I rubbed my eyes and stared back down at the word I was tracing. I… I… really? I couldn’t see it! It was all fuzzy, blurry, and shaky! Oh no! What was happening to me? Trying not to panic, I stumbled downstairs to my mom as fast as my painful joints would allow. I explained the situation to her, including the black dots that now crowded my vision.
As soon as possible we were at the eye doctor. You see, my mom had a degree in teaching kids who have to deal with eye and vision issues, and she didn’t want to take any chances. At the time, you see, we still didn’t know what was wrong with me. It turned out that we discovered later, that eye issues are a common symptom that people with mold have to deal with. It was rather scary at that point, though.
The eye doctor did all the tests, and gave me a very light prescription for reading glasses, but said that it was probably just another visible manifestation of the inflammation in my body.
We breathed a sigh of relief. Good. That made sense. And it meant that there wasn’t anything seriously wrong, like we had worried.
Over the next few months, more eye troubles presented themselves, but once we moved out of the mold, they went almost completely away. The glasses that the doctor gave me, made it possible to do things like reading or doing ‘small’ things, required for crafting, or such, for short periods of time. Sometimes I would get a headache, or things would get too blurry to see.
- Symptom: Blurry vision in ‘small things’.
- Tip: Glasses, or breaks. You may not be able to do things all at one time.
I eventually dubbed the black dots crowding my vision, ‘floaters’. Or ‘Nargles’, because of the way that I would automatically try to swipe them out of the air in front of me, even though there was nothing actually there. They could be really annoying, but I eventually learned to ignore them… for the most part. It was frustrating, though. Especially when sometimes, I just couldn’t escape them, even with my eyes closed. However, once we moved out of the toxic black mold, they pretty much left, unless I spend time outdoors.
- Symptom: Floaters
- Tip: Ignore them. Or, again, rest your eyes.
I also slowly learned that lights, especially bright, fluorescent light, also really bothered me. It made everything look like I was looking at everything through… tears, I guess? Or like I had little mirrors in the corners of my eyes, reflecting lights that made things hard to see. There was a period of time where I took to wearing my sunglasses everywhere… in the grocery store, around the house, etc. It seemed to help with the feeling of being over-exposed to light.
- Symptom: Over-bright lights
- Tip: Sunglasses
Another thing that happened during that time was that seeing lots of movement or lights bothered me. Though we think was that it was partly a mental problem, because usually it was accompanied by not being able to mentally handle sounds or other things around me. Those times I would turn out all the lights, and hide my head under my pillow, while my family tiptoed around the house.
- Symptom: Seeing movement is dizzying
- Tip: Hide under your pillow in the dark.
Then I started blacking out. My doctors told me that this was because I was tall, and it was just the blood trying to catch up with me if I stood up too fast. But that wasn’t it. I already knew how that felt. This was different. I would get dizzy and black out every time I sat or stood up. It would have to grab onto the wall and assure myself that light would soon return, and I would be able to see. It was usually only a few seconds.
- Symptom: Blacking out
- Tip: Grab onto the wall, or a nearby chair.
At the time, we didn’t know that this was all related to mold, or to my sickness at all (since we didn’t know it was mold at the time), but my mom and sister also began having eye issues, resulting in headaches, and both ended up getting glasses for reading, and things like that. Again, once we were free of living in mold, both of those things improved a lot.
Another eye-related symptom of mold is burning eyes when you’re exposed to toxic mold. (I also have the same reaction with chemicals).
- Symptom: Eye burning
- Tip: Remove yourself from the mold.
You know, let’s just go with that for all of them: REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE MOLD! 😉