Autoimmune Diseases and Your Eyes

Elderly,Woman,Having,Her,Eyesight,Checked,At,Ophthalmology,Clinic.An autoimmune disease causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy cells, including those in your eyes. These diseases can cause light sensitivity, pain, redness, blurry vision, and dry eyes. You can reduce the risk of vision loss from an autoimmune disease when you receive early treatment.

Autoimmune Diseases and How They Affect Your Eyes

While there are over 80 types of autoimmune diseases, some are more likely than others to affect your eyes and/or vision, including:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: Causes severe inflammation and light sensitivity in your eyes. You also have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Graves’ Disease: Causes inflammation in the muscles around your eyes. Your eyes may bulge or become swollen, which could cause eye pain and double vision. Your tear ducts can also become inflamed, which could cause dry eyes. Graves’ disease can also cause permanent or temporary vision loss.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: MS can make it painful to move your eyes. It can also cause the optic nerve to become inflamed, which could cause vision loss.
  • Psoriasis: If you develop arthritis because of psoriasis, you could suffer from your eyes becoming red and swollen. The issue affects the middle layers of your eyes.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Those who suffer from RA may have dry eyes. Their corneas may also become thinner.
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome: This autoimmune disease can cause tears in the cornea and tear gland inflammation, which could lead to extremely dry eyes.
  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Children and teens may develop this autoimmune disease. It could cause eye inflammation, light sensitivity, pain in your child’s eyes, and difficulty seeing.
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Because lupus can cause inflammation of the blood vessels, it can cause your eyes to “starve” due to the thinning of blood vessels, thus causing an eye stroke.

Treating Eye Issues Caused by Autoimmune Diseases

Depending on the condition caused by your autoimmune disease, your eye doctor may prescribe various treatments, including corticosteroids (pills, drops, or injections) for inflammation, biological therapies, and immunosuppressive medications.

Kirk Eye Center serves Loveland and the surrounding areas in Colorado. To learn more about treating vision issues caused by autoimmune diseases, speak with an experienced eye doctor at Kirk Eye Center. With our optometrist and ophthalmologist in-house, you can rely on us for all your eye care needs. To schedule a consultation, please call 970-669-1107.

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