Eye tuberculosis: symptoms and treatment

Tuberculosis of the eye — an infectious disease, the cause of which is a tubercle bacillus (also called Koch’s stick). It affects people regardless of gender and age. The rod penetrates into the human body by airborne droplets. Tuberculosis of the eye can also occur as a complication of the pulmonary form of the disease.

In the initial stages it is very difficult to identify pathology and correctly establish a diagnosis. Therefore, at the first signs of ailment it is necessary to urgently apply to a medical institution for diagnosis and confirmation of the diagnosis.


The main source of infection — people who suffer from tuberculosis of the lungs. In patients suffering from this disease, the virus enters the visual organs through the nasal sinuses, the appendages of the skin or blood vessels. Also, infection by airborne droplets during prolonged exposure in poorly ventilated, moist and enclosed spaces is possible. Koch’s wand does not «like» direct sunlight, because under their influence it perishes.

This disease is most often affected by people with a weakened immune system, suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, having autoimmune diseases.


Tuberculosis of the eye has a variety of symptoms. Symptoms depend on the type of progressive disease, form and characteristics of the body. Tuberculosis of the eye is very difficult to recognize, since the ailment has many symptoms. This disease can hide under the symptoms of other pathological processes. A frequent reason for its progression and the development of complications is that a person late appeals to a qualified specialist.

Main symptoms:

  • defeat of the back of the eye , which leads to a sharp decrease in visual acuity
  • defeat of the iris of the eye. In this case, patients have the following symptoms: a veil before the eyes, a partial loss of visual acuity
  • damage to the cornea of ​​the eye , which leads to the appearance of such symptoms as pain, redness of the eyes, increased intraocular pressure. This stage of eye tuberculosis is considered acute and terrible in that it can adversely affect the visual apparatus, first partially, and subsequently completely, which will lead to loss of vision.

In some cases, the manifested allergic reaction can be considered a patient as a conjunctivitis, in which pain and redness can occur suddenly. In the most frequent cases, eye tuberculosis affects at once two organs of vision, although in rare cases one eye can be affected first, and then another one.

It is important to seek help from a doctor in a timely manner, as the ailment can rapidly develop and lead to serious impairment of the visual function.


  1. Fluorography;
  2. Testing (for the detection of chronic infections such as syphilis, brucellosis, viral diseases, etc.)
  3. topographical survey
  4. Bronchoscopy
  5. sowing on tubercle bacilli.


Treatment of eye tuberculosis should be started in a timely manner and not left for later, as the disease can lead to the development of irreversible complications.

Treatment methods:

  • taking antibacterial drugs;
  • Vitamins intake — vitamins A (retinol), E (alpha-tocopherol), B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 ​​(pyridoxine), P (rutin), B12 (cyanocobalamin), C (ascorbic acid). The intake of vitamins will help to activate the body’s immune forces, which is extremely important for fighting this disease
  • pathogenetic therapy is used in combination with antibacterial drugs, in case the treatment does not yield the desired results
  • hormonal therapy (at the advanced stage). The use of corticosteroids (prednisolone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, dexazon, dexamethasone, Kenalog-40) is indicated;
  • Surgery — antiglaucomatous surgery, corneal transplant. It is performed in those cases when complications arise and immediate surgical intervention is required.

All these measures are carried out in a hospital setting, because doctors must constantly monitor the general condition of the patient.


Tuberculosis of the eye is a very dangerous ailment, which is why it is important to follow the recommendations regarding its prevention. The main preventive measure is the vaccination of BCG (vaccine against tuberculosis, prepared from a strain of a weakened live bovine tubercle bacillus). As a rule, the vaccine is administered for the first time in the first weeks of a child’s life. The next intramuscular injection of the vaccine is performed at the age of 7 and 14 years.

The population is urged to undergo fluorography annually for timely detection of tuberculosis. Be sure to strictly observe the cleanliness of the house, ventilate the room, make a wet cleaning.