Beth Gottlieb MD Ped Rheumatology www.DrMDK.com
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Interviewer: If you are suspicious where connected tissue be your arthritis, many times you sent to an eye doctor. Yup, wait a minute, I am worried about a joint that swollen and he sends you an eye drop. Why would they do that? Interviewee: If children who have chronic arthritis, they are at risk for developing inflammation in the eye, and I cannot see it on my kind of examine when I look with that scope that sitting on the wall, I cannot identify it most times and the child has no symptoms at all. So if we wait for the child to complain that they are having trouble with their vision, then it maybe too late to treat it well. So it is extremely important that children who have chronic arthritis see an ophthalmologist not just an optometrist, but an ophthalmologist to be examined frequently. And the amount of times that you go to an eye doctor and then you are really depends on some the lab tests that are done, and also the age of the child when they first to diagnose with arthritis. But generally, children will go to the ophthalmologist between every three months and every six months. So that is very important not to forget. Again, because they are not going to complain that they are having trouble seeing. Interviewer: So if the iris gets inflamed, how do they treat that? Interviewee: It is treated initially with eye drops and that would be the first line of treatment by the eye doctor and they would continue to follow the patient very carefully to adjust the amount of eye drops that the child gets. And if that is not effective enough, then sometimes the vermatologist helps to give other types of medicine also. Interviewer: So in other words, if they are worried by an inflammation, it can be controlled. You just do not want to have it to laid and to diagnosis what damage could be done; is that right? Interviewee: That is right because unfortunately, if this is not picked up and it is not treated aggressively, then that can lead to blindness. But it is that there are very effective treatments for it.