Iritis

A post from the other side...

...of the Pacific, that is.

My apologies for neglecting this blog and the commenters for so long.  It has been over a month and during that month, several relocations and new starts have occurred--oh and one strange flare that you'll probably be interested in (since this blog isn't really about moving and new starts).

The good news is my eyes are calm and pressures are between 18 and 20 (right eye being slightly higher--not sure why).  When I arrived home after a long flight, I had slight photosensitivity and a lot of circumcorneal redness in my left eye which was enough to scare me into going to the doctor.  The local doctor that I saw told me that she couldn't see flare but that I had a lot of flush and that kind of flush around the cornea wasn't good--it either meant high pressure (pressure had dropped to 16 in the L eye) or inflammation (of which none was evident).

Anyhow, after some deliberation we decided to treat it more aggressively with Lotemax, saving the Pred Forte until later.  However, the more Lotemax I used, the worse the redness became.  I suspected that it might be dry eye (due to the stinging) so I also started a bottle of Systane (all I had available), but that didn't help.  Desperate I changed to pred forte, but again, there was no resolution.

After a few days, I returned to the eye doctor, the pressure was up (23) in the Left Eye and the doctor noticed corneal staining and pitting, which the she thought might be a response to the preservatives in the drops I was using (BAK and sodium perborate, I think).  She suggested using preservative-free Systane and this really improved the situation.  So much so that I broke a golden rule of treatment and stopped all steroid drops.  Could it be that this was a false alarm and the redness was from dry eye caused from the flight?  Steroids might exacerbate the dry eye, which was why I might have been getting worse the more steroids that I used.  If there was inflammation, I'm sure I'd find out about it when it rebounded.

Sure enough, my eye had cleared within days and I was off steroid drops altogether.  That was several weeks ago and my eyes have been fine since.  I have only stopped without tapering before when a ophthalmologist (Smith) forced me to (I couldn't get drops as easily in those days) and at that time, despite pressure pain, I was fine, too.

So lesson learned, even doctors can miss dry eye and photosensitivity can be caused by dryness, at least for me.  Next time I'll try dousing redness with wetting drops instead of jumping to treatment right away.  The disclaimer being of course that my flares are getting milder (yet longer) versus the fast and heavy flares I had in my youth.  I wouldn't recommend this for anyone else with uveitis.  Always see a specialist.

Hope that all makes sense.  Will update again soon (famous last words).