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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Autoimmune disorder of the eyes
Posted by: M. Radhakrishnan
Date: July 24, 2000 10:10 AM

I am 60 years old and enjoy good health. However I am troubled by the autoimmune disorder of my eyes for the last 7+ years. I am slightly diabetic, which is under control. Doctors say that this is not due to diabetes.

I have approached all good opthalmologists in Bangalore, India. Some of them are well known doctors with FRCS from UK. All of them agree that the cause is not really known and suggest that I treat it when it occurs, based on symptoms. My eyes turn red when it strikes. These days I get head-ache and the feeling is highly irritating. I have tried some steroid drops, but the results are not very encouraging. I have tried non-steroidal drops etc. All of them give temporary respite, but it recurs in a few days.

Can you suggest some good remedy for this disorder? Based on the Doctor's advice, I undertook various tests of my blood, but all are showing negative results.

My eye sight is normal, though I use bifocal specs these days. I am a computer professional and hence spend quite some time on the computer.

RE: Autoimmune disorder of the eyes
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: July 30, 2000 1:00 PM

A common condition which produces symptoms like yours is inflammation of the Meibomian glands of the eye lids. These glands produce lubrication for the eye surface which compliments the tear production by the lacrimal glands. Ophthalmologists commonly prescribe antibiotic drops and ointment in combination with temporary steroids and hot compresses for five twice daily. The cause is apparently a chronic infection of the Meibomian glands by and unfriendly bacteria. The condition is said to be permanent, but can be improved by the method described. The give away to the diagnosis is constant inflammation of the inside of the eyelids. If you pull down your lower lid and it appears red, and that redness does not disappear in a few days on its own, that is the diagnostic sign.

Other than that, first of all, eliminate the radiation effects of your computer screen. The newer screens are large mock-ups of lap top screens and do not emit radiation. Eliminate any extreme emotional elements in your life as this tends to dysregulate the immune system. Toxic exposures can play a role also: air pollution, mercury poisoning from dental amalgams, etc. if you cannot avoid air pollution, you may want to consider wearing a mask with filter, one that also covers your eyes.



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