Lupus and Cataract Surgery

I've had lupus for 20 years (possibly more, before it was diagnosed). Recently I had to have cataract surgery. I asked them before they went ahead if there was a possibility my immune system would reject the man-made lens. They said, 'no'. Reassured, I went ahead with the surgery. Now my eye is chronically inflamed.

Has anyone had this issue?

Last edited by

3 Replies

oldest β€’ newest
  • Hi LeopardGizmo. I've had symptoms of autoimmune disease since my first child was born 32 years ago but it has only been in the past 7 years that I was referred to a rheumatologist. My diagnosis is UCTD (blood doesn't show up positive for lupus) and among other things possible Sjogrens, poor lung function, autoimmune arthritis and so on. I have had repeated flares of uveitis/iritis for 7 years with steroid eye drops on repeat prescription. I developed cataracts - my ophthalmologist said either caused by the frequent inflammation or the frequent use of steroid drops. I had both cataracts operated on a few months ago (with surgery to remove my gallbladder in between as well - that was not the most pleasant 6 weeks of summer that I've ever had!!!) apparently it usually takes 2-4 weeks for inflammation to settle down. It took over three months for me, I just tapered off one lot of steroids when I had to start again. At one point I had to use a spreadsheet and set the alarm on my phone because I was on a different regime for each eye. I thought the inflammation was never going to clear up but at no time was I worried that the artificial lenses were being rejected. I had loads of hospital appointments and they assured me everything was still in place. My ops were done end of May and mid- July but it was October before everything finally settled down. But all I can say is WOW what a difference it has made. I have never had such good vision. No inflammation (fingers crossed), no longer chronically short sighted, colours are clearer and brighter, no dazzle when driving in the dark....the list of positives goes on and on. I think I was just unlucky with my history of chronic inflammation and a wonky immune system.

    Take it one day at a time, I'm sure it will improve. If you're worried contact the hospital and ask for a follow up. One thing that helped me was when they changed my steroid drops to preservative free individual vials for single use (at one point I had two huge boxes of them) - the consultant at the hospital thought my immune system couldn't cope with the preservatives in the Maxidex.

    Good luck and I hope you will heal up soon. Sending hugs ((())).

  • HI GRANNYJOGGER. THANK YOU FOR RELATING YOUR CATARACT TALE. I HAVE DISCOID LUPUS AND WILL BE HAVING CATARACT OPERATION WHICH I WAS WORRIED ABOUT BUT NOW I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT I FEEL MORE POSITIVE ABOUT HAVING THE CATARACT REMOVED

  • Hello, Grannyjogger! Thank you for your helpful, detailed reply. Your experience matches mine entirely. The one change is the single use, preservative free eyedrops. I am highly reactive to sulphites in wine & preserved meats, and have a violent anaphylactic reaction to sulpha-based antibiotics. I've suspected from the outset that the drops were somehow contributing to the problem. I have a followup in a couple of weeks, and I'll print up this exchange and take it with me. THANK YOU.

    Your response has let me have far more confidence in having the other eye done. You've done a great thing for me today. I could hug you!

    I just joined the forum; my first post -- I'm so glad I did.

You may also like...