Wed, May 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Association says eye inflammation could signal AS

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can take on a variety or forms, and while pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips are more common, eye inflammation is also a complication of the disease, the Taiwan Rheumatology Association said yesterday.

The association said about 70,000 people nationwide have AS — a type of arthritis that mainly affects the spine — and about 30 percent to 40 percent of those people develop uveitis, a form of eye inflammation.

Uveitis symptoms include eye redness, swelling, blurred vision, light sensitivity and excessive tearing, said Wei Cheng-chung (魏正宗), director of the Allergy-Immunology-Rheumatology Division at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital.

Uveitis often only occurs in one eye, but can reoccur in both eyes, and delayed treatment can lead to serious consequences, including pupil deformation, glaucoma or even blindness, he said.

AS is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect the whole body, but its obvious symptom is occasional pain in the lower back and hips, said Tsai Wen-chan (蔡文展), association director and a physician at Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital Division of Rheumatology.

The disease occurs most frequently in people between 20 and 40 years old, who often neglect symptoms as stiffness or soreness from working long hours, he said.

The association said people who suffer from unknown lower back pain for more than three months should see a doctor.

A self-evaluation test can be found at the Ankylosing Spondylitis Caring Society of ROC Web site ( for people who want to know if they are at

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