Eye Exams Even More Important for People with Autoimmune Disease

  • Posted on: May 30 2019
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Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the body’s misinterpretation of healthy cells. When a person has an autoimmune condition, it means that their immune system attacks healthy cells as if they were pathogens. These conditions present a number of concerns, including some that affect the eyes. Here, we take a look at a few common autoimmune diseases and how they can degrade eye health.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a condition in which the body’s immune system degrades the protective covering around nerves. In many situations, the first indication of this disease is discovered by an eye doctor. MS can cause flare-ups of inflammation around nerves, including the optic nerve. When this happens, a person may experience graying, blurring, or loss of vision. Often, symptoms are only temporary. It is rare for permanent blindness to occur.

Thyroid Disease

People with overactive or underactive thyroid function have an increased risk of glaucoma. This is important to know because glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss among adults. The condition involves elevated pressure within the eye that compresses the optic nerve. Proper treatment is vital to managing this pressure and the long-term function of the nerve at the back of the eye.

Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes, in general, is a condition that causes eye doctors a bit of concern. The condition of unregulated blood sugar has a direct effect on blood vessels throughout the body. Because the blood vessels in the eyes are so small, they are more susceptible to damage. Statistics indicate that Type 1 diabetes, a relatively uncommon condition, is a large contributing factor to blindness. This autoimmune disease also increases a person’s risk of cataracts and glaucoma.

Your Eye Doctor is a Resource for Long-Term Vision

The conditions mentioned are just a few of the common autoimmune diseases that can affect eye health. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, eye exams need to be top priority right along with the specialized care that helps manage general health.

We are proud to serve patients in the areas of North Canton, Canfield, and Alliance. Contact an office near you to schedule a visit.

Posted in: Eye Exams

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