Posted by Bensue (188.8.131.52) on June 12, 2000 at 22:59:52:
In Reply to: Blindness posted by MaryD on June 12, 2000 at 20:04:17:
aka Giant Cell Arteritis is an auto-immune disease which can cause blindness before it is diagnosed. My dear sister lost about 80% of the sight in one eye before she was started on a large dosage of prednisone. There is a new surgery she can have done on her eye after she gets the GCA under control.
That disease is another that is sometimes not recognized soon enough. Patients may have pain all over their bodies, not limited to the temporal or eye area (but perhaps that is only if they also have the poly-something rheumatica along with the GCA, which my sister did). Don't take my word as authority on this. I am reporting third hand and may not be totally accurate - but you can get a general idea. It is agonizing pain that is helped by
NSAIDS. The idea is to kill the inflammation as rapidly as possible but this can take years in some cases. The patient tapers from 60 mg prednisone a day to 2-3 mg as a maintenance dose forever, according to my sister's rheumatologist in Houston. Of course, anyone who thinks he might have this should see a rheumatologist and/or an eye expert. I believe my sister said this disease mostly affects women older than 50.
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