What is Cogan syndrome?
Cogan syndrome is an autoimmune disease that impacts the eyes and inner ears. It is characterized by symptoms like irritation, decreased vision, and hearing loss.
What are the symptoms of Cogan syndrome?
Symptoms typically begin in adolescence or early adulthood, and they revolve around the eyes and inner ears. Optical symptoms include redness, excessive tear production, decreased vision, irritation, pain, and sensitivity to light. Swelling is also common. In terms of the ears, symptoms include hearing loss, vertigo, and ringing in the ears.
At times, the blood vessels are also impacted, which brings other symptoms. This results in symptoms like muscle cramping and pain, diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, and fever. In rare cases, heart murmurs or other defects occur.
What causes Cogan syndrome?
The exact cause of this syndrome is unknown, but medical professionals know that it is an autoimmune disease. Therefore, it happens because the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. It is not thought to be passed through families.
How is Cogan syndrome diagnosed?
Doctors will look for the characteristic symptoms and then exclude similar conditions like Lyme disease or syphilis. To do so, doctors will use blood tests, analyze liver function, and conduct a urinalysis.
What are the treatments for Cogan syndrome?
It is important to seek treatment, as Cogan syndrome can result in permanent vision and hearing loss. Treatment consists of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents. If there is damage to the blood vessels, surgery may be necessary.
Surgeries or other methods to treat vision and hearing loss may also be helpful, such as cochlear implants.