Author Topic: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?  (Read 2002 times)

uffdah

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Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« on: November 05, 2011, 06:42:55 PM »
Hi!

I'm new here.  I have Sjogren's and have been taking plaquenil for 7 months.  It has helped a lot with my fatigue symptoms, and maybe a little with my joint and muscle pain, my main symptoms.  (I do have dry eyes but not bad enough to bother me as much as the pain/fatigue I have).

As a requirement for taking plaquenil, I have now been seeing an ophthalmologist.  Aside from the standard "plaquenil tests" they run, he noticed that I have some regions of moderate optic nerve damage (glaucoma).  This seemed so strange to me, that I could almost not believe what he was saying.  I see fine and it doesn't hurt.  I was there for some simple visual testing and I come out with glaucoma....  I am not in a population group "at risk" for glaucoma.  Does anyone think that Sjogren's/Autoimmune may be responsible for optic nerve damage?

Thanks for reading.

-Kelly B.  (yes, yet another Kelly!)   


Joe S.

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2011, 08:20:42 AM »
I suggest that you look at the side effects of Plaq. I know that I am an unusual case when it comes to most medication but with my first dose of Plaq I was blind for 6 hours until my body got the drug out of my system.

Check the med out for yourself. Work with your doctor and decide what is important to you and if this is the side effect you are dealing with.
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hockeyluvr

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2011, 02:41:32 PM »
I have the high eye pressure of glaucoma and can't take the eye drops for it.

Did you have a pressure test??  What's your eye pressure?
Sjogrens, Poly Neuropathy, degenerative disk disease, Osteoperosis  - On Plaquinel

Joe S.

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2011, 04:15:45 PM »
I see this was your first post...Welcome. I hope to see you make more posts.
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gold55

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2011, 05:22:42 PM »
Hi Uffdah,
Thanks for bringing up your eye issue.  I have never heard of Plaquenil causing glaucoma or optic nerve issues but I have heard of Autoimmune diseases causing glaucoma.  You may want to ask your ophthalmologist if there is a certain type of glaucoma more often found in people with AI disorders.  I believe it has something to do with the blood flow to the optic nerve as people with AI's also have Raynauds Syndrome, they can have blood flow issues in the back of the eye.  You can have normal eye pressures and still have what they call low tension glaucoma.  The diagnosis is made regarding three tests/eval....the visual field, the intraocular pressure and the optic nerve head evaluation. 

Anyway, welcome and please pose your concerns to your doctors.   I've been working in ophthalmology for 25 years so there is some information I can bring to the table but, the 
person who examines your eyes is the expert.
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Carebear

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2011, 05:36:24 PM »
Hi gold,

Both my dad and his sister had glaucoma and Grave's disease.  I had never connected the two, so I found your comment interesting.  So far that's the one thing I haven't inherit from him.  ;)
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jasonsmith

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2011, 11:01:41 PM »
I suggest that you look at the side effects of Plaq. I know that I am an unusual case when it comes to most medication but with my first dose of Plaq I was blind for 6 hours until my body got the drug out of my system.

Check the med out for yourself. Work with your doctor and decide what is important to you and if this is the side effect you are dealing with.

That's got to be the worst case of Plaquenil toxicity I've heard. Before that the shortest was 3 months.

They say the Plaqeunil is a cumulative effect causing the eye problems. But I wonder if some people have something wrong where they are not able to remove the Plaquenil as fast as others, thus they have problems in a short amount of time. I'm guessing it would be a liver or kidney thing. Makes me wonder if there isn't some kind of test to help figure if someone would have more of a problem eliminating the Plaquenil. Like maybe a test to see how fast you remove toxins or something.

Meld256

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 07:06:30 AM »
Hi Uffdah,

Let me welcome you to Sjogren's World!  ;) 

I would also suggest that you ask your opthamologist more about this and your other doctors.  I'm not a medical professional, so I can't give any statistics as to whether those of us with Sjogren's may be more susceptible to certain types of glaucoma.  As far as I know, it shouldn't be caused by Plaquenil.

I'm glad to know Plaquenil has helped you with fatigue and other symptoms. I've taken it about 6 months and have noticed an improvement in my fatigue and joint pain.

I hope you find lots of information here. There are also many friendly and helpful people. Please feel free to post and ask anything at all. We look forward to hearing more from you and are glad you found us!

Take care,
Melinda
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uffdah

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2011, 09:16:23 AM »
Hi All- 

Thanks for your time to reply to my post.

I personally do not think that the plaquenil caused the optic nerve damage.  I just happened to be getting a full eye work up and the doc found this.  I'm 37, have normal eye pressure.  Glaucoma would be pretty rare in a person like me execpt that I have an autoimmune disorder.  I guess I was just surveying the group to see if anyone else had this as a "symptom".

Thanks for your ideas, I will ask the doc to see if autoimmune disorders could lead to the optic nerve damage.

Uffdah

jasonsmith

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2011, 11:42:55 AM »
How do you have glaucoma with normal eye pressure? I know some with small eyes can have normal pressure, but their "normal" is actually high like glaucoma.

Have you had routine eye exams before, or did you just start getting them? Just wondering if this was a recent development, or had been there for a while.

A66eyroad

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Re: Sjogrens and Optic Nerve Damage/Glaucoma?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2011, 12:21:35 PM »
My optholmologist also saw "glaucoma changes" in my optic nerve. He did extensive tests for glaucoma and decided that I don't have it. I'm tested for it once a year, however.

He told me what he saw is "cupping" of the disk where the nerve comes into the eyeball. Usually, he said, it's high pressure that causes the "cupping." But in my case, it must either be something I've had all my life, or just a benign change. I've only been seeing him a few years, but he is the first eye doc who noticed it.
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