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Vitiligo is a disorder of the human immune system. It affects the skin’s colour by developing white patches on the body and hair and, in rare cases, discolouration in the eyes occurs. This is why people living with vitiligo are at a high risk of developing eye problems, which could permanently damage vision if left untreated.

How does Vitiligo cause vision problems?

Being an immune disorder, vitiligo affects the proper functioning of the cells called melanocytes; which handle the production of melanin (the substance that makes the eyes, skin, and hair have their colour). When these melanocyte cells are improperly formed, it results in damage to the middle of the eye (uvea) as well as other parts of the eyes thereby leading to severe diseases such as Retinitis (inflammation of the retina), Nyctalopia (night blindness), Uveitis (inflammation of the uvea), Retinal or macular degeneration, Iritis (inflammation of the iris), Glaucoma (gradual loss of sight), and complete loss of vision.

The above-listed vision problems associated with vitiligo are usually rare. However, symptoms such as sensitivity to light, eye redness, dry eyes, changes in the production of tears and eye pain are common among people living with vitiligo. It is advised that you do not ignore any of these common symptoms if you experience any of them.

Eyecare management with vitiligo.

To properly manage your eye health, visit the eye care practitioner whenever you experience any form of changes in your vision. This will enable proper diagnosis and prompt treatment of any eye issues. You can also protect your eyes from sun damage by applying sunscreen daily on the skin surrounding your eyes and using sunglasses.

Also, endeavour to go for scheduled routine eye exams with your eye doctor so that he/she can properly monitor your overall eye health. Contact us for more eye care information.