Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Eyes: Part 2

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Eyes: Part 2

Today I’m continuing with this series of autoimmune disorders and their affect on the eyes. This list is taken from my post: “May is Healthy Vision Month.” The list in this post isn’t a comprehensive one, so I’m adding new ones to it.

Behcet Disease

The main ocular involvement in Behçet’s disease is where the inflammatory process spreads inside the eye, causing uveitis. This may affect the front part of the eye causing symptoms of redness, pain and sensitivity to light. … Unfortunately, the usual scenario is for the inflammation to spread to the back of the eye.

Inflammation inside of the eye (uveitis, retinitis, and iritis) occurs in more that half of those with Behçet’s disease and can cause blurred vision, pain, and redness.


Systemic lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body, including the eyes.Lupus most often affects the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys and central nervous system (CNS).

5 Ways Lupus can Affect the Eyes

  1. Dry Eye Disease (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca) – Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which dry eye symptoms become quite severe, often creating a gritty, sandy sensation in the eye as well as itching and burning.
  2. Eyelid Disease – Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, which appears as a thickened rash. The rash is made up of scaly, disc-shaped lesions. over the eyelids.
  3. Retinal Disease – Retinal vasculitis is a complication of lupus in which blood supply to the retina is reduced or limited. When this occurs, the retina tries to repair itself by developing new blood vessels, a process called neovascularization.
  4. Scleral Disease – Lupus can cause Scleritis. Scleritis causes the sclera to become inflamed and painful. Due to the inflammation, the sclera becomes thinner, creating a very weak area of the eye that can actually perforate or increase the risk of serious damage if eye trauma were to occur in the future.
  5. Nerve Disease – Optic Neuritis is an inflammation of the covering around the optic nerve. Usually only one eye is affected, but profound vision damage can occur. Optic neuritis related to lupus often causes the optic nerve to atrophy.

Click here to read more about Lupus.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Vision problems are pretty common for people with MS. The symptoms usually come and go on their own.

Vision problems associated with MS

Vision Loss – Optic Neuritis

This condition usually comes on quickly, over a few hours or days. You may notice some of these symptoms:

  • Pain when you move your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of color vision
  • Trouble seeing to the side
  • A hole in the center of your vision
  • Blindness in rare cases
  • Headache — a dull ache behind your eyes

Double Vision

In MS, the problem occurs in the part of the brain that controls the nerves that go to the muscles that control the eye.

Uncontrollable Eye Movements – Nystagmus. Small, rapid and repetitive eye movements

Click here to read more about MS.


People with Psoriasis can develop Uveitis. For patients with psoriatic arthritis, the risk is about 7 percent (or 70 people per 1,000) will develop uveitis. One study found that as many as 17 percent of children with psoriatic arthritis will get uveitis.

Symptoms for uveitis or iritis:

  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing spots in your vision

Click here to read more about Psoriasis

Reiter’s syndrome

Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs due to an infection. Arthritis is when joints become inflamed and painful. Reactive arthritis is not contagious. It’s also known as Reiter’s Syndrome. It mostly affects men ages 20 to 50. Symptoms can last from 3 to 12 months.

Symptoms of eye problems may include:

  • Red eyes
  • Painful and irritated eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Inflamed mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and eyelid (conjunctivitis)
  • Inflammation of the inner eye (uveitis)

Autoimmune Disorders that Affect the Eyes #behcet #lupus #MS #psoriasis #RA #Sjogrens

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