What is Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid
Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid is a rare, chronic, blistering and scarring disease that affects the oral and ocular mucosa. Other mucosal sites that might be affected include the nasopharnyx, larynx, genitalia, rectum, and esophagus. The condition usually begins in late adulthood (e.g. 50’s or 60’s), affects more women than men, and has a variable prognosis. Scarring of the affected mucosa of the eye may lead to blindness and tends to be the most feared complication. A combination of environmental and genetic factors appear to play a role in the susceptibility of developing cicatricial pemphigoid. Although the specific causes of this condition have not been identified, it is considered an autoimmune disease that is characterized by the production of autoantibodies.
Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP) is a form of mucous membrane pemphigoid (a group of rare, chronic autoimmune disorders) that affects the eyes. In the early stages, people with OCP generally experience chronic or relapsing conjunctivitis that is often characterized by tearing, irritation, burning, and/or mucus drainage. If left untreated, OCP can progress to severe conjunctiva scarring and vision loss. Involvement of other mucosal sites and the skin may also occur in OCP. The exact underlying cause is currently unknown. The treatment of OCP aims to slow disease progression and prevent complications. This usually involves long-term use of medications called immunomodulators which help regulate or normalize the immune system.
This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
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