Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body, and unfortunately, your eyes are no exception. Lupus can cause a variety of eye problems, but cataracts are the most common. Here are four things lupus sufferers need to know about cataracts.
What are cataracts?
Your corneas are the lenses in the fronts of your eyes. Your corneas cover both your pupils and your irises, and since they focuses the light that enters your eyes, they're very important. Cataracts refer to the clouding of your corneas.
What are the signs of them?
When your cornea is clouded, light can't enter your eye as well as it should. This makes your vision cloudy and blurred, and can also make it harder for you to see in low-light conditions, like when you're driving at night. People with cataracts also notice rings or halos around lights, and both light and glare can bother your eyes.
Cataracts get progressively worse over time, so you may also notice that you need to change your eyeglass prescription more often than you used to. If left untreated, your vision will continue to get worse. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness throughout the world, so if you notice these signs, you need to seek treatment immediately.
What is the link between lupus and cataracts?
Cataracts are caused by the medication used to keep your lupus under control: steroids. Steroids work by reducing inflammation, but with long-term use, they can lead to serious side effects like cataracts. People with lupus are considered to have a high risk of cataracts if they've been taking steroids for 10 years or more.
There are no preventative therapies available to protect your corneas from the effects of steroids, so frequent eye exams are the best way to protect yourself. Your optometrist can check your eyes for signs of cataracts, and if signs are found, the cataracts can be treated early.
How are cataracts treated?
If you develop cataracts, you'll need surgery to correct them. During the procedure, an ophthalmologist will remove your damaged corneas, and artificial lenses will be inserted in their place. Generally, your vision will be better the day after your surgery is performed, but it won't be perfect until your eyes have healed and new glasses have been prescribed.
If you have lupus, make sure to get your eyes screened for cataracts regularly. Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness, but with the help of your ophthalmologist (like those at the Nevada Institute Of Ophthalmology), you can protect your vision.Share
4 December 2015
If your vision isn't as good as it used to be, you need to see an optometrist. I developed an uncontrollable twitch in both eyes. The problem became so bad that it interfered with my sleep at night. I became cranky, irritable and extremely self-conscience about my problem. At times, I couldn't see anything, even if it was close to my face. But after speaking to my regular doctor about my twitchy eyes, they referred me to an optometrist for an eye exam. The optometrist diagnosed me with poor nerve function. If I didn't do something about it, I'd lose my vision. My eye doctor prescribed eyeglasses to help me see better until I underwent surgery to repair the damaged nerves in my eyes. Now, I see just fine. If you want to know more about protecting your vision, keep reading my blog.