Author Topic: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??  (Read 6713 times)

Offline Cycami

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Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« on: April 02, 2011, 10:06:38 AM »
Hi. I am 12 weeks pregnant and was diagnosed with severe iritis in both eyes 2 weeks ago. My biggest concern is the meds (the doctor put me on 3 category C meds he said were necessary to prevent blindness at this point), and I am trying to decide what my options are.
 
(I have shortened this to eliminate the long history and will try to post updates in case this the info might be helpful to someone else :))
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 03:59:43 PM by Cycami »

Offline Precious

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Re: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 02:54:08 PM »
Your situation sounds pretty desperate.  I can understand your frustration.  I am not an expert when it comes to iritis nor have I ever had it, but I am really good at looking up information! :)  Believe it or not, ehow.com had some advice:
Quote
   1.  Bathe the closed eye with Epsom salt diluted with warm water several times daily to relieve pain.
   2   Make a compress for the eye with Epsom salt by combining Epsom salt with enough water to make a paste, spreading it over the closed eyelid and applying a warm towel over the top. Leave the compress on for about 20 minutes, then remove the compress and wash the area thoroughly.
   3   Apply a small amount of the herb arnica to the closed eyelids, or make a warm compress with it. Arnica is renowned for its healing and pain-reliving qualities, according to AnniesRemedy.com. You can find it in a cream at your local health foods store. Be sure to test for any allergic reaction first by applying a small amount to the inside of your forearm and waiting 24 hours to check for irritation.
   4    Put tea bags on your eyes. Tea works well to relieve tired, achy eyes. Try dipping two black or chamomile tea bags in warm water and then place one over each eye for 20 minutes. Do this as often as need to relieve discomfort.

We've used the chamomile tea bags before and it caused petechiae (tiny broken blood vessels). They don't hurt or cause any problems, they are just unsightly.  I wouldn't let that stop you from using it, though.

Any herbal anti-inflammatories would be great.  Tumeric is a great anti-inflammatory herb/spice that would be safe for you to take internally.  Just be sure to take it with black pepper or a bit of fat (coconut oil, ghee, or butter would be great choices) to increase absorption.  This thread will have more suggestions.

Eyebright would be great to use as a rinse, eye bath, or compress.  Dr. Christopher's makes one formula I've heard good things about.  I have no idea if it's safe to take internally when pregnant.

I hope some of this information is helpful to you. I have prayed for you while writing this reply. Be encouraged!

Offline Cycami

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Re: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 04:56:25 PM »
Thanks so much. That IS helpful. I had looked up natural remedies for iritis but couldn’t find much there. I didn’t think of researching natural anti-inflammatories. I’m definitely going to look into those to see what I can do during pregnancy.


Offline Cycami

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Re: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 07:36:31 AM »
My eyes are much better now. Also, the doctor said he felt the drugs I was taking were safe. He said prednisone was naturally elevated in pregnant women anyway, and they take prednisone all the time without any problems. In his opinion it was a lot safer than antibiotics. So maybe I was just being paranoid. That’s one of the possible side effects of prednisone, so probably lol. I still don’t like to take medicine, and I still think the dose of prednisone he gave me was too high, especially during the first trimester, but we all have opinions. At least I'm almost off the medicine now.

At any rate I couldn’t find any well-researched alternative remedies for iritis. It doesn’t have a set cause or course of action, so what works for one person might not help someone else anyway. I know the steroid drops are usually effective and safe, at least in the short term.

Some basic things that might be helpful to avoid or overcome iritis more quickly (Please note, I am an internet research addict, NOT a doctor :D): eliminate ALL refined sugar and caffeine, possibly salt too, eat fresh eggs and fresh cherries or pineapple, exercise (take walks in the evening or early morning when it’s not too bright out), and avoid nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes) which can make inflammation worse.

Pretty much any food or supplements that help arthritis or inflammation elsewhere in the body might be helpful (but be careful what you take if you’re pregnant). The leaky gut syndrome thread might be helpful, especially considering iritis is often associated with other autoimmune problems.

If anyone knows of tried and true, safe alternative remedies for iritis (inflammation in the eye), please share. Though I hope I never have to deal with this again… ;) But maybe the info could be helpful to someone else.

Offline Gigi

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Re: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 11:16:43 AM »
Hey cycami,

I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner, as I'm the only one here that's ever posted about iritis that I know of . . .

But, it doesn't really matter anyway, cuz I don't really have anything helpful to say that wasn't said!  :)

My hubby began getting this WAY too often, over and over again over the course of a couple years.  It was totally mystifying to the dr because it's so rare and is associated with all sorts of things that didn't apply to my hubby.  It was strange and frustrating.  We began all manner of supplements, none of which helped with the iritis.  The only thing that helped was the prednisone.  And, as you concluded, better prednisone than blindness.

Thankfully, this has not cropped up for a long while now, so hopefully we won't ever see it again.  The only thing we could connect it with was stress.  That period of our lives was very stressful for him and when the stress would rise, the iritis would follow.

Hopefully you don't ever have to deal with it again, either.  Sorry I wasn't here for consorting with.   ;)


Offline Cycami

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Re: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 06:06:48 PM »
Thanks, gigi. It’s nice to know someone else out there understands my pain. Misery loves company  ;)

Did your husband take the oral prednisone along with the drops? I was okay with the drops, but the prednisone really got to me. I felt drugged and off balance, and my face is puffy and broken out (I started at 40mg now down to 5). I was hoping that if this ever happened again I could catch it with the eye drops and not have to take the oral medicine.

Although the drops are a pain too lol. Really, iritis is just a pain period. I am sorry your husband had to go through that so many times. I can imagine his frustration! Did he miss a lot of work? Since both my eyes were affected I haven’t been able to drive in 3 weeks, going to give it a shot tomorrow because we are going to go bankrupt if my husband keeps doing all the shopping  ;D

P.S. how long did it take your husband’s vision to get back to normal? Did he use dilating drops? 

Offline Gigi

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Re: Iritis and 12 weeks pregnant--ANY advice??
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 02:32:44 PM »
Hey Cycami!

My hubby never had to take any oral steroids.  Either your case was really bad or maybe your doctor was nervous/overly ambitious?

The early symptoms for him were that he would feel a bit of pain behind the eye that he would interpret as a mild headache.  The further step was that each eye seemed to focus separately on things - if he looked at a paper to read it, his "good" eye would focus clearly and the "bad" eye took a few seconds to catch up.  (He usually only had it in one eye at a time.)  Then, his eye hurt like the dickens with any light.

I will say that in the very early phases, when he thought it was coming on, if I looked at his eyes and compared the pupils, If one eye's pupil was slightly larger, that was a sure sign of the iritis.

Yes, I think that if you can be alert for any weirdness and just go in then you may be able to avoid the oral steroids.

He did miss some work due to the pain and lack of vision, but not too much, since he had no choice  :-\  He never had the dilating drops, either - hubby says they do that for advanced cases to take the strain off the eye and help the muscle relax. 

About the time frame, it seems like it only took a week for the vision to be back, but an uncomfortable feeling would hang in there for several weeks.  The schedule for the drops is to use them hot-n-heavy for about a week  or two and then very s-l-o-w-l-y taper them off over a month or so.  Statistically, this protocol has decreased the chances of recurrence.

Also, hubby just mentioned to me that I should make sure to tell you to get your eyes checked *while on the prednisone drops* because he says that, in a very small percentage of people, prednisone drops can actually cause glaucoma. 

I hear you about going bankrupt with hubby at the store!  Mine likes to pick up LOTS of extras . . .  ::)