Autoimmune Disorders & Impact on Eyes

When our immune system mistake healthy cells for dangerous pathogens and counter them, it’s termed as autoimmune disease which directly impact overall eye health and function. It’s thus important to know about autoimmune diseases, especially the most common so that you may take effective treatment steps.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is closely linked to vision which is the reasons doctors can easily spot the disorder in the first place. Of the different symptoms, one of the first one is optic neuritis (gradual loss of vision following optic nerve inflammation).

This particular autoimmune anomaly targets the nervous system and the brain as well as nerves which try to repair the scarred tissue. But the scarred tissue disrupts the signal travelling through the central nervous system and weakens the muscles, cause numbness, pain in the body, lack of control and reduced cognitive function.


Though we commonly identify psoriasis as a skin disorder during which skin cells accumulate to form dry, scaly and itchy patches, inflammation of the conjunctiva is another affect whereas ‘conjunctiva’ is clear, transparent membrane covering inside of the eyelids and white portion of the eye. Patient is likely to have red, itch and discomfort in the eyes.

Psoriasis impacts the overall body skin including that of the eyelids with development of red and scaly areas, causing pain each time you open and close the eyes. And since skin around the eyes is quite delicate, only a doctor would recommend the right treatment option. Chances are that the doctor would suggest corticosteroids or eczema medication but application has to be done carefully as direct exposure to the eye can be damaging.


Certain autoimmune disorders result in high or low thyroid function which increases glaucoma risk, which is a serious eye condition during which increase in eye pressure damages the optic nerve and cause vision loss. High thyroid function builds up tissue around the eyes thus increasing pressure whereas low function makes it harder for the eyes to properly circulate fluids.


A chronic autoimmune disorder that damages the skin, joints, organs and the eyes whereas worst case scenario leads to life-threatening symptoms. Inflammation of the eye is one indication of lupus followed by others such as blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, soreness and light sensitivity.

Type 1 Diabetes

Almost all types of diabetes are dangerous for overall vision but type 1; although rare, leads to blindness. Poor control of the blood sugar impacts badly on the blood vessels including those in the back of the eye. When these weakened vessels breakdown, the retinal blood supply is hampered and leak directly into the eye which is termed as diabetic retinopathy. There’s a higher risk of cataract and glaucoma development as well.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

During this particular disease, the immune system directly attacks the joint lining in your body beginning with the fingers and toes. It causes inflamed lining which damages the bones and cartilage thus impacting overall body including the eyes.

Only an ophthalmologist can recommend the right treatment that can be anything between anti-inflammatory drops, surgery, laser or YAG laser treatment for patients who’ve already received treatment of the eyes.

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