New to the Forum and new to Iritis

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em_102
Posts:4
Joined:Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:58 pm
New to the Forum and new to Iritis

Post by em_102 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:13 pm

Hi All,
I'm new to the forum and I was diagnosed with Iritis on January 3rd - I had never heard about it but I was so happy to find this website then. I was really nervous because I do a lot of photography and I use my eyes a lot. It took about a month for the left eye to clear up and for me to stop the drops. However, the same day I stopped putting the drops in my left eye - I went back to the Institute to have my right eye looked at and sure enough it had gone into the right eye. Luckily it was very early so I'm hoping that it will clear up faster. My left eye was extremely sensitive to light and was probably the most painful thing I've ever experienced to date when it first flared up. My eye had been bothering me for a while but I had been sick with the flu and there was a bus strike in my city so I thought I was just tired. When it did flare up I was so scared because I had never experienced anything like it and could barely see our of my eye - it was so cloudy - but I was very happy with my treatment and all the wonderful doctors that helped me.
I am concerned that my left eye is flaring up again but I'm just trying to stay calm and hope that I'm just tired. I am being monitored very closely at the Institute so I'm confident that if there is an issue I will have a quick diagnosis.
I'm being tested now for the HLA B27 - I don't really know what it means and what the implications are if I do have this gene or don't have it?
Anyhow, I have been very grateful to have found this site and I appreciate any help understanding this disease!
Cheers,
Emily
p.s. I put a link on my blog to your site as I really appreciated the info when I first found it back in January.

Mike Bartolatz
Posts:6595
Joined:Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:58 pm

Re: New to the Forum and new to Iritis

Post by Mike Bartolatz » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:48 am

Emily,
welcome to the group.

hopefully you can get this under control quickly. many people have the HLA B27 gene and never get uveitis or any other thing linked to this gene. if you have it, it will tell you what to watch for systemically but then again you may never end up with any of the forms of arthritis or Irritable bowel disease problems or skin rashes related to it. you might just only have uveitis but that is bad enough. by having this it will indicate the need tos systemically treat it as it is an autoimmune form of iritis. with HLA B27 iritis, or iridocyclitis, the inflammation often 'ping pongs', going from eye to eye. usually Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are used as a 'next step' in a step ladder approach to treatment. the Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foundation in Cambridge, Mass. USA has found that in about 60 to 70% of individuals, iritis can be controlled using oral NSAIDS such as Celebrex (preferred), dolobid, Naprosyn etc. this is prescription strength NSAIDs not the over the counter doseage of the drugs. the doctor monitors for potential side effects and the opthalmologist watches for effects on the uveitis. if this doesn't work, then other drugs known as Disease Modifying Anti rheumatic drugs, DMARD are used to retrain the immune system to stop attacking the eyes. whatever you had prior to the uveitis most likely 'triggered' your immune system to mistakenly attack your eyes IF you have the HLA B27 gene.
there are other causes of iritis and your doctor will explore them through some tests. your medical history to look for possible causes may be done. everyone gets some such as for some of the forms of sexually transmitted disease processes.
if you live in an area where LYME disease is present, then this might be tested for. if you live with dogs and cats, then sometimes things like cat scratch disease or toxocardia can be the cause. if your immediate family has forms of arthritis or irritable bowel disease or multiple sclerosis or Systemic Lupus erythematosus, SLE, or other form of connective tissue disease, then these things can be tested for.
please join us in our General discussion forum by clicking on iritis.uveitis forums at the top of this page.
know that you are not alone and we will help you through this.

wishing you the very best,
Mike
Mike Bartolatz
Moderator

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