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Ophthalmology clinic

Ocular associations of autoimmune disease

PHILOMENA McNAMARA, NITIN VERMA

Figures

© VCHALUP/STOCK.ADOBE.COM
© VCHALUP/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Abstract

Although autoimmune conditions may predominantly affect one organ system, they are systemic diseases and can therefore cause complications in other parts of the body, including the eye.

Key Points

  • Ocular manifestations are not specific to the autoimmune disease and require a high level of clinical suspicion by the GP to recognise.
  • Prompt recognition and management of complications may decrease visual morbidity.
  • Optic neuritis is the presenting sign of multiple sclerosis in 20% of cases.
  • Visual disturbance is the presenting complaint in 25 to 50% of patients with giant cell arteritis.
  • Up to 25% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience ocular involvement.
  • Some medications used in the management of autoimmune disease have ocular side effects and patients require regular screening.
  • A collaborative approach between the GP and ophthalmologist in the evaluation and treatment of patients with ocular complications of systemic disease is essential for effective management.

Figures

© VCHALUP/STOCK.ADOBE.COM
© VCHALUP/STOCK.ADOBE.COM