RA and Your Eyes: What You Need to Know
By Donna Fennessy Reviewed by Alexa Meara, MD
Rheumatoid arthritis is known for joint pain, but it can also affect other parts of the body, including your eyes. Learn which rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and eye issues are most common, and how to manage them.
Some common eye conditions, like the ones described below, may affect people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). But there are steps to take to safeguard eye health and avoid permanent damage.
“RA can be associated with extra-articular [meaning outside the joint] manifestations, and dry eyes are one of the most common problems,” says Ana-Maria Orbai, MD, instructor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “A person with dry eyes might experience itching, a sand-like sensation in the eyes, and redness.” They may also notice a lack of moisture or tears in the eyes, as well as blurred vision.
Although many people turn to over-the-counter eye drops for relief, the best treatment for dry eyes is prescription drops, which you can get from your ophthalmologist, Dr. Orbai says. A doctor who specializes in medical care of eyes, whereas an optometrist focuses primarily on vision problems, this eye MD can prescribe the right kind of eye medication for different uses (day versus night, for instance).
If you decide to go the over-the-counter route, avoid eye-drop products that have preservatives or vasoconstrictive agents, such as some from Visine and Clear Eyes, which often promise to relieve redness or “take the red out,” Orbai explains……..
Source: Everyday Health