Medical Case of the Month
A 63-year-old Caucasian male came to our clinic with a painful, red, light sensitive right eye, which began bothering him two weeks prior. The patient visited the ER prior to our clinic; an MRI was performed and came out clear. An exam at Eye Care Hawaii showed signs of inflammation inside the eye and led to a diagnosis of Primary Iridocyclitis (also known as Iritis). The patient was started on anti-inflammatory medication along with medication to relax the muscles in the iris. The course of treatment resolved the condition in four weeks.
Unfortunately, after discontinuing the eye medications, the patient returned to our clinic with eye pain, albeit less severe this time. An exam showed mild amounts of inflammatory signs within the eye. Due to the recurring nature of the condition, we recommended that the patient have several specific blood tests done along with starting the eye medications again. After reviewing the patient's blood labs and working with his primary care doctor, the patient was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a type of autoimmune disease that typically causes joint and spine pain. Normally, Iritis is an idiopathic condition, meaning there is no known reason for the cause. But, if it is recurrent, it can be related to an underlying systemic autoimmune disease.
Ongoing care for this patient will include monitoring at ECH for ocular signs and symptoms of the autoimmune disease, as well as systemic treatment from his primary care doctor to keep the disease under control. This case is a good example of a how the meticulous attention to detail at Eye Care Hawaii can identify serious health conditions in patients. Schedule your eye exam soon and let our doctors and clinicians help you maintain your eye and overall health.