Sympathetic Ophthalmia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Sympathetic Ophthalmia

What is Sympathetic Ophthalmia?

Sympathetic Ophthalmia (SO) is an inflammatory condition of the eye which is triggered by an injury to one of the eyes. It is an autoimmune disorder and is most often caused by an injury in one eye that results in an inflammatory response in the other eye. It is not contagious and usually only affects one eye.

What Causes Sympathetic Ophthalmia?

Typically, SO is caused by an injury to one of the eyes, such as trauma or surgery. An inflammatory response is then triggered in the uninjured eye, even if the eyes are healthy beforehand. In some cases, it can be caused by an infection in the uninjured eye, or even a non-injured eye if the infection is strong enough.

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Symptoms of Sympathetic Ophthalmia

Some of the common symptoms of SO include: blurred vision, redness, pain, increased light sensitivity, floating spots or cobwebs in vision, and/or watery eyes. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications like vision loss or blindness.

Treatment Options for Sympathetic Ophthalmia

Treatment for SO usually depends on the cause of the inflammation. Treatment typically includes anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, and/or surgery to remove any scar tissue or vitreous floaters. In some cases, a course of antibiotics may also be prescribed.

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Health and Eye Care

It is important to maintain good eye health and protect your eyes from any injury. This includes wearing protective eyewear when playing sports, wearing protective glasses when in a hazardous workplace, or avoiding eye makeup or contact lenses that can irritate the eyes. Regularly visiting an optometrist for a check-up is also an essential part of safeguarding your eye health.

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Sympathetic Ophthalmia is a serious eye condition that can cause long-term vision impairment if left untreated. It is important to consult with a doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms associated with SO or have had any recent eye injuries. Following an eye care routine and avoiding any situations that can potentially harm the eyes is key to preventing SO or any other eye conditions.

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