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Can you get Endometriosis in your Eyes? Understanding Ocular Endo

Updated: Mar 5



Endometriosis, a condition affecting approximately 10% of women globally, is renowned for its ability to cause pelvic pain and infertility. This chronic condition involves endometrial-like cells growing outside the uterus, causing symptoms such as painful periods, bowel movements, and urination, as well as excessive menstruation and infertility.


As covered in a previous post, the chronic pain of endometriosis is often dismissed and

underdiagnosed. A lack of awareness of its severe and debilitating signs and symptoms as a

chronic condition means the sharp, intense aches it causes are often mistaken for normal period pain.


However, its reach can extend far beyond the reproductive system, occasionally manifesting in

unexpected places like the eyes. Ocular endometriosis, though very rare, can provoke a range of visual disturbances, underscoring the importance of recognizing its symptoms amidst the myriad of potential vision-related issues.


Delving into ocular endometriosis

Bleeding outside of the gynecological organs is rare, but possible. Its 5% prevalence means you may experience bleeding and abnormal growth can occur in a distant site, such as the eyes.


Ocular endometriosis occurs when endometrial-like tissue implants itself in or around the eye.

While the precise mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain elusive, it's worth investigating further if you are experiencing the following issues:


Individuals with ocular endometriosis may experience:


  • Blurred Vision: One of the hallmark symptoms of ocular endometriosis is blurred vision, which can vary in intensity and duration. This visual disturbance may occur suddenly or develop gradually over time, affecting one or both eyes.

  • Eye Pain and Discomfort: Ocular endometriosis can provoke sensations of eye pain, discomfort, or pressure. These symptoms may worsen with eye movement or prolonged visual tasks, such as reading or using digital screens.

  • Photophobia (Light Sensitivity): Sensitivity to light, known as photophobia, is another common feature of ocular endometriosis. Individuals may find bright lights, sunlight, or artificial lighting sources particularly bothersome, exacerbating their visual symptoms.

  • Dry Eyes: Some individuals with ocular endometriosis may experience dry eye symptoms, characterized by a sensation of grittiness, itching, or burning in the eyes. This condition may coexist with blurred vision and light sensitivity, further complicating the clinical picture.


Navigating Vision Changes: What to Consider

Despite prescription lenses being a common solution to vision impairment, experiencing blurry

vision due to the endometrial tissue doesn’t automatically mean having to wear glasses. Instead, you can address any vision changes you experience by approaching the situation methodically to determine the underlying cause.


Consider the following steps:


Consultation with an Optometrist:

Schedule an appointment with an optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination. During this evaluation, your optometrist will assess your visual acuity, screen for refractive errors, and evaluate the health of your eyes, including the presence of any signs suggestive of ocular endometriosis.


Procurement of the Proper Eyewear:

If your vision changes are primarily attributable to refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), your optometrist may recommend corrective prescription glasses. You may purchase these glasses online if you're looking for more affordable options or if the pain from your symptoms affects your mobility. Simply ensure you procure a soft copy of your prescription and upload it onto the retail site of your choice.


Exclusion of Refractive Errors:

If wearing corrective eyewear fails to alleviate your symptoms, further investigation may be warranted.


Evaluation for Ocular Conditions:

In cases where vision changes persist despite corrective measures, additional testing may be necessary to rule out underlying ocular conditions or systemic health issues. Your optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist or another specialist for further assessment and management. These are the only professionals who can conduct a more advanced, comprehensive eye exam. Unlike a routine exam that only tests for visual acuity, this will check for other factors like eye pressure and the condition of your retina and optic nerve. The assessment can help inform an ocular endometriosis diagnosis.


Recognition of Systemic Symptoms:

Pay attention to any accompanying symptoms to recurring vision problems that may suggest an association with endometriosis, such as pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities, or gastrointestinal disturbances. If you experience these symptoms, discuss them with your healthcare provider to explore the possibility of ocular endometriosis and initiate appropriate investigations.


Seeking Timely Intervention

While ocular endometriosis remains relatively uncommon, prompt recognition and intervention are paramount for preserving visual function and overall well-being. By collaborating with the appropriate medical professionals and advocating for your health, you can navigate vision-related concerns effectively and address potential underlying causes, including ocular endometriosis.


In Conclusion

Vision changes can arise from various sources, ranging from refractive errors to ocular conditions like ocular endometriosis. Endometriosis can be debilitating and diminish your overall quality of life, so it helps to maximize the support and resources available for better care and management.


By seeking timely medical evaluation and engaging in open communication with healthcare

providers, individuals can address vision-related issues proactively and safeguard their ocular and systemic health.


Here at ELANZA Wellness, you can find informative resources, such as blog posts and tools for

tracking symptoms, to aid in living with endometriosis.


For reliable information and support regarding vision health and endometriosis, consult qualified healthcare professionals and reputable medical resources.


Reference:

Rahman S, Youssef Y, Maroun G, Inaty D, Kheil MH, Moawad G. Eyes, menstruation and

endometriosis. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2023 Jun;15(2):107-113. doi: 10.52054/FVVO.15.2.074.

PMID: 37436046; PMCID: PMC10410658.

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