eye inflammation and Crohn's flare

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4385
   Posted 3/23/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been in what I would consider to be remission for 4-6 months, but during the past month I am having problems with increased inflammation around my eyelid, some sore throats that come and go, and increased pain in my ileum (I do have a small stricture.) I have pain before bowel movements, but the stool seems normal. First I tried to just ignore it, then I increased my Pentasa a little. Does this sound like a flare, and if so, should I call my GI, or go to the internist because of the eye issue? My internist doesn't seem to understand Crohn's well, but I don't know if it is severe enough to bother the GI. For those of you with eye issues, what do you do for it? Thanks!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 3/23/2009 1:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I think you would be better safe than sorry and think you should call the GI. Many suffer with the iritis and its usually a sign things are stirring up. Hope you get feeling better soon.

Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

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Date Joined Nov 2003
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   Posted 3/23/2009 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
What do you mean by inflammation around the eyelid? What exactly is happening? The most common issue with eyes and Crohn's is the person getting uveitis/iritis. This occurs in the actual eye not around it. What has your ophthamologist told you?

My ophthamologist prescribed erythromycin ophthalmic ointment to put on to my eyelids every night. My eyelids had been bright red for a few years. She told me that the inflammatory processes in my body was causing this.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.

Miss J
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 3/23/2009 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't mean to hijack your thread, gumby, but I wanted to give a huge "thank you" to the two who responded.

The first symptom that I'm getting a flareup is multiple mouthsores, which within 48 hours is followed by bloodshot eyes and many additional "floaters" in my vision. I'd mentioned the mouthsores and floaters to my doctor before, but never thought to discuss the bloodshot eyes (duh)! I will ask my GI about uevietis when I see him in two days (first time I've seen a GI since my dx in 2004).

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/24/2009 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Gumby,

I have been having trouble with Crohn's-related uveitis for about five months now (excessive floaters and flashes in vision) and I know that it can be a problem for a lot of people with Crohn's.  However, I also had an issue with eyelid inflammation a couple months back that I do not think was related to either the uveitis or the Crohn's.  It is called belpharitis and can be either chronic or acute, depending on the cause, but it is often just the result of some mild irritation.  It can be pretty painful and can cause a good deal of inflammation and redness in either one or both of your eyelids (for me, it felt like there was grain of sand under my eyelid).  I struggled with it for a few days and considered going in to see a doctor about it, but I eventually started treating it with a warm compress and it was almost completely gone within a day.  If you are worried about the problem not being severe enough to take to your doctor, I would definitely try that first.

Just take a damp washcloth and microwave it for 20-30 seconds (make it as warm as you can take).  Then hold it over your eye for about five minutes and gently wipe your eyelid with the corner of the cloth (don't rub your eyelid, as this could make the problem worse).  Do this a few times a day.  I did it as often as I could since it felt a little better each time.  If this doesn't help, I would consider taking the situation to a doctor.

I am a little worried about the pain you are experiencing with bowel movements, though.  That's definitely something you should monitor closely.  If it is severe enough or if it worsens, I would suggest talking to a doctor.  There is a chance your medications are not working as well as they were and your doctor may consider making some adjustments.  Better safe than sorry.

21 years old, Female.
Diagnosed with Ileocolitis and Perianal Crohn's November 2008.
Currently on 15 mg Prednisone, waiting to be approved for Humira.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4385
   Posted 3/24/2009 6:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the responses. The problem is around my eyelid, not in my eye. I have been trying to wash it out with baby shampoo, but I'll add the warm compresses. I was just at my GI about 6 weeks ago bragging about how great I was feeling. I'm having a hard time admitting to myself that I'm not doing well...I keep hoping I'll wake up the next day and feel better. My stools are completely normal looking, but I have so much pain before I go and intermittent right sided (ileum) pain. I think I'm dealing with some avoidance/denial about this stupid disease. I have been diagnosed for two years and I still have a fantasy of waking up and finding out my Crohn's was a mistake and it was all a bad dream! I just hate dealing with this! Thanks for your support with my venting!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 3/24/2009 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with blepharitis last week, and I have follow up appt this afternoon. My eyes feel swollen alot, inside not the eyelids, and I have floaters, but she said the interior of my eyes look great. It's just the inside of the lids that is red and irritated. I've been doing the warm compresses and Alaway drops to keep the inflammation down, but it doesn't seem to be helping. I'm going to ask her about uveitis today.
diagnosed w/Crohn's 11/06. 35f with 2 boys and a wonderful husband. 150 mg Imuran, bentyl, entocort, vicodin as needed, Humira, metoprolol for orthostatic hypotension and heart palpitations. Bowel resection 9/07. Active disease back, darn it 8/08. 11 year old son with IBS-C, on Bentyl.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4385
   Posted 3/24/2009 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the response. Kiberlayn, let me know what the eye doctor suggests.
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 3/24/2009 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I too have blepharitis. My eye lids can swell up. Warm compresses, and cleaning it with baby shampoo helps when I get a flare up of it. Since it seems to be an inflammation issue, wouldn't surprise me at all if it was some how connected.
I had my lip swell up huge last year, due to the inflammation rates in my body from a Crohn's flare up. Of course the lips are considered part of the digestion tract. Just amazing what outside the guts problems we can have.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.

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