April is sarcoidosis month, sarcoidosis is a rare inflammatory disease that affects one or more organs. Most commonly affects the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes, and skin. As a result of the inflammation, abnormal lumps or nodules called granulomas to form in organs of the body. These granulomas May change the normal structure and function of the affected organs.
Sarcoidosis is one of the leading causes of inflammatory eye disease. Uveitis is the most common and serious form of ocular sarcoidosis. 30 to 60% of patients develop this form.
Doctors have yet to find an exact cause of sarcoidosis. Some theories do exist:
- Bodily response to foreign substances such as viruses’ bacteria or chemicals.
- Genetic predisposition.
Sarcoidosis can affect the eyes without any symptoms. Another reason to have your eyes checked regularly. When symptoms do occur they include:
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Burning, itching, or dry eyes
- Severe redness.
- Sensitivity to light
- Reduced Color vision
- Seeing floaters
- Small, pale yellow bumps on the eye
There is currently no cure for ocular sarcoidosis, at times the disease will go into remission with therapies to manage inflammation and ease symptoms. Ocular sarcoidosis treatments, depending on the severity include:
- eye drops containing corticosteroids (prednisone or Durezol)
- Topical cycloplegics (Cyclopentolate or atropine)
- Immunosuppressives (Methotrexate, Imuran or CellCept).