How do Autoimmune Disorders Affect Your Vision?

If you’re struggling with an autoimmune disease, you’ll want to ensure you work closely with your local optometrist, like Music City Optical in Nashville, to monitor and treat any related autoimmune eye disease conditions that may arise. It’s important to know that, much like other body systems, your eyes can be dramatically affected by autoimmune disorders, which can lead to various vision-related complications.

Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system incorrectly attacks your own body, leading to extensive inflammation all over your body, including in your eyes. This includes diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Though there are myriad ways autoimmune disorders can affect your vision, the most common symptoms include things like eye redness or pain, sensitivity to light, dry eyes, and blurry vision.

If left untreated for long enough, eye-related inflammation from autoimmune disorders can even lead to vision loss. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams with our local Nashville optometrist. If you’re managing an autoimmune disorder and aren’t yet working with a qualified practitioner, we encourage you to book an appointment today!

woman struggling to see because of autoimmune eye disease and related vision problems

Symptoms of Autoimmune Eye Disease

Of the many immunity-related diseases, the most common that can lead to autoimmune eye disease are rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, seronegative spondyloarthropathies, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, giant cell arteritis, and Graves’ disease. Each of these can affect the eyes in different ways, but some of the initial symptoms can be quite debilitating.

Symptoms of autoimmune eye disease can be things like persistent dryness, redness, light sensitivity, and a sensation of grittiness in the eyes. More severe symptoms include eye pain, significant visual disturbances like double vision, and sudden vision loss. Optic neuritis, characterized by inflammation of the optic nerve, can cause temporary or permanent vision loss and is commonly associated with multiple sclerosis. Recognizing these symptoms early is crucial for preventing irreversible damage to vision.

Treating Autoimmune-Related Vision Problems

The primary treatment for autoimmune-related eye disease often involves a comprehensive approach targeted at reducing overall inflammation. If you have dry eyes, the treatment can be as simple as artificial tears and lubricating eye drops. For inflammatory conditions, the best course of action is to take corticosteroid and immunosuppressive medications. These can be important in preventing further tissue damage and loss of vision.

Treating your autoimmune disease is something you’ll need to do in concert with your medical team. Whatever the case is for your overall treatment of your autoimmune disorder, regular monitoring and tailored treatment plans are essential, as the course of these eye diseases can vary significantly among individuals.

Early detection of ocular complications can prevent severe vision impairment and improve quality of life. Eye exams can reveal subtle changes in the eyes that may indicate the progression of an autoimmune disease or the onset of new complications. Additionally, routine eye care allows for the timely adjustment of treatments, ensuring that eye health is preserved as much as possible.

If you are living with an autoimmune disorder, partnering with a skilled and reputable eye doctor is vital for safeguarding your vision and overall health. Dr. Connie James at Music City Optical is the leading eye doctor in Nashville, and she offers exceptional expertise and personalized care to help you navigate the complexities of your condition. Book your appointment today!

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