AS destroying my vision!

Often those of us with ankylosing spondylitis NEVER hear true words of cause of death or other reasons of maybe "things" happening like loss of vision.  We don't hear that the ankylosing spondylitis caused us to have loss of vision. Doctors instead will blame the medications that we took or will find another excuse because that will seem easier and will be accepted by others. Truth's just the AS! If they'd start saying it, it would HELP us! It would help with education. It would help with more accurate diagnosis. It would help with an earlier diagnosis!

Let's talk my eyes--2 years ago at my optometrist visit, I ended the visit with 20/20 vision and no problems.  Shortly after that, the AS decided it thought my eyeballs were joints and would attack them.  I was having the worst pain in my eyes, light sensitivity, the feeling as if someone threw sand in them and rubbed it in. I visited Dr. Tackle in Griffin (yes, I'll be calling out Drs). See (ha) with AS, when you get that, you quickly run to Doc because AS causes iritis/uveitis in the eye.

Iritis attacks the eye quickly and in most cases occurs in one eye at a time. There are two forms of iritis, acute and chronic. Acute iritis if treated immediately will improve and heal quickly. Chronic iritis doesn’t respond as well to medication and can take months or years to heal. Chronic iritis can also cause serious visual impairment if not treated by an iritis specialist.
iritis in the eye
If you are experiencing the following symptoms get your eyes checked by a professional:
  • Deep pain in the eye or pain surrounding eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Red eye around the iris
  • Pupils of different sizes or unusual shapes
  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Headache
  • White blood cells and protein in the anterior chamber
Seeing how I had most of the symptoms and knowing the importance of quickly getting medical attention for iritis off to Dr. Tackle! Who says, I don't see iritis. I do know that you are in pain, but I do NOT see iritis...ok, bye, call me if you need me....okkk??  So, a week later I call, after I'm in bed unable to lift my head without throwing up because of the pain, and back to doc I, yea, I don't see iritis...ok, bye, call if you need me???....yea, right! I'm calling someone else!!!!  So, I call Dr. Miller in PTC! Sitting in the chair with the light off and he opens the door and is walking in and says, "whoa, your eyes look terrible"! OK folks! He is NOT even examining me!  He saw it from the hall!

I think, I've blogged about Dr. Miller before, so I'll sum this up...he's AWESOME! He's been treating me since! He KNOWS AS and that is sooo important! He knew that I have episcleritis/scelritis which is also caused by AS and seems to be the TWIN to iritis! 

OK--the topic of the blog--AS IS DESTROYING MY VISION! Since the past 2 years of AS thinking my eyeballs are joints and it attacking them, my vision has changed. I've LOST vision. I'm now NEAR-SIGHTED. Folks you don't get near-sighted with "old age". Just like I don't have "old age-arthritis".  My eye doc says, it's like I have glaucoma, but I don't. He says, it's odd that at my age, I'd become near-sighted, but that it's not because of the disease. So, can AS cause blindness--YES, IT CAN!  Just as it can destroy a joint in my can destroy my eyes....and it's doing just that. So, yep, I selected some stylish new glasses and we hope that the prescription will now change to quickly.

One quick note, don't take the little things for the beauty of a dirty house because one may not even be able to complain about seeing it! Too much complaining folks...just too much complaining about things that really don't even matter. One question--those little things..will you complain about them tomorrow? in a month? in a year?...then why now....

AS has my body, but NOT me!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I've had Iritis on and off for 6 years now (and AS) and finding someone to treat that well has been difficult so I can't even imagine what you are going through. I am glad you found a better doctor who is watching you carefully and hopefully the Simponi does it's job soon! Take Care.


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