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  • How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

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    Old 07-04-2004, 11:16 AM   #1
    curse
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    Question How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    My mother saw an eye specialist after the eye Dr. that was gonna remove the cataracts sent her there. He couldn't figure out why her eyes are inflamed all the time. The specialist suspects an autoimmune disease & took loads of blood. Mom is now on prednisone. I have scanned the autoimmune info, but basically can't find anything about the eye problem being caused by the immune system.
    Can anyone enlighten me? The specialist suspects lupus, but mom doesn't fit the "type", MS or RA.

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 07-04-2004, 01:41 PM   #2
    Misty800
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    Re: How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    Your mom could have "eye inflammation" or "Blepharitis", or "Episceleritits" (sp), all which cause eye inflammtion. I have Rosacea that has travelled into eyelids causing oil glands to stop up and eye infection. Started out as eye inflammation and then on to Blepharitis.

    Hot soaks 5 mins twice day, eyelid scrubs using diluted Johnson Baby Shampoo helps but does not cure.

    My suggestion is to get a second opinion.

     
    Old 07-04-2004, 02:03 PM   #3
    californiasunflower
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    Re: How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    The autoimmune condition can attack the optic nerve causing it to become inflammed--see term Optic Neuritis. The medical suffix "itis" means inflammation. Optic Neuritis can be caused by either MS or Lupus. Lupus is a type of vasculitis which can affect many organs of the body including the eye. Like MS, it can cause brain lesions.

    From what I've been told, the first symptom of an autoimmune condition can present in the eye. Did it affect her ability to see and is she responding to the prednisone?

    For more research, see terms like macula edema, uveitis, peripheral vasculitis, hypercoagulable.

    Re autoimmune conditions that affect the eye(s) see:
    MS
    Lupus
    Sarcoidosis
    Wegener's
    Temporal Arteritis or Giant Cell Arteritis (for patients age 50 and over only)
    APS (antiphospholipid syndrome see Immune section about APS)
    Factor V Leiden (for anyone who has had miscarriages and has blood problem)

    Also, keep in mind that this may be idiopathic and the cause may never be known. The best defense against losing vision is to find the cause and treat it. The prednisone is a good conservative treatment. Is it the IV solumedrol?

    Last edited by californiasunflower; 07-04-2004 at 02:08 PM.

     
    Old 07-04-2004, 05:08 PM   #4
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    Re: How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    Hey cauliforniasunflower-
    Mother has only been on the prednisone since thursday. She is taking 20mg 3x a day. She had been taking some "drops" to little avail for about 2 months. She was seen @ least 2 years ago to have optic atrophy. Since then the cataract that was tiny @ that point is rather large now & has moved to the other eye.
    The Dr's ruled out cancer.
    As far as her eye sight. She was told to not drive 2 years ago.

    Thanks for the info.

     
    Old 07-04-2004, 06:38 PM   #5
    znawfal
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    Re: How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    Hello Marie,

    I too was diagnosed as having rosacea in the eye lids. I have inflammed meimobian glands (especially lower) all the time red.

    My doctor prescribed me with 50mg doxycycline. I was having all 4 canal plugged by punctum plugs so he removed 2 of the 4 for the inflammation to have a place to go away.
    I also use warm compresses...

    What specific treatment did your doc prescribe.

    Any Restasis?
    Any erythromycin?

    Thanks and good luck

    z

     
    Old 07-05-2004, 12:47 PM   #6
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    Re: How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    znawfal -
    Mine started out with eye inflammation, (especleritis (sp). and 3 months later had meimobian glands infection. Used a steroid eye drop for a short time. They do not like to use steroids for very long.

    I was told to do hot compresses morning and night plus eyelid scrubs using diluted Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo. Eyes were sensitive to only diluting a small amount shampoo in palm of hand, now use 1/2" water in cup with about 2 or 3 drops shampoo mixed well.

    I use cotton cosmetic pads (washcloth was too rough for my eyes) and Q-Tips to scrub eyelids and edge of eyelid where lashes grow.

    Later on was prescribed doxycyclene but my stomach did not tolerate it. Then erythromycin ointment was prescribed at night after using hot compresses and eyelid scrubs.

    I use Systane eye drops before putting ointment in and during night when I get up use another drop or two in eyes. My eyelids do not close good at night and the eyes dry out.

    Systane eye drops work well well for me. Dr. said to use eye drops even tho I thought eyes were not dry. I use eyedrops every 4-5 hrs.

    Dr. said I may need to stay on the erythromycin ointment long term. It has worked well, few if any symptoms these days.

    I have been battling blepharitis for little over 1 year. I was told to wear no eye makeup. My makeup consists only of fresh scrubbed face plus lipstick. Rosacea provides plenty of color in face.

    It has been only recently my eyes were not puffy/swollen and that sick eye look. Maybe the erythromycin ointment is the answer for me.

    Care of eyes comes first in the morning and last in the evening. I set a timer to be sure I hot soak eyes long enough.

    Good luck on controlling yours. Stick with it and it will get better.

     
    Old 07-06-2004, 09:40 AM   #7
    znawfal
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    Re: How does Autoimmune disease cause inflamed eyes?

    Thank you for the detailed response,,

    I will make sure i stick with it .... such a frustrating thing ...

    thanks again and good luck to all of us

     
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