This is a Guest Post by Gheri Perkins who is part-time writer, full-time mother, and sometimes advocate for those with disabilities. Originally from London, Gheri currently lives in Arizona. To find out more about how Guest Posts work on my blog, click here
I suffer from dry eyes and am incredibly sensitive to changes in my prescription. Good sunglasses are an essential part of my kit. Gheri has used many medical terms in this post – if you suspect that EDS may be affecting your sight, please, go and talk to your optician!
Although Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a group of genetic disorders that primarily affects the skin and joints, EDS can lead to other health problems and, depending on what type of the disorder you have, can cause some major long-term health complications. The many disorders that comprise EDS are related to defects in connective tissue—an important part of our bodies that holds together all of our organs—which can affect other aspects of your health.
When most people think about health complications attributed to EDS, they usually focus on problems with joints, major arteries, the skin, and the spine. However, EDS can also lead to eye damage and mild to severe visual impairments as the eyeball is structurally fragile and easily at risk of rupturing, which is an effect of EDS. Some people with EDS, particularly those with the kyphoscoliosis type, may experience nearsightedness, glaucoma, discoloration of the whites of the eyes, and retinal detachment. While there is no specific cure for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, those who are suffering from EDS-related health issues must be evaluated, treated, and cared for properly as soon as they are diagnosed with EDS. From physical therapy and medications aimed at strengthening joints to ocular remedies, there are ways to treat certain EDS health complications.
While it’s highly recommended that anyone with EDS undergo frequent ocular testing, those suffering from painful or uncomfortable eye problems should get specific eye testing. While ocular issues such as nearsightedness can be handled with corrective contact lenses from Acuvue, other more serious eye problems, like constant dry eyes or corneal dystrophies, may be less easy to remedy. As a result, it’s best to go through every exam that your eye doctor suggests. It’s recommended that those with EDS should receive dilated fundus exam, ocular topography to rule out early keratoconus, Retinal Thickness Analyzer (RTA), and orbscan and/or pachymetry to check corneal thickness. Even if you’re only experiencing minor eye complications, you’ll still need visual enhancements as EDS patients are not good candidates for LASIK. EDS patients who don’t have ocular problems should still visit an eye care specialist for regular exams and remember to protect your vision with items like reading glasses when necessary or sunglasses from Topshop.
Being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is not the end of the world. With suitable treatment, a multidisciplinary approach with ophthalmologists, orthopedists, pediatricians and medical geneticists, you can maintain your eye health and deal with any urgent conditions such as eyeball and vascular ruptures, and joint dislocations promptly. Make sure you see ophthalmologists and other physicians that specialize in treating EDS and be vigilant about your eye care, playing close attention to any changes in your eye sight, pain, or irritation. If you experience things like seeing blotches or spots, seek immediate attention from an eye care professional. Remember: knowing and understanding your disease will reduce your risk of serious, long-term health issues and help you manage any complications as soon as they arise.