Ocular sarcoidosis is an inflammatory condition that occurs when your body's immune system overreacts to a threatening substance, such as bacteria or a virus, and causes clumps of inflammatory cells to form in the eye. Ocular sarcoidosis typically affects the conjunctiva, uvea or optic nerve. It's not fully understood why some people are more susceptible to developing this condition than others, but women and those with a family history of sarcoidosis are at an increased risk. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for this eye condition:
The symptoms of ocular sarcoidosis vary depending on the part of the eye that's affected. When the conjunctiva, the protective membrane that covers the front of the eye, is affected, you'll experience eye pain, a sensation of pressure and the white of the eye may appear red. If the uvea, which is situated behind the cornea and includes the iris, is affect ted, you can experience blurred vision, sensitivity to light, eye pain and floaters and flashes. Ocular sarcoidosis affecting the optic nerve can cause loss of vision as a result of the pathway between the eye and the brain being interrupted. When the optic nerve is affected, it's also common to experience deterioration in colour vision and night vision.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
Ocular sarcoidosis can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Your optometrist will use an ophthalmoscope, which is a handheld device with a powerful light and magnifier attached, to get a detailed look at the various sections of your eyes, and this will allow them to spot clusters of inflammatory cells. They may also use tonometry, which is an eye pressure test, to determine the extent of inflammation present in the eye, as inflammation increases eye pressure. This painless test involves having a puff of air blown into your eye, and you eye's response is charted on a graph.
Treatment for ocular sarcoidosis includes a course of oral steroids to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, you may be prescribed corticosteroid injections, which are administered at the side of the eye and tend to work faster than oral steroids. Once the inflammation is under control, your eye doctor may recommend you take an immunosuppressant to prevent your symptoms recurring. These drugs dampen down the immune system just enough to prevent it being hypersensitive to common environmental pathogens, such as bacteria, and they are taken long-term.
If you're experiencing symptoms associated with ocular sarcoidosis, or if you're overdue an eye test, schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.Share
9 August 2017
Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Karl and today I would like to introduce you to the subject of looking after your eyesight. For many years, I didn't give my eyes much thought. I always thought that my eyes would look after themselves. However, I got older, I noticed that I found it difficult to read signs at a distance and to make out friends faces as they approached me. My wife suggested that I visit an optometrist and have my eyes checked. I was fitted with glasses which have improved my vision. I hope you enjoy my blog.