What are the signs of eye complications?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 11/2/2008 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
It's hard because I have terrible allergies lately, and my sinuses bug me all the time. I woke up with part of my right eye itchy and red, with some pain and soreness around/in the eye. Reminds me of just messed up sinuses, but the soreness bothered me. I know eye pain and redness can be signs of a Crohn's complication, right?
I put some eye drops in, and did a warm compress over the area. Seemed to help. Didn't help that I didn't get enough sleep last night either, so my eyes feel tired anyway. Just don't want to think it's something more then it is. I looked up eye problems with Crohn's, and really couldn't tell if it would be something you'd know for sure you had because it would be so bad or what. Not to mention scaring myself reading about vision loss from those things we can get! Someone please tell me that is worst case senario!

Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Post Edited (Jen77) : 11/2/2008 10:55:14 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 11/2/2008 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I know aht you mean Jen77, it is hard to tell what from what sometimes. You saying that brings me back to a few years ago when I was sent to the hospital by my doctor urgently because he thought that I had singels. My eyes where really swollen, and had a lot of sties in them. They where all red and inflammed. They put it down to an affection. But I now wonder.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 11/2/2008 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Why worry about the worst? Try nasal rinses for a while first. Saline - 1/4 tsp salt to a cup of water with a pinch of baking soda if your water is soft/acidic. You could try adding xylitol to it (1 tbsp per cup) to improve the results. The xylitol (available at health food stores or possibly pharmacies) causes the mucosa to flush a bit and also prevents bacteria from binding to the sinus membrane. It should be helpful for either allergies or sinus infections.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 11/2/2008 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
As the day has gone on, I'm pretty sure it's just my allergies. Unfortunately with having this DD it's one of the first things I jump to thinking, guess out of fear of it rearing it's ugly head!
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/2/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
With my onset of crohns i had iritis, and uvitis, it pretty much looked like pink eye. I was sensitive to light, and my vision did go blurry, all within a week.  My opthmologist did say that if i did let it go on much longer it would have been cataracs very quickly.  Mine was the actual eye ball, not the skin over the eye.  It doesnt hurt to get it looked at.  Your eyesight is to precious. 

Diagnosed with Crohns 3 years ago.
Diagnosed with RA in September.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 11/2/2008 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Like Naboo57, my Crohn's first came on with eye problems.  In fact, they never went away and that is what ultimately led me to further testing and the diagnosis of Crohn's (I had stomach problems, but blamed it on other things).

Anyhow, it started out looking like pink eye and I had the foreign body sensation.  I did not have any discharge or itchiness, just redness that would not go away and pain that would gradually set in.  My first eye doctor thought it was allergies at first, but I ended up having Episcleritis that gradually became worse in my left eye and was diagnosed as Scleritis. 

I DO have to say that the pain I have had, especially from the Scleritis, is so intense you KNOW something awful is wrong. 

I sincerely hope you are just having allergies.  Please keep us posted and let us know if you have any questions. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/2/2008 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know all the complications that CD can cause with vision and eye problems. I do know that pink eye is caused by fecal matter being in the eye, and usually the red swelling can be controlled with any OTC eye drops that reduce swelling and redness.
Recently, I noticed that my more than perfect vision was failing me. I was seeing blurry, and my eyes felt sticky and dry. I tried a bunch of different eye drops that helped the sticky and dry feeling, but my vision was still off. I went to the Opthamologist, who said that I now have astigmatism.
She said that many of the drugs that are used to treat Crohn's (and other auto-immune dosorders) can cause MANY problems. She asked if I had ever taken steroids to treat my CD. Sure enough, I had taken Prednisone in 2004. That, from her professional opinion, is what caused the astigmatism and the swelling.
Other medications, like Bentyl (Dicyclomine) and Nexium/Zantac/Rantinidine (sp?), can cause blurry vision. I don't know why, and the Dr. said she didn't exactly know why, but that it does cause that.
Sorry, had to get angry at it for a second.
The eye Dr. also recommended eye drops that are gel-like. She said she could give me a script for them, but it would be easier and cheaper just to buy OTC ones. Her pick was the brand Roto ZI. They are sometimes hard to find, but they have menthol in them which opens the pores in your eyes and does something good. Also, a brand called "Natural Tears" or something like that was high on her list.
Since I saw the Dr. and got the Roto drops, I haven't had anymore problems.
I'd personally recommend making an appt to see an opthamologist to make sure that it is related to Crohn's as opposed to having an infection from pink eye, etc.
I also know that for those of you who have bad eyesight, Bilberry is a vitamin (along with Beta-Ceratine) that can improve alot.
Take care and hope that you feel better!
 "People who mind don't matter, people who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Seuss
 ~Crohn's Disease~
~Fibromyalgia~Anxiety/Severe Depression~Migraine Headaches~Rhem. Arthritis~Reynauds~PTSD~
 ~Crohn's Dx'ed at 17 (2004), Multiple hospital stays, every test there could be (as we Crohnies know!) Taking Pentasa, Purinethol, Nexium, Neurontin, Cymbalta, Trazadone, Prazosin, Xanax, and Vicodin/Bentyl (prn Pain)~
 D.O.B. 7-15-1986
 Next adventure: PHARMACY SCHOOL!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 11/3/2008 1:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for all the insight. It's good to know what to look for. My eye is still a little red tonight, but most of my pain seems to be in my eyebrow region. Thinking I may have a sinus infection. Which is just a whole different problem for me, since the last time I had that the antibiotics sent me in a mini flare!

