An autoimmune disorder is a disorder that causes the immune system to confuse healthy cells for dangerous pathogens and assault them.

Many autoimmune disorders impact the health and function of the eyes. It’s important to know about these effects if you or someone you love has an autoimmune disease, so let’s take a peek at a few of the more prevalent ones.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is indeed closely connected to vision wellness that eye physicians are sometimes the first to spot the disease. In many cases, optic neuritis (a slow or sudden loss of eyesight because of the inflammation of the optic nerve) is among the primary symptoms to appear.

Psoriasis

We tend to think of psoriasis is a skin condition where skin cells build up to form scaly, dry, itchy patches. It may also result in inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane covering the whites of their eyes and the inside of the uterus, causing discomfort and redness.

Thyroid Disease

Disorders that cause low or high thyroid function lead to an increased risk of glaucoma, a serious eye disease in which increased pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss. Thyroid function may cause tissues to build up around the eyes, raising blood pressure. At the opposite end of the spectrum, low thyroid function can make it tougher to allow the eyes to circulate fluids, yet another way that fluid pressure may increase.

Lupus

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage the skin, organs, tendons, as well as the eyes. Symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. The eyes effect by causing inflammation. Symptoms include soreness, headaches, dry eye, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.

Type 1 Diabetes

All kinds of diabetes have harmful implications for vision health, but kind 1, although it’s much less common than type 2, is among the leading causes of blindness in the united states. Poor blood glucose control is hard on blood vessels over time. When the weakened vessels split, they compromise the retina’s blood supply and flow blood into the eye. This is known as diabetic retinopathy, but diabetes also increases the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts.

Your Optometrist Is Your Greatest Resource

Other autoimmune conditions that impact eye health include Sjorgen’s syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, uveitis, and Behcet disease. If you or someone you love is living with an autoimmune condition, make sure your local optometrist knows about it so they can work with you to keep your eyes healthy and your vision strong.

Healing The Eye is honored to be your lifelong partners in vision health!

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