Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mad Cow Disease - visual symptoms - glasses won't help blurry vision caused by brain diseases

Mad Cow disease, also called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, is back in the news. The initial symptoms of this disease in humans include:

  • Personality changes 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Memory loss 
  • Impaired thinking 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Insomnia 
  • Difficulty speaking 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Sudden jerky movements 
Mad Cow disease causes deterioration in the brain and all of the above are products of a brain that is no longer able to adequately control the body, including the visual system.

For an optometrist, this is an opportunity to highlight a fact hat most people probably do not consider. Their blurry vision may be the product of a problem in the brain such as a tumor or some rare disease like mad cow.

People that respond to blurry vision by simply buying some off-the-shelf reading glasses without going to the eye doctor first don't really know if their blurry vision is just a refractive error easily corrected with glasses or something more serious and life threatening. Remember our slogan: See an eye doctor, see for life. Its good advice.

Here is our favorite news anchor, Dianne Sawyer on ABC News, presenting the mad cow story: