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Ask Dr. A.S. Desai Your Own Question
Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2398
Experience:  MS Ophthalmology with 13 years of surgical expereince
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diagnosed at 38 with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and lyme disease

Customer Question

Hello, i am a 49 year old female. I was diagnosed at 38 with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and lyme disease. Recently I was diagnosed with bartonella bacteria, also known as cat scratch fever. My infectious disease doctor has put me on anti-biotics to rid me of cat scratch which I contracted from a tick bite in 1992.

Two weeks ago, I went for my yearly eye exam and was told that I have cataracts, a mole on my eyeball and have thinning of the eye ball which has now put me into the position of having my retinas detach.

As you can see, life has been a bit rough the last 10 - 12 years and the thought of my vision going funny is making me very uneasy. Are you able to tell me what I should be doing in my situation? Can I make my eye situation improve through supplementation, operations, etc., does cat scratch have anything to do with this? Will it go away when the infection goes away? Do medications have anything to do with these issues? My parents were in their late seventies and early eighties when they got cataracts, why do I have them (actually felt my eyes becoming cloudy about 3 years ago) at my age?

Look forward to hearing from you,
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. A.S. Desai replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer

If the cataracts have been diagnosed ,then it is better to evaluate the cause and go ahead with the cataract surgery so as to improve the vision. If the diagnosis has been made by an optometrist then it is better to get evaluated by an ophthalmologist. You are right that cataracts are more common in the elderly but that is the age related cataract. Cataracts can occur much earlier too , sometimes with a secondary cause and sometimes without. In your case we have to rule out any secondary cause because of the positive history of Lyme disease and cat scratch fever. Both of these conditions do not primarily affect the eye and even in those rare circumstances in which they do, then it is not in the form of cataracts but as deep eye inflammation such as uveitis ( including inflammed optic nerve). Now this eye inflammation can cause a type of cataract( irrespective of age) called as complicated cataract. The treatment however would not change much and cataract surgery is the norm once detected. The only difference would be to be prepared for post-op inflammation and tackle it with steroid eye drops.As for your query about any medicines being the cause of the early cataracts, then most common are oral steroids( but have to be taken for months before the cataracts are noticed).Antibiotics do not cause cataracts.

So I guess you can stop worrying about your cataracts coming early and consult your ophthalmologist for the further treatment .

Thank you and best wishes

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Views expressed are for information purpose only and cannot substitute a visit to an ophthalmologist

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