Cool temperature induced blurry vision- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cool temperature induced blurry vision

    First let me say that I have seen an Ophthalmologist for this and he found nothing wrong. However, it obviously isn't normal and perhaps another eye care professional might have an idea what's going on. It has happened off and on both last winter and it is happening occasionally again now. When I ride at temperatures below about the mid 40's my right eye goes goes very blurry. I do not consider the 40's very cold since I used to run in sub-zero weather. The first time it happened I took my glasses off to wipe off "fog", but there wasn't any. My vision looks as if my glasses are fogged up. It takes until about the end of the day for it to clear up. It is especially bothersome since I have to drive a couple hours home after each ride. At night all the car lights look like stars.

    I am properly hydrated, it happens only in the right eye, and on both three hour and eight hour rides. Any eye specialists out there?

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert, but it sounds like a similar experience as the guy I know who had frozen corneas. Granted, that was racing sled dogs at really cold temperatures and high winds, but the physical description is pretty similar.

    The strange thing is that the injury to the cornea is similar to a burn, which I guess your eye doc would have noticed? Also, I would think that mid 40's wouldn't be cold enough but I'm not an expert.

    Either way, good luck. Blurry vision and mountain biking generally do not end well for me.
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

  3. #3
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    It happens to me too, but just during a ride, and to both eyes.

  4. #4
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    Have you had PRK or LASIK procedures on your corneas ? I did a road ride century a few years ago and developed very blurry vision in one eye around mile 80. It was a chilly day with some wind...probably lowmid 40's plus 8-10 mph at the warmest. I wore sport sunglasses the whole ride. I had read about operated corneas developing blurred vision at high cold altitudes but was unaware of such a development in milder conditions. It was very disconcerting and riding would have been impossible if both eyes were affected. It took several hours to subside after the ride was completed. I think the cold and wind were very drying to the corneas which changed their shape/refraction and caused the blurring. I believe that PRK and LASIK tend to thin the corneas which makes them more likely to change shape with changing conditions.

  5. #5
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    Goggles or full cover sunglasses help?

  6. #6
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    Happened again

    It happened again this week. I'm not sure if temperature has anything to do with it. But it obviously is not normal. So I'm going back to my doctor next week. The symptoms fit something called amaurosis fugax.

  7. #7
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    Keep us updated. I posted a similar thread about two years ago. Cold weather makes right eye bluriness more likely for me but it can also be brought on by dehydration, poor nutrition, or even hard exertion. While I initially thought it could be a wind related issue a series of different full coverage sunglasses largely discounted that theory.
    My eye docs didn't find anything obvious. I even did a hard 20+ mile ride into one of the appointments to recreate the symptoms. My latest eye Doc has suspicions about eye pressures.
    I'll be interested to hear what you learned.
    Cheers,
    M

  8. #8
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    I wondered about eye pressure as well as it happened in my eye that was diagnosed with "normal pressure" glaucoma about a year later. Again, in my case, the LASIK procedure may have something to do with it as it thins the cornea and can make measured pressures lower than they actually are. I know it is well known that post PRK vision will blur a great deal at altitude (lower atmospheric pressure on the cornea ?) and was spotlighted in Into Thin Air (Krakauer) when Beck Weathers was too blind to get off Everest unaided. Some people naturally have thinner corneas than others..so possibly that is involved in affected folks who have never had LASIK.

  9. #9
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    Nothing yet

    I'm not even sure it has to do with cold weather. I just noticed that is when it seems to happen. Ophthalmologist found nothing. CT scan and carotid artery sonogram found nothing. I'm seeing a neurologist in a few weeks.

  10. #10
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    Not sure if this will help, but I suffer from dry eyes with the same symptoms. My eye doc put plugs in the lower drains in the corner of my eyes. This has helped but I do need to use drops to wet my eyes. I use Bion Tears because they have no preservatives. I did have lasik done, but my eyes were changing anyway. I also have to wear my sun glasses all the time as my eyes have gotten very light sensitive.

  11. #11
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    Has anyone who posted above had their issue resolved or diagnosed?
    I had not had significant issues for over a year until a cool weather race last weekend at altitude, approx 7K'. My right eye became so blurred that my depth perception became compromised. Normal vision returned about 6 hours later.
    Any experiences or ideas you may have to share would be welcomed.
    Cheers,
    M

  12. #12
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    Unresolved

    Haven't had this happen since I last posted. I saw a top specialist at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and he found nothing. Coincidentally, however, one year later I had a Posterior Vitreous Detachment in that eye.

  13. #13
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    Hi Idaz. I've had this condition in both eyes since I can remember (a kid I suppose). I always thought it was a natural thing that happens to everyone in the cold, so despite it being irritating it never gave me much concern. I took up riding earlier this summer and am enjoying it and am building up for a trip around Mt Fuji. The temperature just dropped this week and I was out on my bike and it just dawned on me how impractical/dangerous it's going to be riding this winter.
    So I've just been searching the net and realised that the condition is not at all common and seemingly undiagnosed.
    Would love to know what it is too and if it's treatable. I'll post again if I discover anything.
    (p.s. For me it feels as though my eyes can't adjust their focus, so I've always put it down to being something muscular related that is affected by cold temperatures. I don't know if there's anything in that?)

    Quote Originally Posted by idaz View Post
    Has anyone who posted above had their issue resolved or diagnosed?
    I had not had significant issues for over a year until a cool weather race last weekend at altitude, approx 7K'. My right eye became so blurred that my depth perception became compromised. Normal vision returned about 6 hours later.
    Any experiences or ideas you may have to share would be welcomed.
    Cheers,
    M

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  15. #15
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    Thanks for the replies, guys!
    I'll probably have 'em checked out again and see what happens.
    FYI after it happened a year+ ago I bought a pair of WileyX sunglasses that provide greater coverage and also have a foam insert to make them more goggle-like. I didn't have them (foam inserts) on when the recurrence happened but will be trying them out in the coming cooler days.
    Cheers,
    M

  16. #16
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    I had my annual eye exam on Friday and my (new) Doc suggested it could be an ocular or retinal migraine. I don't have the headaches that will often follow these but that's not uncommon.
    Not much can be done for them other than avoidance of the contributing factors which for me are exertion, altitude, and/or dehydration.
    It's the most accurate diagnosis I've heard yet so I'll run with it till I hear something better or my symptoms change.
    Cheers,
    M

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