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Scleroderma is a rare inflammatory rheumatic systemic disease. This autoimmune disorder affects the immune system and results in the excessive production of collagen, thus affecting the normal functioning of the body organs. When scleroderma affects the eyes, it can cause eye problems such as dry eyes, itching of the eyes, sensitivity to light, trouble with night driving, redness of the eyes, blurry vision, increased risk of glaucoma, seeing halos, headaches, eye pain, autoimmune uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye), and vision loss.

Risk factors of scleroderma

The risk of developing scleroderma is higher for people with a family history of autoimmune diseases, females (scleroderma is more common in women than men) and individuals between the age range of 30 and 50 years of age.

Managing scleroderma eye problems

Although scleroderma does not currently have a cure, the doctor can recommend some treatment to help manage eye complications, prevent vision loss and minimize eye discomfort. The following tips will be of great help in managing scleroderma eye problems.

  • Follow your treatment plan by taking the medications prescribed by your doctor. This is very essential because it will keep the eye symptoms at bay. Scleroderma treatment comprises medications such as drugs that suppress the immune system. This reduces the overproduction of collagen in the body and minimizes symptoms.
  • Consider making use of lubricating eye drops. Because scleroderma reduces the production of tears in the eyes, which results in dry eyes, eye drops can help lubricate the eyes.
  • Talk to your eye doctor about the use of specially designed contact lenses for people with dry eyes. These lenses trap moisture in the eyes to keep them lubricated and healthy.
  • If you are dealing with scleroderma, it is vital to work closely with your eye doctor who will schedule regular eye exams to monitor your eyesight.

To keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss, always report any changes in your eyesight or eye discomfort to your optometrist. Early detection is key to maintaining good vision throughout your lifetime.