Playing piano blurred vision anyone ?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by joeperry, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. joeperry

    joeperry New Member


    When I play piano for a period of 10mins or more when I stop playing my vision is then blurred for a period...maybe a minute or so then back to normal.

    I play by ear so my eyes arent focused on anything in particular when Im playing - just sort of watching my hand positions.

    The only other time this happens is if I play guitar but then the effect is only very slight and isnt really noticeable, whereas its very noticeable with piano.

    Only other sight issues are very occasional "floaters" (black spots floating in your vision) and they are only there a a few seconds.

    I dont wear glasses (although I used to for a few years some 15 years ago before my eye sight turned back to normal).

    Im not on any medication either.

    I think Ive read that FM can cause blurred vision but its seems strange it only happens with piano - and never other times....

    Does anyone else experience anything like this ?


  2. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    I wonder if depth perception would be related to this? Have you tried playing with your eyes closed? It may be you are looking from one hand to the other then up and down.

    I have one strength glasses for keyboard and computer, less strong than my reading glasses but perfect for the distance when I am looking at music.

    I have a strange thing in that if I play the piano and go directly to the computer I can't type. My hand and head can not remember where they keys are on the puter, they remain in piano mode. I have to go away for ten minutes, then can return to the computer and my hands know where everything is. Kind of bizarre. Brain blip?
  3. raven5000

    raven5000 New Member

    The first time it happened I was on here in chat and I usually have to have everyone turn their font up to 18 anyway, but all of a sudden I couldn't read that. It lasted a couple of hours. The second time it happened was just a couple of days ago. I wear contacts and have very bad vision. I was extrememly foggy and sore that day and it felt as if I wasn't wearing my contacts at all. It lasted all day. I did read on a cfs/fm checklist that blurred vision is a symptom. I've been to eye doctor for a new prescription and he didn't have any answer for the 2 hour blurred vision. I have fm, and suspect cfs but can't get into a rheumy or fm pain clinic for dx yet.
  4. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    My strange 'eye thing' is that after I've been on the computer a bit, one of my eye seems to lose focus and (like both your eyes) doesn't come back into focus for several minutes. I wear glasses for distance (driving, movies) and I have a slightly different prescription for deskwork (to focus the distance I sit from the computer since wearing my regular glasses wasn't helping, and I couldn't see clearly without). I've talked to my eye doctor about it, but since it doesn't ever happen when I'm visiting (the 20 minutes I see him out of an entire year!), he hasn't got a clue...
  5. loldershaw

    loldershaw Member

    I read a very interesting article a couple of weeks ago about eye problems associated with CFS. It had the most extensive information of several that I have read.

    I've been having increasing problems, rather strange symptoms, I thought - that really didn't seem to fit any category I was familiar with, anyway. So, I googled "eye problems associated with FM/CFS". The article I am referring to was about CFS and contained a very detailed section about associated eye problems. Lots of information there, but bottom line is fatigue affects our eye muscles much the same as our other muscles. Our eyes adjust more slowly than in normal situations and much more so when fatigued. Brain also plays a big part in our perceptions. I am way, way over simplifying here, but if you could find the article, I think you would appreciate it, and see some explanation there. When I have the energy, I'm going to find it again, it was truly fascinating.

    Another reason that I found it so valuable was that about six months after I was diagnosed with MS, I began having trouble with certain types of tasks. If it was something that required a lot of eye movement, I'd get nauseous - it was like getting car sick when filing stuff in my office or comparing two documents, or looking from shelf to shelf in a bookstore, etc. I even became nauseous walking in a large conference center that had carpet with a bright geometical design in the carpet. Major impact on my life and work! Of course I thought it was MS, doctors did too at first, but could not find anything on MRI or by looking at the optic nerve. This mysteriously stopped happening after 3 and a half years....but in the article, there it was....supposedly very common in CFS and FM.

    I'm thinking that you said you look at your hands while playing the piano. Do you look at your hands/fingers when playing the guitar? Must have something to do with the adjustments that normally take place in our brain without us realizing it when we are well, and it is delayed with this disease. Eye muscle involvement as well.

    I find all of our stories so darn fascinating! Seeing so many in one place as we are able to do on this message board is mind-blowing to me. I am a nurse, and can't imagine any doctor looking at this stuff and not being completely intrigued with what is going on with us - I just can't believe they could see all of this kind of anecdotal information, see the similarities and still think we are all nuts!!!

    My eye problems have increased a lot, symptoms come and go. I can see that they correlate with my physical and mental fatigue.

    The nausea that was associated with eye movement happened when I was feeling absolutely fine otherwise. Thank God that hasn't been happening anymoe - hope it never does.

    Thanks for taking the time to post here. It's amazingly comforting to have found this site. Hope I didn't ramble too much. Oh by the way, I was diagnosed with FM in May of 2003, MS in September of 2003, and CFS in May 2007.

    Best Regards,

  6. teacher

    teacher New Member

    Except my vision blurs most when I'm playing because I read the music. Struggling to focus is wearying!

    I am very near-sighted (contacts, glasses don't help) and am experiencing the floater thing. I have my eyes checked yearly.

    I would go to the eye doctor to check out the floaters. That's a common experience as we age, but also appears in people that are very near-sighted. An increase in floater activity can be a flag for eye troubles.

