Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease affecting the vertebrae of the spine, sometimes the ribs, and sometimes other parts of the body, including the eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Signs and symptoms of the disease in its early stages can include stiffness and pain in the lower back and hips.
At the onset of the disease, these symptoms of pain may be worse in the morning and after spells of inactivity, explains the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms show irregular patterns over the course of the disease, sometimes worsening, sometimes easing and even sporadically ceasing completely.
Sufferers of anklyosing spondylitis are most likely to experience symptoms at the intersection of the spine and the pelvis; in the vertebrae of the lower back, which may fuse together; at places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones; in the hip and shoulder joints; and in the cartilage that lies between the breastbone and the ribs.
Because the condition can affect the eye, symptoms such as red eye, extreme sensitivity to light or blurred vision may also be experienced. In case of these symptoms, individuals should contact a doctor immediately. A doctor may use X-rays or an MRI to test for changes to the bones and joints that are not visible to the naked eye.