Have you ever woke up and you take a look in the mirror and it looks like someone has landed a punch to your eye? Well this is what happened to me, I blew it off thinking that a vessel had simply burst, but latter on in the day my eye began to hurt, started itching really bad, and I had what I called a headache. Now it was the weekend and I knew if I called the opthalmologist he would have informed me to go directly to the hospital. So I did the next best thing and called my sister who is a retired opthalmologist assistant.
My sister began to ask me questions such as: Did I lift anything heavy? Did I rub my eye to hard? Am I experiencing any headaches? Had I been in any flares lately? She then stated "I am going to facetime you so that I can see your eye. So we are on facetime, my sister began to tell me pull your eyelid down, pull up, and all I'm hearing from her is hmmm, ok, hmmm.
My sister stated "Due to the fact that you have SLE and we know the type of SLE you have can and will affect not only your internal organs, skin, and your eyes you need to make an appointment first thing Monday morning to see your opthalmologist because it seems that you have inflammation of the sclera (white outer portion of the eye)."
The eye is an "immune privileged" organ, but, autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can be strong enough in terms of immune response that they can by pass the "immune protected" state. I knew from the start before being officially diagnosed in 2004 with lupus how this illness can basically destroy the body, so nothing is a surprise to me when it comes to being diagnosed with another underlying condition.
Okay, so on Monday the opthalmologist seen me and informed me that what I thought was just broken blood vessels in my eye were Scleritis. Scleritis may affect the cornea as well. Now I know your wondering what Scleritis is? And is it from having Lupus? Well Scleritis, as this condition is know, is very unusual in those with lupus, but it can frequently appear in thos with RA rheumatoid arthritis, and Scleritis occurs in approximately one percent of individuals with lupus. I guess I'm It.
What are the Symptoms of Scleritis?
Tenderness of the eye.
Inflammation of the white part of the eye.
Extreme sensitivity to light.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms make an appointment with your Opthalmologist and get it checked out.