Loyola University Medical Education Network Eye Lesions

One-fourth of patients have eye lesions. The most common symptoms are blurred vision, pain, photophobia and dry eyes. Uveitis is inflammation of the vascular coat of the eye; the choroid, ciliary body, and iris. Acute uveitis presents with discomfort, photophobia, blurred vision, and a red eye. Treatment includes steroids and cycloplegics to keep the pupil dilated. Prognosis is good and there is usually resolution within months.. Acute uveitis can become chronic or uveitis can have an insidious onset. Chronic uveitis has a more prolonged course and can lead to lead to glaucoma, cataracts and blindness.

A patient who presents with findings which have developed over a period of weeks is considered to have acute sarcoidosis. Acute presentation with the combination of uveitis, parotid gland enlargement, facial palsy, and fever is called uveoparotid fever and also HEERFORDT'S SYNDROME.

Decreased lacrimal gland secretions can lead to dry eyes and inflammation of the conjunctiva and cornea which is called keratoconjunctivitis sicca (L.siccus, dry). When the parotid gland is involved the mouth is dry also. Severe dryness of the mouth and eyes in sarcoidosis can be similar to that produced by the idiopathic immunologic disorder, SJOGREN' S SYNDROME, which causes progressive destruction of these exocrine glands.

Eye Lesions in Sarcoidosis


Conjunctivitis is common.

Papilledema is often associated with 7th nerve facial palsy.


Terrence Demos, M.D.
Last Updated: March 14, 1996
Created: March 1, 1996