New to iritis (and blogs for that matter!)

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New to iritis (and blogs for that matter!)

Postby jnmconner » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:07 am

Hello.

Age: 34
Mom, wife, work full time...the whole 9 yards

Around 11/15 I started having what I thought was sinus pain. By the 18th I realized the pain was actually in my eye. Went to my regular eye doc on the 19th who said it was probably iritis but wanted me to see an opthamologist. The opthamologist diagnosed me on the 20th. Literally an hour after seeing him, it started up in the other eye. On the 18th, also started having horrible, multiple bouts of diarrhea (10-20 times a day, with stomach cramping). By the 23rd I couldn't stand it and was admitted to the hospital. A CAT scan indicated possible ulcerative colitis.

Nine days ago the doc gave me injections to help my vision improve. The next day my vision started to improve, but I still had a cloud over it, like looking through skim milk. By Saturday, I was back to normal, clear vision and was SO happy! But...the next day when I was outdoors it looked like there was pepper on everything I saw. By Monday, my vision started to blur again. I saw the Doc again today. Now there is inflammation in the back of my eyes. He prescribed oral steroids. 20mg 3/day. Last Friday I had a colonoscopy but still need a blood work up for an actual diagnosis.

I'm tired, I'm frustrated, and I have so many questions that I don't even know where to begin. Luckily, my stomach hasn't been giving me trouble, so I guess that's the silver lining. Here are a few questions:

1. Why do things now look like there is pepper in my eyes, what is that?
2. Is the inflammation in the back of my eyes still iritis or something else?
3. If the oral steroids don't help, what is the next step?
4. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else?
5. If anyone else specifically has UC, please let me know. I have a lot of questions about that as well.
6. Will my vision most likely come back to normal?
7. I only had pain for a few days, as the prednisolone started working quickly. If I ever have the iritis flare up again, will that God awful pain most likely be the first symptom again?


Thank you SO much for your time, I appreciate any feedback :D
jnmconner
 
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Re: New to iritis (and blogs for that matter!)

Postby Mike Bartolatz » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:12 pm

Welcome to the group
the pepper like things you see are cells in the vitreous, the jelly like substance that provides the shape of your eye(s).
iritis is inflammation of the anterior chamber, the front part which holds the lens, iris, aqueous humor, cornea.
the iris is connected to the ciliary body which opens and closes the iris and which produces the fluid in the anterior chamber.
the back of the cilary body is called the pars plana, this can become inflammed and can cause cells (floaters) to appear in the front part of the vitreous humor.
this is known as intermediate uveitis.

the back of the eye is also known as the choroid, retina and posterior vitreous humor. when inflammation is located here it is known as posterior uveitis.

when all areaas of the eye are inflammed it is known as Pan uveitis.
with posterior uveitis and pan uveitis, the odds increase in a cause being present whether that is a pathogen, systemic disease or autoimmune disease.

GI distress often preceeds uveitis in that the pathogen triggers an inflammatory response in the Gut which can also activate various genes related to systemic autoimmune disease processes. often this is related to the HLA B27 gene.
GI distress related to uveitis often takes the form of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease. with these thing Arthritis can develop impacting joint function and the spine.
sometimes it can be a combination of various things which include ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease. other genes can cause some of these things too. the IL23R and ERAP1 genes seem to be linked to these things as well as autoimmune thryroid disease and breast cancer.
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Re: New to iritis (and blogs for that matter!)

Postby Mike Bartolatz » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:22 pm

you asked if your vision will come back to normal. it is impossible to say but MOST people return to about where they were when the inflammation
Started IF the uveitis is quelled quickly and a plan is set up to keep the underlying disease quiet through various medications. because you have Ulcerative colitis, it is HIGHLY recommended that you get an Ocular Immunologist involved NOW in your care so that a corticosteroid sparing approach to treatment can begin EARLY on in your disease process so that your bodily systems are not compromised and so that complications to uveitis don''t occur which can be vision robbing or even lead to blindness if not treated aggressively.
there is a list of specialists at http://www.uveitis.org located in the PATIENT information section of the site. I suggest that you go there and find the Closest specialist for an evaluation OR, tell me where you live and I will suggest the BEST specialist closest to you for a consultation.

pain might be a presenting symptom. this is usually related to adhesion between the iris and lens. dilating drops help stop the pain and prevent the iris from sticking in a closed position.. if the iris isn't involved, then you might not have pain. often posterior and intermediate uveitis have no pain associated with them. aversion to light called photophobia can occur. this can sometimes be related to uveitis, optic nerve involvement and corneal involvement. if this happens, get in to see an opthalmologist right away so treatment can begin.
sometimes the blood vessels in the back of the eye become inflammed or start growing and that can cause pain if the retina detaches and bleeds.

ANY new symptom should alert you to get in RIGHT AWAY for an evaluation by an opthalmologist.

we are here to help you through this, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

wishing you the very best,
Mike
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Re: New to iritis (and blogs for that matter!)

Postby jnmconner » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:39 pm

Hi Mike,

thanks so much for your replies. That was an education! you'd think that after three weeks of this I'd have had more time to research all of this, but that wasn't the case.

Although painful, this seemed easier in the beginning, when it was just in the front of my eyes. I will just be patient and follow my doctor's instructions and see how it goes. I should be having my bloodwork done soon to determine the underlying cause and will keep you posted.

I'll stay tuned to learn more. thanks for this great website!

Melissa

PS...Chicago suburbs
jnmconner
 
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Re: New to iritis (and blogs for that matter!)

Postby Mike Bartolatz » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:34 pm

Can you get in to see DR Howard Tessler there in Chicago?
his contact information can be found at httP://www.uveitis.org in the PATIENT information section of the site. he might be able to get you an underlying cause and treat it accordingly. he is one of the top ocular immunologists here in the USA.

Wish you the best,

mike
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