    But the bottom line for me is this: play anyway!
  7. akandmk

    akandmk New Member

    i've noticed that my blurred vision comes and goes. As you mentioned if i close my eyes for a moment or two it usually clears up. I happens more often when i am out and about. I can't keep my eyes closed while doing something for very long or i lose my balance.
  8. idratherbeplaying

    idratherbeplaying New Member

    I know this is an old posting, but nonetheless, I thought worth responding to, as with any Chronic condition, it is sometimes distressing trying to distinguish something which is related to the condition, or perhaps occurs frequently with a broader spectrum of folks.<BR>
    I am in gratefully (and respectfully) full health, with an extremely active lifestyle. I also play the piano by ear. I stumbled across this post while querying out of curiosity via Google, the blurred vision I experience every time I play the piano.<BR>
    My symptoms are exactly as described. I do not read music. It occurs whether I am playing in full daylight, in the dark (I don't watch my hands, but rather "feel" the music) and find for a period of up to 5-10 mins, have such blurred vision, that I cannot read a computer screen or book or look at anything which requires visual focus, until that time has passed.<BR>
    I thought it worth sharing; that a while back, I had read that while an individual "channels" a talent or art, that they are in a "zone" or peak mental state, which can even be likened to a raising in vibrational frequency -if you need to visualize what I am meaning. This peak state is very healing and "meditative" (i.e. increase in the Alpha brain waves), and lingers for a brief period of time after the artistic expression. Blurred vision is one sign of this increased Alpha state vs a sign of fatigue or nervous strain.<BR>
    Do not fret; it can be extremely healing. I have other family members (very artistic family) one who is a music therapist with some notoriety who frequently experience the same. The blurring is more prevalent in the "talent" or form of expression which flows most freely i.e. for you the piano may be more natural or free flowing than the guitar, tapping more into your subconscious vs having a more conscious interaction for the discipline.<BR>
    Consider it a gift, many are not able to "release" for a period of time, as these periods are positive states which mental and physiological healing do occur.<BR>
    -Warm wishes of health and remission<BR>
  9. HornPlayer

    HornPlayer Member

    Hi Joeperry,<BR>
    I also get blurred vision when playing the piano or the organ. My eye Doctor tells me it is caused by dry eyes. But I don't think so. Sometimes when I am playing my vision becomes blurred or the notes have shadows. Sometimes I can close one eye and the shadows will disappear. I does make playing for church on Sundays very stressful at times. Sometimes I just have to guess at the notes. I can't seem to find any triggers for the blurred vision. It just seems to be a ramdom issue.<BR>
  10. glaufan

    glaufan New Member

    I also experience this, I play from memory, not reading any music. I'm otherwise healthy, exercise regularly, eat a lot of vegetables, lean meat. I might play for 30 minutes and then everything is blurry.
  11. stephenhalifax

    stephenhalifax New Member

    I'm 32 just started playing piano in the last 12 months. I played guitar for the last 20 years. I do not wear glasses and have no health issues I know of. I havn't been to the doc in about 15 years..I know its bad, but my excuse is that its just so hard to get a family doctor to take you on. But nobody in my family wears glasses either.<BR>
    I do however run an IT company and spend each and everyday in front of some sort of a screen for many hours.<BR>
    This only started happening after i got my first piano 12 months ago.<BR>
    I play by ear and dont read music, so when I play piano I look at the keys and my hands and as I got better i didnt' have to look down so much, it is then when it started happening to me... I would play, improvising with my head up looking at the picture above my piano actually....then after 5 or 10 minutes I would look down at the keys and they were all blurry, I would look at my laptop from the piano bench and everything on the screen was blurry, so blurry I couldn't read a single word...<BR>
    with in 30seconds to 1 minute of stopping playing my vision returns to normal.<BR>
    I finally searched Google tonight to find this post. I looked for help because as I am getting better and looking down less and less the problem is happening more and more and I was getting annoyed so i wanted to see if anyone is having this problem ...<BR>

    <br><br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 03/06/2012</i>]
    <br><br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 03/06/2012</i>]
  12. blurredvision

    blurredvision New Member

    I also play the keyboard from memory, and after I play I noticed my vision&lt;BR&gt;
    is totally blurred as well, and then it comes back to normal after a little while. When I play I just look at my hands and zone out. I think it might have to do with the heightening and lowering of your senses. While playing the piano you are using the sense of touch, and the sense of hearing, and your mind probably dampens the sense of sight. Similar to being able to hear better in the dark, because your senses become focused on the sense you are using. Anyway, that is what I think is happening. Its an interesting phenomena that doctors should probably study.&lt;BR&gt;
  13. BadgerBob

    BadgerBob New Member

    I also get blurred vision while playing with or without reading glasses when I compose by ear but not when I read music. Yes, it goes away but lately I've tried to stop it from happening by forcing myself to focus on the keys. This is very difficult to maintain (for whatever reason) but, if I don't do that, the eye muscles tend to relax and the blurring begins again. I suppose the &quot;zoning out&quot; theory is as good as another because there is nothing wrong with my eyes except that I use reading glasses in low light.
  14. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    I wear glasses (astigmatic). Since contracting ME over 15 years ago I have had constant changes in prescription. Sometimes my eyes were worse then sometimes they were better but the prescription still had to be changed because I get headaches easily due to eye-strain. Eventually I learned that the changes were due to the ME so I kept all the glasses and now have five pairs. I just switch to whatever my eyes want. No more visits to the optometrist-for now anyway.

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