During my recent research regarding Endometriosis growing on the lungs and spine, I’ve also bumped into references to incredibly rare cases where it’s been found on the eyes, or the structures near the eyes. THE EYES! Ugh. Makes my skin crawl. So I figured I’d delve a bit into that today.
Most of all of the books and webpages I’ve read that talk about Endometriosis say it can grow on the eyes, but I’m having an extremely difficult time finding case studies or reports online about it.
In 2008 a case report was published of a 13-year-old girl would bleed from her tear duct during her menstrual cycle. After imaging studies and other tests, it was suspected that she had Endometriosis inside her nasolacrimal canal (it houses the tear ducts); however, due to the location of the tissue, biopsies (and a confirmed diagnosis) were “impossible.” For treatment, she was put on birth control. If that didn’t control her symptoms, she would undergo hormone therapy. I cannot find any follow-up studies on this poor girl (see photograph below).
An August 2019 study published in the American Journal of Dermatopathology was of a 41-year-old woman who complained of a growth on her upper right eyelid for six months. It did not present any symptoms. It was a small (1x4mm) reddish blotch. It was biopsied and she received a diagnosis of cutaneous endometriosis. Upon further questioning, she admitted to painful periods. The authors stress that cutaneous endometriosis can form anywhere and is not limited to the belly button. If you’d like to read more about Endometriosis on your skin, I keep an updated blog entry of accounts.
Although not a diagnosis of Endometriosis on the eye, an abstract presented at the 15th Meeting of the European Neurological Society discussed a young woman who had complaints of a chronically dilated pupil, which was later disclosed as “Adie Tonic Pupil,” a neurological condition, which may be caused due to inflammation which affects the autonomic nervous system (which deals with your eyes). This 31-year-old woman underwent lab tests, which revealed elevated levels of Ca125 (a biomarker some believe may indicate the presence of Endometriosis), and abdominal CT scans, etc. After a mass was found on her ovary, she had laparoscopic surgery and Endometriosis was then confirmed. She underwent a regimen of hormone treatments and her Endometriosis symptoms receded…as did her Adie Tonic Pupil symptoms. The link between her Endometriosis and her pupil problems is unknown; however, Adie Tonic Pupil has been linked to several other autoimmune deficiencies. And several people believe that Endometriosis is an autoimmune deficiency. Obviously, more research is required.
Another interesting study published in 2014 discusses the possibility that there is a link between the color of your eyes and the possibility of having deep-penetrating Endometriosis. The study compared Endometriosis statistics in women with blue-gray eyes, hazel eyes, and brown eyes. Three categories were compared: 223 women with deep-penetrating Endometriosis, 247 women with ovarian endometriomas, and 301 women without a history of Endometriosis. “A statistically significant excess” of women with deep-penetrating Endometriosis had blue eyes. This may indicate that there is a link between the genes that determine eye color and Endometriosis. Or some people with blue eyes have a sensitivity to the sun and may be exposed to it less, decreasing their amounts of Vitamin D. Some studies suggest a possible link between Endometriosis development and Vitamin D deficiencies. As usual: it’s all hypothetical and additional research and study is required. But, it was an interesting study to read.
Have you heard of anyone having Endo on or near their eyes? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below 🙂
(Updated November 18, 2019)
15th Meeting of the European Neurological Society
Opthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Abstract, Jan. 2008) – Presumed Nasolacrimal Endometriosis
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa