Last week, I wrote about a condition that results when this immune-complex allergic condition called Stevens Johnson Syndrome. This condition typically affects skin and mucous membranes in the body. In the eyes, the outer eyelid tissue becomes affected causing the eyelids to turn in (trichiasis). This can lead to irritation of the tissue of the eye (the cornea and conjunctiva).
When this occurs, the inflammation destroys the mucous layers of the surface of the eyes and eyelids leading to severe dry eyes, vision loss, severe chronic eye pain, and light sensitivity. Stevens Johnson Syndrome affects the lid margin and eyelashes causing distortion of the eyelashes and causing an increased risk of scratching to the eyes (corneal abrasion).
Since these patients may have allergic reactions to the medicines that could help to resolve the inflammation in the eyes, the eye care provider has to have another method of managing the eye conditions.
Taking off the affected eyelashes is one way of fixing the eyelash problem. The lashes can either be “plucked” (epilated) or removed by electrolysis. This is only a temporary fix and will allow the patient to have some comfort for a short period of time. The downside to this treatment is that the lashes eventually grow back and re-treatment by either process is required. Another new treatment involves an amniotic membrane that can be surgically applied to the surface of the eye to repair the damaged eye tissue. Amniotic membrane comes from the tissue that surrounds the embryo in pregnant women. It contains cells that support re-growth of external cell tissue and helps to prevent tissue damage. The amniotic membrane is rich in other factors that support the strength and health of cells. This treatment method has been very effective and prevents continued inflammation and scarring of the eyes over longer periods of time. Treatment for Stevens-Johnson patients has to be carefully planned so as not to create other severe reactions in the body. The key is to find the best treatment to prevent the eyes from suffering.
If you know someone with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome or you are in need of an eye care specialist, I invite you to visit EnVision Eye Care. We evaluate and treat eye conditions including those related to physical conditions like Stevens-Johnson, Hypertension, Diabetes, Arthritis, and many more.
321 W. Montgomery
(near Hunter Golf Course and VA Medical Clinic)
For appointments, call
(912) 927-0707 and visit us at www.envisionsavannah.com