CAPOS – Part O

Hello my readers!

In the further examination of CAPOS, we move on to the Visual part of this puzzle.

Optic Atrophy, which is different than Oh Pick a Trophy!  Haha!

As I discovered. a general symptom of Cerebellar Ataxia is vision abnormalities.

  • Blurry vision, and problems reading from word to word or following moving objects. Shifting focus.

Why is do those vision problems, generally affect Cerebellar Ataxia, when the cerebellar’s functions are more inclined to balance, motor functions, motor learning, and such?  That is a good question!  I’ve asked my genetic counselor.

What part of the brain is responsible for vision and, for that matter, hearing, which will come in handy with I discuss Part Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

I’m not going to bog down detailing all the parts of the brain, that is not my intention.

The three areas that I found that deal with vision are all found in the cerebral hemisphere (which is at the back) of the brain:

  • optical lobe helps to control vision
  • temporal lobe controls visual and auditory memories
  • Parietal lobe focuses on comprehension, visual functions, language, reading, internal stimuli, tactile sensation and sensory comprehension will be monitored here.

Being the brain, and still being researched, there are many areas that have clearcut jobs or duties, many areas of the brain can influence other areas, it seems that overlapping is a common term here.  Research is still ongoing and still discovering new connections!

Getting back to Optic Atrophy: this is simply the wasting away of optic nerves.  But in more detail: The optic nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers that carry images from your retina to your brain.  Each fiber carries a part of the visual information to the brain. If these nerve fibers become damaged, the brain doesn’t receive all of this vision information and sight becomes blurred. Optic atrophy means the loss of some or most of the nerve fibers in the optic nerve.  The effects range from visual change to severe visual loss. (Kellogg Eye Centre).

For me, I have:

  • Blurry Vision, if you are standing a foot from me, I can see your face, and your hands, but if you move back two feet, your face starts blur, but I can still see your rudimental expressions, if you move back four feet, your face will blur to a pink blob.  I cannot see the colour or, heck, the whites of your eyes, until I am going to kiss you.
  • Colour issues, I have walked into things that have the same colour as the background.  Also, if you are signing to me, and you have a florid shirt, or one that is neon, I can’t see you!  So, things with the same colour seem to mesh together.
  • Reading problems, before I could read very small print, but over time, this has become impossible.  Even reading large print can tire my eyes.
  • Inability to judge distance: you can count the times I’ve walked into doors, poles, cupboards, railings, etc., by the sheer number of craters, dents and scratches on my head!  This usually happens because I inaccurately estimated that pole being close, when, in fact, it was extremely close!  I recall once, about 20 years ago, walking smack into a parking lot pole, that I didn’t see until I afterwards!  This could be because the pole was the same colour as the concrete wall, or that I was so focused my Psychology finals that I just didn’t notice the pole until it whacked me on the head!
  • Nystagmus is also a major problem with my vision: This is a condition that is involuntary movements of the eyes, they vibrate,  for a lack of a better word, rapidly.  Years ago, in Sudbury, one eye doctor wanted to correct this by using contacts, which I declined, yet, he was so stubbornly determined that contacts would solve my issues, that he refused to put my vision loss at legal status for the blind.  Instead he put it down as normal vision, with glasses.  Thanks to him, I nearly lost my CNIB benefits.
  • I also have issues with saccade movements, which is a quick, simultaneous movement of both eyes between two or more phases of fixation in the same direction.  This is what I studied in university: if you focus on the middle of the letter “k” in king, then move to “q” in queen or back to the “d” in middle, your focus suspends, then shifts, then zooms in again.  Everyone can do this little trick.  But for me, I either overshoot, or undershoot.
  • And finally, I sometimes thing my eyes are not working together, a condition called strabismus. I seem to see things with one eye, but both are looking at you, one is doing the looking, while the other is not catching anything.  I need to have a look at this.
  • I also may or may not get afterimages, especially of black text on white background, when on my BlackBerry, or the laptop.  It is disconcerting, then it stops.

All this about vision, and I can see the sunrise!  That is a good thing!

I do get tired of concentrating on something and that makes me tired and I usually take a nap!  Like now is a good time!

Enjoy life!




2 thoughts on “CAPOS – Part O

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