Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that stiffens our joints and spine leading to inflammation and a pain in the lower back, which no words can express. It is evident that a rheumatologist is a right professional to deal with this disease.
But, would you believe it, if I say that ophthalmologists also have a decent track record when we talk of ankylosing spondylitis? You have to. Because, even after being a form of arthritis, it causes inflammation in eyes (also known as Uveitis).
Studies say, around 40% of patients with AS suffer from Uveitis at some part of their life. Therefore, if you are a young adult who has swelled eyes and is going through a bad back pain, then beware, you may have ankylosing spondylitis.
That is why it is a good habit to get your body checked up regularly.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a linked with a gene (as per the hypothesis of the researchers) HLA-B27. This fact automatically makes it a disease which could get carried over to the upcoming generation of a patient. Although lower back pain and stiffness, etc. are its main symptoms, it also may cause inflammation in any other part of the body as well (like heart, lungs, digestive system, etc. If such a case can happen, then how could the eye stay safe. Hence, inflammation of eyes in patients with AS is not a strange thing to happen.
When a patient suffers from Uveitis, they show the following symptoms-
1. Pain in the eyes
2. Sensitivity to light
3. Eye redness
4. Blurred vision
5. Spots in Vision
For examining such specialized condition, a particular diagnostic technique called slit light examination. In this method, the therapist looks through the fluid present inside the eyes. If they see WBCs floating there, it is Uveitis. On letting the symptoms as they are, they may disappear. As a result, this might reduce our chances of diagnosing AS. It could be dangerous in the time to come. It might also lead to the formation of scars inside the eyes.
- We can quickly treat Uveitis within the span of just 4 or 5 days. Some of the traditional treatments may include-
1. Steroid drops- For reducing inflammation.
2. Cycloplegic drops- From relief from pain and keeping the pupil open.
3. Dark glasses for keeping the eyes cozy.
4. Oral supplements of steroids in extreme conditions
For further diagnosis, doctors perform more slit light exams.A wise man once said, “Prevention is better than cure”. Here are a few precautions one can take to protect his eyes from Uveitis.
A wise man once said, “Prevention is better than cure”. Here are a few precautions one can take to protect his eyes from Uveitis.
- Get your eyes checked every year. A regular checkup is a key to knowing the status of eyes. Keep your eyes clean and tested by taking proper medication and stay healthy.
2. Wear protective eyewear whenever you are playing a sport, driving, etc. Keep them safe from any possible harmful external agent.
3. Wear shades regularly. A pair of sunglasses can never go wrong. A good pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes actually from harmful radiations.
4. Let your eyes have a break. Let them rest. Close them once in a while. Even if you are working on the computer for a long time, take a break in every 20 minutes. Look at a distant place. This activity instantly gives your eyes some relaxation. After all, some exercises can be relievers as well.
Uveitis, not just a condition of irritation but also an indication of ankylosing spondylitis. Are having inflammation eyes, blurry vision, pain, etc. ? Then why are you waiting? Get up and see your doctor today itself. A compromise could make life difficult in the days to come. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy.
Well, that’s all for today. I hope, you have found all your answers. Stay tuned for more such articles. Take care. See you. Cheers!!