Television station WRIC in Virginia ran a story recently about a woman who visited a local urgent care center as well as the emergency room after awaking one morning with eye pain and vision disturbances (including total vision loss in one eye). Various providers in both settings were stumped after ruling out conditions ranging from severe conjunctivitis to an unknown foreign body. After weeks of running from one doctor to the next, an optometrist suggested a relatively rare possibility that wound up being on the mark: tattoo-associated uveitis, in which the body has an inexplicable allergic reaction to the black ink in a tattoo. While it’s rare, cases have climbed as tattoos have become more commonplace in the United States. JUCM has published an article on unforeseen consequences of body art and a a two-part series on eye-related complaints in the urgent care setting. You can read Tattoos and Piercings: What the Urgent Care Provider Needs to Know, as well as Management of Ocular Complaints in Urgent Care: Part 1 and Part 2 in our archive right now.
Don’t Overlook Recent Tattoos as a Possible Cause for Hard-to-Explain Symptoms