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Effects upon: Eyes

Pemphigus and pemphigoid can both affect the eyes. In the case of  ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid, do read the relevant page under the “Types of PEM” section, and also watch or listen to the videos in our “Talks by experts...” items under the "Supporting you" section.


It is really important to obtain an early diagnosis and find the immunosuppressant treatment that will halt the progress of any possible eye damage. The disease can progress rapidly and needs to be managed by an Ophthalmologist with experience of these diseases.


However, there are some things that you can do to ease the pain caused by damaged eyes. Firstly, do not allow inward pointing eyelashes to scratch the surface of the cornea. A set of tweezers with a light incorporated is a very handy ally, along with a powerful magnifying mirror. Some people find it very difficult to do this themselves, so you might need to recruit a friend with a steady hand or arrange to make a regular visit to the eye clinic. Opticians will occasionally provide this service.


Blepharitis (where the eyelids become inflamed and may be infected) is a common problem. A warm compress on the eyelid once or twice a day for around 5 minutes is helpful and can be soothing. A hot flannel will suffice, or an eyebag, such as the Blepha EyeBag which is heated in the microwave. A daily regime for blepharitis is to wipe the lash line (not the inner side of the lid) with a cotton bud dipped in boiled water.


The use of boiled water containing either baby oil or bicarbonate of soda is sometimes recommended but is probably no more effective than boiled water alone. A commercial product called Blephaclean may also help. Blephaclean wipes used in the morning may help to remove the oily residue that the overnight use of drops and ointments can cause. Some members have reported that Blephaclean wipes do not seem to irritate the eyes like soap can.

Please note that PEM Friends does not endorse any of the items mentioned above. These items have been suggested by individual members because they have found them useful.

Click to see a gallery of photographs of eyes.

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