Chronic Dry Eyes + Infections? It May Be Something Else

Eye infections and chronic dry eyes are painful, bothersome, and can make patients feel self-conscious. If you’re constantly treating eye infections or have dry, itchy eyes, it may be because of a condition you haven’t considered. The team at ARBDA, New Jersey’s leading rheumatologists and physicians, would like to shed some light on Sjögren’s Syndrome, which may be a possible underlying cause of chronic conjunctivitis, according to a recent article.1

Could I Have Chronic Cicatrizing Conjunctivitis?

Chronic cicatrizing conjunctivitis may be associated with certain chronic immune disorders. Dry eyes and conjunctivitis (better known as pinkeye) may not be diagnosed as correlating with other underlying conditions, but if you suffer from dry eyes and repeat infections, you may wish to consult with your primary care physician or specialist doctor.

Cicatrizing conjunctivitis can lead to scarring in part of the eye tissue. Symptoms include inflammation of the eyes, lids, and the transparent membrane layer that goes over the outer surface of the eye (the conjunctiva). Many people who experience conjunctivitis have frequent styes, which are small, sore bumps along the edges of the eyelids, as well as the feeling that something is stuck in the eye, burning, itching, and crustiness in the morning. Severe, untreated chronic conjunctivitis can also lead to eyelash loss.

Chronic Conjunctivitis and Autoimmune Disorders

This type of repeated conjunctivitis and inflammation is associated with mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP), atopic keratoconjunctivitis, as well as ocular rosacea, and Sjögren’s syndrome.2  

Sjögren’s syndrome is characterized by episodes of dry eyes and dry mouth. This is due to the way it affects the salivary glands and mucous membranes. Consequently, conjunctivitis is one common symptom of those with this condition. Let’s take a look at a few other symptoms:3

These kinds of autoimmune disorders make patients more susceptible to inflammation anywhere on the body, including the ocular area. While not everyone who has an autoimmune disorder may have eye conditions, your Rheumatoid Arthritis specialists in New Jersey may be able to help you understand your risk level.

Treating Conjunctivitis and Autoimmune Disorders

At ARBDA, we understand that each case is different and treat each client independently. If you experience any symptoms in addition to chronic conjunctivitis, we urge you to contact us at your earliest convenience. The best way to treat and/or manage your condition is to start early! Give us a call today to help you feel better and enjoy greater independence.

1https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/general-rheumatology/sjogren-can-be-underlying-cause-of-chronic-cicatrizing-conjunctivitis/ 

2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7774214/  

3https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/sjogrens-syndrome/sjogrens-syndrome-symptoms 

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