iritis

DAY FOUR IRITIS – A PAIN IN THE IRITIS!

DAY FOUR IRITIS, by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 7 July 2012

DAY FOUR IRITIS, by Nawfal Johnson Nur, 7 July 2012

DAY FOUR IRITIS

Okay…

I’m having fun with Iritis again – NOT!

But what I am doing is giving you who come to my blog, more photos and information about Iritis, because I hope it helps you determine if you may have Iritis so you can get to your doctor – STAT!

This may be a repeat for anyone who has seen my other blog entries on Iritis, but if you are new here, then this may be of some help.

Signs that you May have IRITIS!

  1. If you are POSITIVE for HLA-B27 (genetic marker) and also, Ankylosing Spondylitis.
  2. If your eye feels “heavy”.  You’ll know what I mean is you have this feeling – but all I can think of to describe it is that the affected eye feels “heavier” than normal.
  3. Photophobia – you are very sensitive to light, especially sunlight – even shaded light is painful!
  4. Seeing things close up gives a sudden pain in the eye.
  5. Pain in the whites of the eye when gently pressed (with eyelid closed, of course).
  6. Blood vessels seem to POP out in the whites of the eye.
  7. Vision appears foggy in the affected eye.
  8. The iris may become persistently stuck to the lens, then the dark center portion of the eye may appear smaller than that of the healthier eye.

What Should I Do!

  1. Go see an Ophthalmologist – PRONTO!
  2. Don’t spend time at the computer, like I’m doing right now!
  3. Get rest and take your meds.  Follow up with your Doctor if it is required or if there is no improvement with the initial regimen of medication.

Warning!  The computer screen looks kind of blurry right now, so I just hope that what I’m typing here is making sense.

Best of Luck if you are suffering from Iritis!

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Is Iritis Dangerous!

It is time to answer a question from my Search Terms used to look up blog entries at my blog.  The question is:

Is Iritis Dangerous?

Yes, it is very dangerous.  If left untreated it can cause extreme pain for one thing; but worst of all, it can cause blindness or other complications to your eye-health.  So yes, it is dangerous.

If you suspect Iritis, get to your Ophthalmologist A.S as frick’en fast as possible to get treatment!

 

What is Iritis?

The simple answer to that question, “What is Iritis?” is that it is an inflammation of the iris! Yup! Not so informative, but I wanted to get something written down today – I wanted to give some more information about this eye condition.

These Iritis blog entries are not photography related, but I feel a responsibility to share whatever information I can find about Iritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, AAU (Acute Anterior Uveitis) and RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), because these affect me.

http://nawfalnur.wordpress.com/ (A look into my photography, special projects and my scannography project).

As a photographer, a person who sits in front of the computer for many hours at a time, and a person who gets recurring Iritis, the combination is quite frustrating – AND PAINFUL!

Moderation, that is one of the keys. Yes, moderation.

For a more detailed answer to what Iritis is, I found a good answer from Robert H. Shmerling, M.D., who is an associate physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. He answers a question about, “What is the link between RA and these eye conditions?”

Click here  for the link to Dr. Shmerling’s answer. The answer comes from an HONcode Web-site, and this is a really cool NGO that gives a sort of accreditation to Medical Web-sites to make sure the information is accurate and medically sound.

Thus, if I link to any sites with information of a ‘medical nature’, I’ll attempt to find sites that have the HONcode logo, or some other type of accredited source.

Anyway, if I can find medical advice from PROFESSIONALS in the field (of whatever topic), then I’ll attempt to find the information to share and provide a link.

Otherwise, I’ll just be continuing to share some of my own thoughts and experiences on the topic of Iritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Being a Photographer with Iritis and AS…

Iritis Attacks, Some Thoughts 16 Dec 09

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.

Sobering Iritis Realizations

Coffee Splash. Stop Action. White & Coffee.

I’m 15-Days into Iritis. Anyone who has experienced even one episode of Iritis will know how HORRIBLE IT IS!!! Triple Exclamation Points.

It got me thinking about how it would be, to be, “The Blurry Photographer.” And, I came to the conclusion: “That would suck!”

Well, I took this photograph today because I am so super bored, because I’m still dilated in the right eye, super blurry in vision, and on a 3-day headache. However, I just wanted to show myself that I can still photograph when blurry. Yes, it was possible.

