Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Eyes

Image: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto immune condition in which the immune system mistakenly targets the joints. RA is a systemic disease that can affect the whole body. While most people think of arthritis as inflammation of only the joints research shows that inflammation causes damage to other parts of the body including the eyes.

RA as it relates to the eye may lead to conditions such as dry eye, scleritis or uveitis. RA damages the connective tissue, made mostly of collagen that covers the end of the bone joints, but collagen is also the primary substance of the eye’s sclera and cornea.

About 25% of RA patients will develop an eye problem. There are several common vision complications associated with RA:

  • Dry eye
  • Damage to the cornea
  • Infections like conjunctivitis
  • Inflammation of the sclera
  • Conjunctiva
  • Patients with RA are at a higher risk for developing cataracts

Diagnosis of RA requires a rheumatologist who will work closely with your eye care physician to manage problems with your eyes.

Some medications used to treat the RA has dry eye as a side effects. So that will also be addressed. The treatment plan will include trying to balance treatment for RA related eye conditions and side effects of the medication













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