But I certainly won't let anything go with it if I think it's a problem. Sight is much too precious, that's for sure.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 11/3/2008 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen I went to the Dr. when I had some eye problems.So it might be worth a trip in to see your DR. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 11/3/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to update. Woke up this morning and my eye doesn't have anymore redness, and is feeling much better. Warm compresses, and decongestants seemed to have helped yesterday. I do have blepharitis, which might be part of my problem (that's inflammation issues with the eyelid), and the only thing they really do for that is warm compresses anyway. So thankfully I think I'm going to avoid another trip to my doc. Just need to keep up on trying to keep my allergies at bay, that part is hard.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 11/3/2008 11:53 AM (GMT -7)   

I am so glad your eye is doing better!  That is great news!  :-)

Ugh!  That stinks prednisone can cause astigmatism!  I already had astigmatism in both eyes before I ever went on prednisone...I wonder if it can make it worse? 


Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/22/2008 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Really happy your eye
Is doing so much better..........

Take care

 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
    CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 12/22/2008 5:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad the eye problem is clearing up.... I get the same problem when my allergies act up. How's everything else doing, Jen?
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 12/22/2008 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I just had a flare of uevitis-Iritis this thursday-still being treated for it obviously.
If I have eye pain I go to my opthamologist immediately. Thursday I had to go to my GPs office to get a referral-they had to see me first-the PA I saw did one stupid ineffective test and said I did not have Iritis but he did not know what it was.
I handed him my opthamologists phone number and asked him to make the appointment so I could get in that day-the opthamologist of course said yup its Iritis-don't trust your eyes to someone who is not an expert and don't try to wait it out.
Anyone else hate the red top drops (homatropine) or is it just me.

Dave D
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 404
   Posted 12/23/2008 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   

Sorry I'm late to chime in. I have been fighting posterior scleritis of the eye now for two years. Finally, I have regained the sight in my right eye and am working now to correct the diplopia (wall eyed) in that eye. It was just a year ago my bad eye was 20/400 (blind as a bat) with my second retina detachment. Not only that but it was beginning to attack my good eye. I even bought a white cane and was considering learning Braile or more likely just checking out of life in general.

Although rare, you can go blind with Crohns related auto immune eye issues. Take it from me, don't take eye issues lightly. If your eye hurts, even like a persistent sinus headache, see an opthamalogist. I went through two before I esculated to a college professor level retina specialist before I turned the corner.

Read my bio.

Dave D

Retired male in late 60's. Perforated Colon in 92. Diagnosed as Ulcerative Colitis in 93. Uncontrolled flareup in 97 dictated J-pouch surgery. 04 Capsule endoscopy diagnosed as Crohns not UC. Emergency surgery in 05 to remove lodged camera capsule. Biopsies positively diagnosed Crohns at that time. 12/06 Unsucessfully tried Naltrexone(LDN). 2/07 developed scleritis of the eye, tearing and detaching the retina. Treated with high doses of Prednisone. 6/07 Thought eye was healing and started taking Entocort counting on the residual (non-systemic portion) as treating the eye. Wrong. In October eye was not stabilized. 11/07 Started Remicade to try and reduce the ocular inflamation of the Scleritis since I had been requiring more and more Prednisone to keep the eye quiet. 12/07, retina tares and detaches again. Started Remicade every 4 weeks plus 20mg of Prednisone per day. Six months and seven infusions later, good eye is back to 20/14. Bad eye is 20/70. Had cataract surgery on June 05 on bad eye. Eye returned to a correctable visionary level of 20/50. 11/08 had reaction to Remicade; trying to keep going with Imuran and Pred. Need corrective eye surgery and fitted for prism lense to correct that eye from turning out.  Life looks fairly good (literally) today.
Married with 4 grandkids.

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