Was it very fun? No, not very fun.

Part of the thrill, part of the fun of Photography is being able to see the results in all their CLEAR GLORY!

Having Iritis allows a photographer to see all their results in a hazy blur.

I guess I came to a sobering realization today that A BIG part of the thrill of accomplishment in photography is seeing and enjoying the results…CLEARLY!

There are a lot of things that become more clear to me as my eyesight is threatened by Iritis.

And that reminds me…I have outworn my welcome here at the computer and need to go rest my eyeball.

Thanks for your visit.

DAY-3-IRITIS, EDIT B

Day-3 Iritis, Edit B, btl

This is what Iritis looks like.

This shot was taken on Day-3: Right now, I’m on Day-7, and it’s getting worse I think.

I’m putting this up here because I get a lot of people coming to my photography journal [ right here… ] who are seeking information about Iritis and it helps to see a good photo of what Iritis looks like, and this is it!

IRITIS SYMPTOMS

If your eyeball is having any of these symptoms, or if you have any of these conditions, then take it serious…"Listen" to what your eyeball is telling you (so to speak):
1) Eyeball is Feeling Painful.
2) Eyeball Feels Heavy/Sluggish.
3) If you have Ankylosing Spondylitis (like I have), or another Auto-Immune Disease.
4) If your eye is turning red (like this in the photo).
5) If your eye is VERY SENSITIVE to light.
6) If your eyesight is getting blurry or cloudy.
7) If your eye is feeling scratchy (like a sandpaper type of feeling).
8) If the affected eyeball’s pupil appears smaller than the other eyeball’s pupil.
And,
9) If the affected eyeball is sensitive (painful) to the touch (close eyelid and gently touch around the eye).

IF YOU HAVE ANY or all of these symptoms – YOU BETTER GET YOURSELF TO THE OPHTHALMOLOGIST ASAP!!!

If Iritis is left untreated, it can possibly cause Glaucoma or Blindness.

The Following is the Treatment for Iritis as I Usually Get Treatment (and this will probably vary depending on doctor and severity of Iritis):

Beginning Treatment:
1) Prednisolone Drops (4 times daily) [PRED FORTE – Prednisolone acetate 1% ]
2) Infectoflam (applied at nighttime) [NOVARTISA – FLUOROMETHOLONE 0.1% & Gentamiin 0.3% and other active ingredients ]

IF the pain continues and the Iris gets stuck (the dark pupil stays small even in dark conditions), go back to your doctor for more aggressive measures.

For me, the next step FOR TREATMENT will probably be…

1) Steroid Pills. These can and usually cause Gastritis (the rolling around on the ground in pain type of Gastritis). You may have to take something to protect your stomach when taking Steroid Pills.

2) The scariest treatment I’ve had FOR IRITIS, is a SHOT of Steroids directly into the eyeball. This is usually the quickest way that I know to start the curing process for Iritis, but it is also the most severe measure as well (that I am aware of).

Note of Caution – This is only an informational write-up on Iritis, IF you even suspect Iritis as a cause of your eyeball pain – GET TO THE DOCTOR TO SEEK OUT THE CAUSE AND GET A TREATMENT BASED ON YOUR SEVERITY OF IRITIS!

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU HAVE IRITIS:

1) GO to your doctor right away! Don’t wait if you suspect Iritis!
2) Take your meds on time.
3) MUCH REST!!! Don’t use the computer (like I’m doing right now, but this is important to me also, to share info…I’ll rest soon).
4) Follow up with your doctor IF the eyeball continues to cause you pain. You may need another plan of treatment.

Hope this helps anyone who suspects Iritis as causing your eyeball pain:  I have two other entries on Iritis here at Behind the Lens – if you do a search in my blog, you should find them.   For me, this is a recurring condition, WHICH I DO NOT ENJOY!

Good Luck!

IRITIS: Part Deux

Eyeball with Iritis - by Nawfal Nur of Nawfal’s own eyeball.

IRITIS: Part Deux

Well Folks, I’m going to write this fast because I can’t sit here long at the computer, and soon you will find out why.

