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Question:
What tests are given to detect Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada Syndrome (or VKH, a complex autoimmune disease that can affect the eyes)?

Answer:
There are no specific tests that detect VKH. The diagnosis is made by confirming the presence of a number of symptoms, especially changes in the eye and hearing.

The early symptoms are flu-like with headache, generalized ill feeling, and gastrointestinal distress. In the next stage, symptoms include hearing alteration and vision changes in both eyes, which include light sensitivity and diminution of vision. The ophthalmologist will observe inflammation in the eye (uveitis), which can be destructive. If the diagnosis is made at this point, this disease will be treated with anti-inflammatories, usually steroids which can limit permanent damage. Hearing frequently is almost fully restored and vision commonly is mostly restored with islands of spotty loss. The skin may have patches of depigmentation (vitiligo) which remain after the condition runs its course. VKH is found more often in women, Asians and Hispanics. But overall it is a very uncommon condition.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: Eye Diseases

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Answered: Jun 10, 2014

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