vision at all?
RickMD : Are both eyes affected equally?
RickMD : Is the vision blurry all the time or does it come and go?
RickMD : What other medications do you take and what medical problems do you have?
RickMD : Other than the blurry vision, do you have any other ocular symptoms?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I'm not sure whar my reading glasses prescription is


Does not affect my distance just reading and computer


Both eyes are affected equally


Blurry vision is all of the time


Tha blurry vision started when I began Abilify. I also take Lithium, Paxil, Propanonol, Cogentin, Levoxyl and Klonopin


No other ocular symptoms


 

Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Liz,

Thank you for that extra information.
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Liz,

It sounds like you are suffering from an anterior segment/tear film issue. Many times, for all sorts of reasons, the anterior surface of the eye starts to have difficulties. What can cause this? Well, there are a number of conditions but the most common are dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis....many times all three conditions act together to make you miserable. In order to solve your problem you need to address all of these issues at the same time.

When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.

Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.

The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.

Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.

Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.

I understand that this treatment seems a bit "too low tech" to be of value, but after 2 decades of clinical practice, I can assure you (even from personal experience :) that it, does indeed, work.

In addition, many of the medications you are on can make the above issues worse....try the therapy discussed above and I believe you will feel better soon :)

Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi Dr. Rick,



Thank you for the information. I know Abilify can cause blurred vision as it states on it's label. My identical twin sister started on Abilify 2 weeks before I did and she has the same issue as myself with the distance vision being fine but computers and closer objects being blurred.



Would you be able to find out what happens to the eyes in some people on Abilify to make the vision blurred

Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Liz,

The label of medications now-a-days put tons of things on them, mostly to keep the lawyers away rather then to convey any important.

The blurred vision they talk about on the label is not from any serious damage to ocular structures but, rather, due to the dry eye it can cause.

I think if you follow the information I discussed above you -- and your sister -- should notice an improvement with your vision over time.

In my opinion, there is no need to stop taking the abilify from an ocular point of view.

Does this make sense to you?

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7922
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
Dr. Rick, MD and 7 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I never did get a answer for my last question. I want to know the medical reason for how Abilify can cause blurred vision. For example - constriction in the blood vessles perhaps. I can no longer read or see the computer screen without glasses. My twin has the same problem and I have read blogs on this as well.


 


Optional Information:
What have you tried so far?: Nothing to try except stop taking the medication


 

Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Sorry. It has been a crazy week so far in the clinic and the OR so I've not been online lately....

I do not believe that abilify is the cause of your problem. It will not constrict blood vessels and make it hard for you to see up close.

What you are describing is called presbyopia. Almost everyone over 40 suffers from this and it can be fixed with reading glasses or bifocals.

In my professional opinion, there is no reason from an ophthalmic point of view to stop taking the abilify.

Does this make sense to you?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS


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