Dr. Chao & Associates, PLLC

 Immune Disorder



Immune disorder negatively affects all the organs in our body, including the eyes.  Besides being more prone to infection, allergy, and dryness due to an abnormal immune system, people who have AIDS, lupus, and arthritis have a risk for significant ocular health concerns.

About 20-30% of AIDS patients can develop CytoMegaloVirus (CMV) retinitis, a sight threatening infection and inflammation of the inner layer of the eye.(1)  CMV is a common virus and does not pose a problem for someone with a regular immune system, but when the immunity is weak, it can reactivate and spread to the inner eye layer, called the retina.  The periphery vision is usually affected first, then it attacks the central vision; initial symptoms can be subtle.

About 20% of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) patients can develop eye diseases, including ocular sjogren syndrome, chronic dry eyes, or eye inflamation.(2)  Connective tissue layer disorder of the eye can be the usual cause.  Symptoms and signs of mild ocular irritation can be the beginning of a larger problem.

Numerous arthritis patients, whether young or old, can develop inflammatory eye diseases.  Visual symptoms, such as a change in vision or eye irritation, can be a prelude to an irreversible damage of the eye.(3)  Annual comphrensive eye health exams are essential to the prevention of possible blindness.

Other immune disorders, including auto-immune ones, can affect any part of the body.  Keeping up the annual health care checks, with an internal medicine physician, a dentist, and an optometric physician, are essential preventative care.