In a large majority of cases, sympathetic disease develops from two to eight weeks after a penetrating wound in the ciliary region, particularly when the iris, the ciliary body or the capsule of the lens has been lacerated. Reports have appeared of longer intervals before the disease manifested itself, especially when intra-ocular foreign bodies had been retained. When an injured eye has been free from inflammatory reaction for months or years, the subsequent appearance of inflammation in the second eye without a history of flare-ups or attacks of pain in the injured eye should be regarded as an independent condition, probably of constitutional origin and therefore not directly related to sympathetic ophthalmia. Schirmer,1 Vignaux,2 Sulzer,3 Weeks4 and Knapp5 have reported cases as sympathetic ophthalmia in which the condition occurred fifteen, twenty-eight, thirty-seven, forty-two and forty-five years, respectively, after trauma.
The case reported
SMITH JW. SYMPATHETIC OPHTHALMIAREPORT OF A CASE OCCURRING FORTY-EIGHT YEARS AFTER INJURY. Arch Ophthalmol. 1929;2(2):169–173. doi:10.1001/archopht.1929.00810020176005