I’ve noticed that a number of people come to my Photo-Blog from the Search Engines after they do a search for “Iritis.” I wrote my first entry on iritis a little over a year ago; and almost like clockwork, I’m getting iritis once again. In this post I want to give you more specifics about this eye condition, things to look for, and also, the big eye photograph is my eye with iritis. The eyeball will get redder as the condition gets worse; but as a general warning, I wouldn’t recommend you take a photograph of your eye if suffering from iritis – the studio lights are a killer for the eyeball when having this condition.

This is a very painful and debilitating eye condition. Here is my definition of this condition:

1) It’s a very painful eye condition where in the late stages of development, the iris sticks to the lens. The eyeball becomes very sensitive to touch, light and vision becomes blurry. “When the iris is inflammed, white blood cells (leukocytes) are shed into the anterior chamber of the eye…these cells can accumulate and cause adhesion between the iris and the lens.” [Source: http://www.iritis.org/ ]

2) Here’s a more detailed medical definition from the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center:

”Uveitis means “inflammation of the uvea”, or the middle layer of the eye. The uvea consists of three structures: the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid. The iris is the colored structure surrounding the pupil, visible in the front of the eye. The ciliary body is a structure containing muscle and is located behind the iris which focuses the lens. The choroid is a layer containing blood vessels that line the back of the eye and is located between the inner visually sensitive layer, called the retina, and the outer white eye wall, called the sclera. Inflammation occurring in any of these three structures is termed “uveitis”.

Inflammation in uveitis may involve any but not necessarily all of these three structures. Depending upon which structures are inflamed, uveitis may be further subcategorized into one of three main diagnoses, these include:

· iritis or anterior uveitis,

· iridocyclitis or intermediate uveitis, and

· choroiditis or posterior uveitis.

Uveitis may develop following eye trauma or surgery, in association with diseases which affect other organs in the body, or may be a condition isolated to the eye itself. Severe and permanent visual loss can result from uveitis. In addition, uveitis can lead to other ocular complications, which may produce vision loss, including glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal damage. Early detection and treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Symptoms
Depending on which part of the eye is inflamed in uveitis different combinations of these symptoms may be present.

· Redness

· Light sensitivity

· Floaters

· Blurry vision

· Pain

These symptoms may come on suddenly, and you may not experience any pain. The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have uveitis. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor for a complete exam.

Treatment
Treatment may include steroid eyedrops, injections, or pills, as well as eyedrops to dilate the pupil and reduce pain. More severe cases of uveitis may even require treatment with chemotherapeutic agents to suppress the immune system.” [ SOURCE: http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/uveitis.html


——————-

I would not totally agree that symptoms come on “suddenly”, but conditions may vary per person. I’ve been getting gentle warning signals now for days that this was going to happen. And, it is somewhat amazing to me, that I’ll get iritis in the left eye one year and then just to be fair (it would seem), the next year it happens to the right eye.

I’ll give you the symptoms as I get them, then you can compare notes to what you may be feeling in your eyeball. However, please keep in mind, depending on the type of uveitis you have, the symptoms, of course, may differ.

a) If you have any disease that makes you more susceptible to iritis. (i.e. I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). One of the problems many AS patients also endure is recurring outbreaks of Iritis.)

[ankylosing spondylitis
n.

Arthritis of the spine, resembling rheumatoid arthritis and leading to lipping or fusion of the vertebrae. Also called Strümpell-Marie disease, Marie-Strümpell disease, rheumatoid spondylitis, Strümpell-Marie disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.]

b) A few days before iritis kicks into top gear, my eyeball feels sluggish and heavy.

My Ophthalmologist tells (warns) me that staring at something, like a computer screen, for long periods are quite hazardous for anyone prone to iritis. Why? Because your eyes are constantly focusing at that set distance – arms length – for long periods. Therefore, if you have the same type of work habits as me, then maybe, you should get up and move around more often. In other words, get away from the computer and give your eyes more breaks.

