My name is Jodi Rhum, and I have worked for Visibly Better Eye Care for a little over one year. I am a mom, a former middle school teacher, an author, and now an optometric technician. I have four kids, two of whom have a chronic medical condition called POTS or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. As a mother and now someone who works for an optometrist, I wanted to share with you what POTS is as this syndrome quite often comes with a myriad of eye related symptoms that we will discuss in further blog posts.
POTS is one of the most diagnosed syndromes today; yet few people have ever heard of it. POTS has been around for centuries and was quite prevalent during the time of the Civil War when it was called Soldier’s Heart. It was once thought to be very rare but now Mayo Clinic believes that 1 in 100 people have POTS. POTS is a form of dysautonomia, which is an umbrella term that is used to describe a compilation of very complex symptoms, in which the autonomic nervous system has failed to function normally. The autonomic nervous system controls our bodies involuntary actions such as: heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, temperature control, etc.. People who have POTS may have some or all of the symptoms listed: headaches, dizziness, tachycardia, chest pain, fatigue, insomnia, fainting or near fainting, anxiety, GI issues, brain fog, nausea, etc.. Many people who have POTS are typically high achievers and many were former athletes. Many dancers, gymnasts and cheerleaders tend to be prone to getting this syndrome. POTS is often triggered at puberty though it can appear at any age and is more common among girls than boys. (5 to 1) Many people who suffer from migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and or chronic fatigue syndrome, may actually, in fact, have POTS. Almost always POTS is a secondary syndrome that is caused by a primary illness. It is important to figure out the underlying cause of POTS so that proper treatment options can be put into place. Some underlying conditions that often cause POTS are: Mononucleosis, Strep, West Nile Virus, Lyme’s Disease, a trauma, diabetes, a trauma, pregnancy, EDS (a connective tissue disorder)etc.. There is no known cure for POTS. If you would like more information on this syndrome, you can purchase a copy of my book on Amazon called POTS: Together We Stand, Riding the Waves of Dysautonomia. Stay tuned for more blogs on this topic and how they relate to eye issues.