Today, I just want to share a few more thoughts about Iritis.
Why do I get Iritis?
That is one of the search phrases I see often from people who find my blog entries about Iritis.
With that said, and from my own experiences with Iritis, I propose that there is one main reason you may be predisposed to Iritis; that there is at least one main psychological cause that contributes to Iritis; and, one modern day activity that contributes to Iritis “Attacks”. I say, “attack” because it feels like an attack on your eyeball. If you have had Iritis, you will know what I mean.
So let’s begin…
- There is one main reason that you may be predisposed to Iritis: It is a secondary condition of another disease. In my case, I have an Autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.)…a type of arthritis. I am also positive for the genetic marker, HLA-B27.
According to an article in the 2004 edition of the “Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine”:
“84% of HLA-B27 positive patients with AAU [acute anterior uveitis] have other B27-associated diseases—specifically Reiter’s syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis.”
Source: The ramifications of HLA-B27 , by Nicholas J Sheehan MD FRCP
- Main Psychological Cause: DISTRESS!
Yes, that is correct, I said “Distress.”
Life is Stressful: Stress is normal. Some stress is even good for us – it keeps us on our toes, motivated and creates excitement. HOWEVER, many people are better at coping with life’s psychological and physical stressors than others.
Constant and overwhelming (continuous stress) causes DISTRESS – feelings of extreme worry, sadness or pain.
Therefore, I propose that if you have a medical condition that causes pain a lot of the time, or, if you are feeling ‘extreme’ pressure from stress or sadness, THEN it may be possible that this distress assists in the outbreaks of Iritis.
B27 Diseases + HLA-B27 POSITIVE + DISTRESS = VERY PROBABLY Iritis.
- Main Modern Day Activity that could contribute to Iritis: Continuous, Long-Periods of Focusing your Eyes at the Normal Computer Screen Reading Distance.
There is one thing that my Ophthalmologist tells me each time I pay him a visit with a new outbreak of Iritis:
“You MUST NOT use the computer for the next couple of weeks, because you are focusing your eyesight too long ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN…at that fixed distance!” [from eyeballs to computer screen – basically arm’s length distance]
I’m not sure how scientific that statement is, but it seems to fit my situation quite perfectly because I notice that before I get Iritis, I’ve usually been spending extra ordinary time working at the computer, and usually feeling stressed about a project or…whatever.
In today’s world of computer-everything, we seem addicted to being on the computer, using the Internet, and staring at that computer screen for hours upon hours. I propose that there could be a link between Iritis attacks and over-working your eyes while focusing on an object (i.e., the computer screen) at a rough distance of arm’s length.
My doctor’s advice for dealing with this is:
“OK, if you have to work on the computer, at least get up and walk around regularly and relax your eyes from time-to-time, see things at other distances – don’t just continuously stare at the computer screen.”
I’m not a doctor. I do not claim that any of my observations or advice are medically worth a hill of beans. In other words, you don’t need to take my word for it.
However, in my experience with Iritis, I know that being predisposed to Iritis via another B27 disease, having my share of distress, and long-term computer usage, I’m pretty sure it all adds up to my risk of getting new Iritis attacks. What about you? Does any of this sound familiar with your dealings with Iritis?
With this knowledge, I attempt to at least reduce my distress and reduce my computer usage – there’s nothing I can really do about the A.S., but I can do things to reduce the persistent long-term pain.
If you too suffer from Iritis, I wish you all the best. Maybe you can keep a journal of the events you experienced and the activities you did before the onset of an Iritis attack. This may help you determine which activities you can control, and possibly reduce the frequency of Iritis. It’s just a thought.