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Ophthalmology & Optometry/Possible connection between blurred vision, celiac disease, and ?pale retina?


Dear Dr Berger,
My wife has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease (she has not yet had biopsy, but blood test was positive). She has suffered from a number of minor ailments for some time, including blurred vision, which, according to a website on celiac disease, is one of many symptoms of this illness. However, when visiting an optician recently, she was told that there were "not many cells" and that "it looks very pale behind the eye"- we assume the optician meant that her retina was pale, but have not confirmed yet if this is what he meant.

I just wondered, have you ever come across a retina which had "few cells" or was "pale", and do you know if this is indeed related to celiac disease. Or could there be other possible causes? We assume that when her diet is adjusted correctly, the blurred vision would in time correct itself. I would be very interested to hear if you have any experience of these symptoms, and what is your opinion on the connection between blurred vision and celiac disease? Thanks from Doug.

The " cells" to which you refer , most likely in located I the anterior chamber if the eye not the retina and is indicative of iritis or uveitis which is an inflammatory reaction in the eye to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens Syndrome, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis,  Crohn's disease, among others.  The pale retina may refer to an optic nerve atrophy  but you have to ask your eye doctor specifically what he's concerned about and how to treat it.      Good luck.  Dr ken  

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Any and all questions with regard to ocular ailments, eye diseases as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, etc , eye and visual sympomatology, eyeglasses, contact lenses, low or subnormal vision, pediatric vision conditions,and special and unique ailments will be discussed.


36 years of clinical experience in opticianry and therapeutic optometry. Still in private practice with special interests in vision conditions, diagnosing and treating ocular ailments, prescibing treatment plans which include medicine, eyeglasses, and contact lenses primarily. Although surgery is not within the realm of my area of expertise, I co-manage many pre and post -op surgical cases which include Lasik and PRK procedures.

New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians American Optometric Association

B.A.,1968, Hunter College of the City University of New York B.S.,1970, Pennsylvania College of Optometry O.D.,1973, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Administration Certification, New Jersey 1992

Awards and Honors
Clinical Efficiency Award, 1973, Pennsylvaania College of Optometry

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