Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crohn's Disease and Eye Problems

I've tried to research this topic many times before on the Internet and really have not been able to find anything. Just as a warning, what I am about to talk about is not necessarily backed by any medical studies or evidence, it is simply my inferences. We all know that Crohn's often goes undetected for years before diagnosis, and that it can manifest itself in pretty much any part of your body. I had never before thought of this including your eyes, but I now really do not think this is far off. Before my diagnosis (I was totally "healthy" back then to my knowledge) I had never had any eye problems before other than just needing glasses/contacts. One day I wake up and there is a dark and cloudy spot on the corner of my left iris. I brushed it off, but as the days passed my vision in that eye started suffering. I would be fine one second, blink, and then my whole eye would be a cloudy film, blocking my vision, blink again, and it would be gone. It was scary. I thought I was going blind. I went to specialists and a doctor who tried very hard to figure out what it even was. To no avail. I took some eye drops, like 3 different prescriptions, and this went on for over six months. I had to stop wearing contacts and all eye makeup. Eventually, the cloudy vision diminished but a little black spot still remains on my eye as scar tissue. Reflecting back on this now, I can't decide if this was caused by my Crohn's Disease, or if this very stressful period in my life caused my Crohn's to flare up even worse. I think both. But this brings me to the present. I haven't worn contacts in over two years, even though I had been wearing them for almost 10 years prior with no problems. So now that I live near the coast, I wanted to give them another try~ it's a pain to wear glasses on the beach. I go to my optometrist and explain my situation. He is very understanding and even says he has a relative that almost died from Crohn's but that "some diet" saved his life and now he is normal again. I smiled, "I bet we are on the same diet." It's good when your doctors don't think you are crazy. Anyways, so I try wearing contacts again and they are bugging the crap out of my eyes, they feel dry and stiff and one of my eyes is so dry my vision gets blurry in it. My optometrist gently pushed on the bottom of my lid and said that my eyes are not producing enough oil. Oil? In your eyes? Yep, apparently it is an essential fluid, and when you don't produce enough oil in your eyes you get dry eyes. Humph. Well that explains that. He said usually eyes don't produce enough oil when there is too much inflammation blocking some {technical term that I don't remember}. What could be causing this inflammation? Oh, probably your Crohn's. Great, I am so sick of having this disease, it is interfering with literally every part of my life. I can't even wear contacts for crying out loud. It is times like this that I really get frustrated. I have the restricted diet and social awkwardness used to already, but seriously, I can't even have the choice to not wear glasses. My doctor said we could find a solution to my being able to wear contacts again even if I have to have the (very expensive) daily disposables. He also wants me to start on Restasis. You know the commercial- twice a day, everyday. I did my research and there are few side effects and most people say it actually helps, the problem is though, it is classified as an immunomodulator and that is exactly not what I want to take while on SCD. Since it is topical though, and meant for the eyes I wonder if it would really have that much effect on my gut? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Is anyone else on SCD and Restasis? Or SCD and an eye medication at all? Thank you in advance.


  1. there is a company called Natural Opthalmics that makes all kinds of homeopathic eye drops for many different kinds of eye problems. I have a patient who was told to use Restasis and she also wanted another option - she started using the drops for natural tears and taking a vitamin specific for eye problems and says she is doing awesome on them. You might also look into Cyrex Labs and get the Gluten-Associated Cross Reactive Foods test (Array4) if you haven't already to see if you are getting something else in your diet that is causing the weakness. When you go alternative your body should be on the healing side not creating more problems. I have also sent my patients to a hypnotherapist who totally believes that the mind can heal if you give it the opportunity to do so - take a look at your emotions - read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Hope this helps - feel free to email me if you need more info.

  2. Hate to post on something old, but I too have crohn's and am having eye issues. My eyes feel like a desert, and are definitely not seeing as well as they did. I'm finally starting to get serious about SCD (been on it off and on and struggling, but now am starting to get my stuff together). Lately I have also given up on contacts, which sucks because I'm terribly farsighted and look like I have magnifying glasses in front of my eyes. Hopefully I'll get control of this disease and everything will get better. So you're certainly not alone in the eye problems.

  3. Cynthia- thank you for the advice. That is certainly something I could do some research on and talk to my doctor about. Thankbyou for posting that comment for the sake of others reading as well.

    Nick- so glad you are a reader. Thanks for relating, it's good to know us Cronies are not alone in our strange problems. I wish you success on scd, you are not alone on that either! Maybe one day we will both be back to wearing contacts thanks to the diet! Take care

  4. Your thing is shows latent, m gona add this to my bookmarks.
    NAC Eye Drops