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Crohn’s Disease Eyes

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Diseases & Cure

Introduction

The central eye problems that can occur with Crohn’s disease are Episcleritis. This is the inflammation of the white part of the eye called the sclera. It’s usually not painful, but it can make your eyes look red and irritated.

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Crohn’s Disease And Eye Problems: What To Know

Does Crohn’s disease cause eye problems?

What remain the risk factors for Crohn’s disease and eye problems?

What Eye Problems Does Crohn’s Disease Cause?

The inflammation doesn’t always stay in your digestive tract when you have Crohn’s disease. Up to half of the people with Crohn’s disease also have inflammation in the judgments or other body parts. Your doctor might call these symptoms extraintestinal manifestations or EIM. Ocular inflammation is the third most common type of EIM. Therefore, it is essential to see an eye doctor (an ophthalmologist) as soon as you notice any changes in her vision. Regular eye exams are also crucial. They can detect eye complications early and possibly detect other health problems before symptoms appear.

Does Crohn’s Disease Cause Eye Problems?

Some factors are likely to trigger eye problems in people with Crohn’s disease. These include:

Immune response. Crohn’s disease can damage the lining of your intestine. This allows toxins and proteins called antigens to leak from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Your immune system sees these substances as harmful and attacks them like it attacks your gut. This can trigger inflammation in the eyes and other parts of the body. Family history. Studies suggest that a family history of Crohn’s disease may increase the chance of eye inflammation, even if you don’t have genes linked to the disease.

Oral Steroids And Other Medications.

Some treatments for Crohn’s disease can cause eye problems. For example, steroids you take by mouth increase the chance of glaucoma or high pressure in the eye. They do the same with cataracts, which cloud the lens. In addition, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers such as infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel) can trigger an eye condition called uveitis. If you take these medications, ask your doctor how often you should have your eyes checked.

Sometimes eye inflammation appears before intestinal symptoms. If you have many episodes of eye inflammation, talk to your doctor about screening for Crohn’s disease.

The Risk Factors For Crohn’s Disease And Eye Problems

The Risk Factors For Crohn's Disease And Eye Problems

Anyone with Crohn’s disease can have eye inflammation. It is more likely if you:

  • Females remained assigned at birth
  • You have symptoms mainly in the colon
  • have frequent breakouts
  • they are older
  • You have arthritis or other health problems.

What Eye Problems Does Crohn’s Disease Cause?

The central eye problems that can occur with Crohn’s disease are:

Episcleritis. This is the inflammation of the white part of the eye called the sclera. It’s usually not painful, but it can make your eyes look red and irritated. Episcleritis appears to follow inflammation in the intestine. In other words, when your Crohn’s disease flares up, so does the episcleritis. It goes away when your gut calms down. It usually doesn’t need treatment, but a cold compress or lubricating eye drops (also called artificial tears) can help.

Scleritis.

This rare type of eye inflammation can resemble episcleritis but is much more severe and painful. The most common treatment is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. However, these are not the best option for people with Crohn’s disease. Although NSAIDs suppress inflammation, they also rob the digestive system of substances that protect it. If your symptoms remain severe, your doctor may prescribe steroid pills.

Uveitis.

This is inflammation uvea, the middle layer of the eye between the sclera and the inner layers of the eye. It is one of the most common eye problems in Crohn’s disease, but it is usually not accompanied by other symptoms. If your Crohn’s disease flares up, that doesn’t mean uveitis will. However, warning signs like redness, pain, and blurred vision can appear suddenly in one or both eyes.

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