Autism Spectrum Difficulties Medical Pain Sensory Related

An Eye for An Eye

No, this is not about revenge. This is about eyes, and sensitivity to light, and headaches.

I’ve spent the last two days curled up in bed, eyes closed, trying to avoid every hint of light I could – which, really, means sleeping most of the time. Even now, I’m wearing sunglasses in my room which just has a desk lamp on, in order to try to avoid the stabbing pain behind my left eye, which I’ve been experiencing since sometime between going to sleep Tuesday night and waking up Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night, Mom and I had a meeting, and I forgot to take my sunglasses with me when we left. Lights everywhere. Street lights, car lights, window lights in houses, house lights…. We both suspect this is partially the cause of the pain, because:

Light hurts. I don’t know if neurotypicals can understand this. It’s not a sensation like, “I’ve scraped my arm”, or “I’ve sprained my ankle”, or “I’ve dislocated my kneecap” (yes, I’ve done all three – the kneecap thing is a weakness in my maternal family). It’s… I don’t know exactly how to describe it. It’s like high-pitched noise to a migraine sufferer. Or… actually, I think I have it – it’s almost like nails on a chalkboard – or claws on a chalkboard, even. That sensation that goes right past the physical body into your mind. Well, “claws on a chalkboard” pretty much describes how normal, everyday light – like, oh, the light of the sun, or of those energy saving bulbs – feels. Now, imagine that contrasted to the silence of a library, and you might have some idea of how I feel outside at night. Car headlights, street lights, traffic lights – all of them so much brighter than they are during the day, because of the contrast of darkness, and all shoving their way into my brain past my holed filters. Not Fun.

If I spend too much time in the presence of lights / bright lights / blinking lights (the latter two of which reduce the length of time of my tolerance) I have to get out of there and to someplace dark. Most of the time, that’s my room.

–from my post ASD Behaviours and Traits

Yeah. As the quote says, Not Fun.

So, I woke up Wednesday morning with a stabbing pain descending from my left temple (next to my eyebrow) diagonally to just behind my left eye (about where the optic nerve starts, I think). I was also experiencing pain going around my eye from the top centre, around the left side (aka outside) and along the bottom to about between the centre and right side. (And I’m still experiencing it.)

I was debating going to Emerg yesterday (Thursday) morning, but Mom pointed out that I’ve got an appointment with my doctor this morning for a variety of other things, so I’ll wait until I’ve seen her and get what she thinks.

This is very much Not Fun, and I can’t remember if I’ve ever experienced something this direct before. Usually my headaches are more general pain, maybe one side only, but not located in such a specific place. (Yes, I’ve had sinus headaches, but even then the pain is somewhat spread out. This is very specifically placed pain.)

Anyway, has anyone else experienced something like this?

😐 tagAught

By tagÂûght

I’m in my mid-thirties. I’ve lived in Canada all my life (Toronto and St. John’s), but I’ve travelled to Florida, Massachusetts, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Costa Rica. I love airplane travel (as long as there are no noisy kids around me!). I’m proud to be Canadian (though Harper might end up changing that!).

I have ASD, aka Autism Spectrum Disorder. Strictly speaking, I’ve been diagnosed as having Aspergers, but (for Canada and the US, at least) that diagnosis is going to be melded with ASD as of May, with the publication of DSM V. Having ASD, and the job I do at the moment (see First Post), is why reading the blogs I mentioned above inspired me to start one of my own about my life in general.

Back in October, I got my driver’s license (as opposed to driving permit for learners) – after twenty years of effort and trying. A lot of thanks is due to my instructor, who has dealt with people with ASD before, and so knew how to teach me for the test (I was able to drive before, just not pass the test, due to anxiety and problems with multi-tasking).

I’m a fanatic writer of SF and Fantasy, both fanfiction and original, and I devour books as well.

I love animals, in particular cats, and I have a fascination with wolves, wild cats (including the big cats), orcas, and the physiology of cephalopods.

I love the wilderness – though I don’t really have the endurance (at the moment, at least) to go hiking or camping out.

And, rather importantly, I’m not someone who thinks about political correctness when it comes to vocabulary. I use what seems right when it seems right. That will include calling myself a person with ASD, or an Autistic, or an Aspie. I’m me; I can call myself what I want.

So, enough about me. Go read my posts – they’re more informative!

4 replies on “An Eye for An Eye”

When I was in my mid-twenties (“BMK”, before marriage and kids), I was flying from Toronto to St. John’s. I had what I thought was a mild headache and my eyes were bothering me. I took some Asprin (or similar), but it had no effect. It got worse to the point it felt like a pin being pushed into the eyeball from the back.

I thought it was a problem with my eyes, which was very worrying. A doctor, my future father-in-law, diagnosed it as a severe sinus headache that was aggravated by the changing air pressure of the plane ascending and descending.

A few later, my GP diagnosed me as having “chronic rhinitus”. The headaches I get from it are usually pretty mild, but often make it hard to concentrate (read a book, etc.)


Hey, Dad!

No, it doesn’t seem to be sinus-related – the GP checked that when I saw her an hour ago. She advised me to see an optometrist and get a report on the status of my eyes because it can take a year to see an eye specialist here, and an optometrist’s report can sometimes be used to expedite that.

Good thing is, it’s not glaucoma.

😉 tagAught

Sinus headaches are usually caused by an infection and inflammation of the nasal passages. That leads to congestion. And that causes pain and pressure in the forehead and behind the cheekbones.-.”:

My own website

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