I’m really pleased to find this blog. I thought I was struggling alone. First, about me – relatively healthy 58 YO male, active lifestyle, other than Flonase for allergies/sinuses and Prilosec for acid reflux – on no other prescription meds. Get regular (annual) physical – BP is mid-range, working to lower my cholesterol, which is borderline high. Like most my age, I could afford to drop 20-25 lbs – and oh, I do like my beer.
In January of this year (2017) I experienced rapid onset of eye pain in my left eye. Then came sensitivity to light and foggy/cloudy vision. With a history of sinus infections, I automatically assumed that was the cause, as my sinus infections in the past often affected my eyes/vision. After a week on antibiotic and oral steroid, eye symptoms only got worse.
I saw my Optometrist – he diagnosed Iritis and referred me to an Ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologist concurred with Iritis diagnosis, and put me on two separate types of eye drops – and she also referred me to a Rheumatologist. Rheumatologist did a slew of blood tests, as well as urine sample for testing.
Let me hit the “pause” button for a second. If you’re on this blog, you likely know the tendency for Iritis to be connected with Rheumatism or other autoimmune conditions. I had a really hard time wrapping my arms around that – how in the world can something going on elsewhere in my body cause my eye problem??? I really didn’t have any of the types of conditions considered to cause Iritis, although I am afflicted with minor diverticulosis/IBS type symptoms – I never considered it severe, and symptoms were relatively minor, responded well to treatment, and didn’t last very long. What I was very concerned about was a pretty significant history of cancer on my Dad’s side. So I spent a good deal of time wondering/worrying what sinister little undiagnosed problem was percolating in my body.
OK, back to real time. In January, the Rheumatologist noted that two of the blood test readings came in higher than normal – indicating that something was brewing somewhere. Did full X-rays, I think a couple other tests – can’t remember everything he did - found nothing of significance. Monitored the high blood test readings over several follow-up appts with Rheumatologist, those readings came down to normal over the period of a couple months. Whatever caused those high readings (never determined) was dissipating. Whew.
Continued to see the Ophthalmologist as well, she kept treating me with two eye drops – sorry, I forget what they were, but I know one was a steroid. Long story short, after 6 months of treatment, gradually reducing eye drops, Iritis condition seemed under control last month (July 2017). Again whew.
Not so fast – this past weekend (19-20 August 2017) I had an experience which, I think future history (oxymoron?) will show, will be groundbreaking in my Iritis diagnosis and treatment plan. On Saturday I had a huge IBS type event – I’ll spare you the earthy details, but safe to say it was probably the worst gastronomical meltdown I’ve ever faced. And Sunday morning I woke up to eye pain. And this morning I woke up to eye pain, sensitivity to light, and cloudy vision. Sound familiar? At this point there is no doubt in my mind that my Iritis is being caused by my intestinal issues.
My current situation is truly a dichotomy – while I certainly am not pleased to get back onboard the Iritis treatment train, I find it a terrific relief that I am now very, very confident of the causing condition. So I’ll get into the Optometrist and Ophthalmologist treatment, but rather than follow up with a Rheumatology appt – I’m going to a Gastroenterologist to develop a better plan to manage my diverticulosis/IBS – and I’m pretty confident that will reduce the chance of future Iritis re-occurrence. Of course I will confirm this plan with my Drs – not trying to self-diagnose or self-treat. Some change in lifestyle and nutrition will certainly be in order – one piece I read where caffeine and alcohol both have significant links with IBS – so that definitely needs to be considered (did I say that I liked my beer?)
Sorry if I ran long here – again, really pleased to find this site, and if anyone has any questions/comments – please feel free…..
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