Once iritis has really started kicking in, there are several additional warning signs to keep in mind:

c) The eyeball gives a burning/achy pain.

d) Blood vessels crop up in the whites of the eye and the white part starts turning red (bloodshot).

e) Throbbing in the eyeball.

f) Put your hand out and move it toward the affected eye, the closer you move your hand to your eye, and as your eye tries to focus on your hand, there will be an almost instant shooting pain in your eyeball.

g) Blurriness of vision.

h) Photophobic (high sensitivity to light).

i) Close your eyelid, and then lightly touch the affected eyeball, especially just on the outside of the colored portion of eye. If there is pain in a spot or two, that is a possible sign.

j) One last thing, if when you change lighting conditions in a room and the pupil of the affected eye does not change size, then that’s big trouble – at that point you better be heading off to see your Ophthalmologist.

If you have any of these more serious symptoms, you may want to have your eye checked out. Iritis is no fun and it is very dangerous. It can lead to all sorts of nasty sight problems, including blindness.

Now the Disclaimer: I’m not a physician – I’m a Photographer who suffers from Iritis. If this blog entry can be of any help to even a single person, then I am glad I spent the time on this. Take care of your eyes and see an eye doctor if you have any questions about your eyes and eye pain. Last but not least, be grateful for everything you don’t have to suffer from. But, if you learn a lesson from suffering, I guess that is something to be grateful for also. Wish me luck!

IRITIS – Part Un

Iritis Eyeball macro image of iritis infected eyeball - Nawfal’s eyeball to be exact.

Does your eyeball feel painful? Blurry? Can’t stand to look outside in the sunlight? Your eyeball is bloodshot and achy? You could have Iritis!

[The photograph above is my eyeball on 7 April 2007. I have a Part Deux to my Iritis blog, and you can follow that link by clicking on the “Part Deux” or on the image above. In Part Deux, I go into more medical details and the symptoms I get before getting full-scale iritis. It may be helpful to you, although, I’m sure that symptoms may be different on an individual basis, but it never hurts to be informed and be aware of some red-flag symptoms.]

 

{start of original post Part Unbut edited…}

Most of the technical information you may want to know about iritis is in “Part Deux.” This first post was from January 2006, and now, the iritis saga returns for me (April 2007).

So you made it to my blog, and you see my eyeball in the photo above. You think to yourself, “That’s just like my eyeball,” (well, maybe not the same eye color, but perhaps the redness is the same).

You go to your eye doctor and he tells you, you have iritis: Not such good news. I’m not sure what other doctors prescribe for iritis, but I know what my regimen is for treatment.

If I was lucky enough to get into the doctor early, then he will typically prescribe Indocid [Indomethacin belongs to the class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). It works by reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.] As typical nowadays, NSAIDs come with all kinds of warnings and side-effects for prolonged use – just check it out carefully, ask your doctor about any drug interactions, allergies, side effects, and risks about taking these medications.

In addition to the Indocid, I’m typically put on Prednisolone drops for the affected eye – starting with 3 times a day and then after a few days, 2 times, and then 1 time a day.

Just because you have faithfully followed your doctor’s instructions doesn’t mean all will be healed when the meds finish. Keep in mind the symptoms and pain in the eye. If the eyeball does not feel considerably better after the meds finish, then followup with your doctor.

In my case, if things get really bad, then there are usually steroid pills, dilation drops, and in the worse case (that I can think of), is when I have to get a shot-of-meds right in the eyeball: I’m not quite sure how to describe that experience, but it’s no fun! Thus, get to your doctor early so you don’t have to have that done to your eye.

Nobody wants to be without sight! Seeing is a wonder, it is a miracle, it is something that you never want to be without. Most of us, however, probably don’t think about this gift of sight much. We probably just take it as a natural part of our “being” and expect it to work all the time. You wouldn’t even appreciate it much until you are threatened with losing it.

On average, I get iritis about every one and a half years and it is horrible. It takes AT LEAST 2 to 3 weeks of pure rest:  That should mean no detailed computer work, for which my doctor keeps reminding me.  However, I’m quite a bad patient at times.  I hate not doing anything!  It really makes a mess of my nerves if I’m not being productive.  However, believe me, to get over iritis you need to rest your eye, take your meds on time and follow instructions.

So, if you ever have a serious eye condition, don’t mess around with it, go visit an eye doctor right away.

ps: I shouldn’t even be here at the computer working on my blog because I still have pain in my eye. However, I see that a fair number of folks are looking for information about iritis; therefore, I thought I would sit here a few minutes and update this post. I hope my iritis posts help you if you are suspicious that you have this eye condition.

(c) 2006 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved