My son was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - JRA (now JIA) - and the arthritis or inflammation was expressed only in the eye. My son is 18 now -- and the JRA/JIA was diagnosed when he was 10.
My son went through years of steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation - and that plus the disease led to three operations over the years. Cataract, vitrectomy and just recently a stent was inserted into the eye to control the pressure in his eye (IOP).
Currently the stent maintains his IOP in a very good range -- and the eye doc only sees one cell in the slit lamp exam. My son has been on 2x weekly Enbrel 25my shots + 25 mg methotrexate for 2 1/2 years.
As a very concerned father, I have been searching for good information about my son's condition. For the past couple of years my son has been seen by a ophthamologist who primarily is concerned with the glaucoma or high IOP, and by a rheumatologist who prescribes the enbrel. My son just started college in Atlanta last September (we live in New Orleans) and I thought a good strategy would be to go to Emory (a respected academic medical center) and get an eye doc and a rheumatologist to collaborate on the treatment of my son. I thought that was a good idea, but it is now five months since we first went to Emory and let's just say I am very disappointed. We saw one eye doc who didn't bother to read my son's chart and we are not scheduled to see a rheumatologist until the end of February as Emory has a shortage of rheumatologists.
So I have stumbled upon this site -- and I now have a new strategy. The closest uveitis clinic for us is in Birmingham AL with a Dr Russel Read. I am inclined to schedule an appointment with Dr Read -- and any comments are welcomed about this strategy.
Otherwise, I was very concerned with the August 2009 FDA warning about the TNF biologics and cancer. I'd like to discuss his enbrel medication with a doctor --- but I bounce between the eye doc and the rheumatologist & there doesn't seem to be much communication between the two.
My dream would be to find a 'combination doctor' who could exam my son's eye AND treat the underlying JRA/JIA. I believe that is what a uveitis specialist is -- and Dr Read in Birmingham has had a uveitis fellowship. This is a good sign.
Enough for now - I need to explore this site for information!!!