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Sympathetic Ophthalmia or Sympathetic Ophthalmitis, Sympathizing Eye, Causes and Treatment.

Sympathetic Ophthalmia or Sympathetic Ophthalmitis, Sympathizing Eye, Causes and Treatment.

Sympathetic ophthalmia, also called sympathetic ophthalmitis is a condition which results after penetrating trauma to one eye.
This condition doesn't occur in the eye which has received the trauma, it occurs in the other healthy eye. An inflammatory reaction occurs in the other normal eye. This normal eye is called “sympathizing eye”. As it shows sympathy with the injured eye and becomes inflamed itself.
This inflammatory reaction is not self-limiting. In fact, it continues for life if left untreated and vision may lose.
Sympathetic Ophthalmia or Sympathetic Ophthalmitis, Sympathizing Eye, Causes and Treatment

Causes of Sympathetic Ophthalmia:

The Exact cause of sympathetic ophthalmia (sympathetic ophthalmitis) is unknown. But scientists think it occurs due to an autoimmune reaction. Antibodies are formed against the eye uveal tissue which induces inflammation in the other eye. Other scientists think that it occurs in response to some bacterial antigens.


Diagnosis usually depends upon the clinical history. Ask the patient whether he has received any kind injury to one of the eyes. A careful examination of the eyes, including tests of vision, eye pressure, and inflammation in the eye, using special instruments which magnify the dilated eyes under bright light, should be done. Special testing such as fluorescein angiograms, indocyanine green angiography, or ultrasound may be performed.  Blood tests and a chest X-ray should be obtained to ensure that other diseases which may look similar to SO are not present. Some of these include Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, sarcoidosis, intraocular lymphoma, and the white dot syndromes


The main treatment for Sympathetic ophthalmitis (sympathetic ophthalmia) is aggressive anti-inflammatory administration. Corticosteroids are the most common agent used initially. Prompt and adequate dosage is required to achieve control. Some patients may require admission to the hospital to receive medications through their veins. SO can be a difficult disease to treat and may require additional therapy, including the use of more than one immunosuppressive medication. The goal of the treatment is to stop inflammation and autoimmune response.


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