Six Eye Problems Caused by Arthritis

Young woman having a medical examination at the optometrist's office to try and correct and eye problems.

Over 23% of American adults, or 54 million people, have arthritis. It’s a disease that can cause swelling and severe pain in different areas of the body. It’s commonly believed that arthritis only affects the joints. This includes the knees, hips, hands or feet. But arthritis can affect other areas of the body, too. Learn about six eye problems caused by arthritis.

  1. Dry eyes 

    People with arthritis often have dry eyes. In some cases, the problem is caused by Sjogren’s syndrome. This is an immune disorder connected to rheumatoid arthritis. Eye doctors may treat Sjogren’s with medications, over-the-counter eye drops or surgery. Many people with dry eyes complain they can’t focus on the words when reading. Learn more.

  1. Scleritis  

    The outer wall tissue of the eye is called the sclera. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it’s a problem called scleritis. Common symptoms are blurred vision, pain, light sensitivity and red eyes. Inflammation also can thin the sclera, so it can tear open if the eye is injured.

  1. Glaucoma  

    Arthritis can increase the pressure of fluid in the eye, a disease called glaucoma. This eye problem can damage the optic nerves in the eyes, resulting in blurry vision and pain. Most people don’t notice changes in their vision until it already has damaged their eyes. Catch it early with annual eye exams.

  1. Cataracts  

    People with inflammatory arthritis can develop cataracts in their eyes. Cataracts are usually found in older adults, making their normal vision look cloudy. An eye surgeon can fix this problem by removing the cataract from each eye and replacing it with an artificial lens. Learn about a new type of cataract lens that improves vision, reducing the need for prescription eyeglasses.

  1. Conjunctivitis 

    Pink eye, called conjunctivitis, is an inflammation or infection. It occurs in the white part of the eye. The small blood vessels can become inflamed, so the white part of the eye, or eyes, look pink or reddish. It’s also contagious, which can be a problem for children during playtime.

  1. Uveitis 

    Arthritis can cause inflammation in the uvea, the tissue behind the retina. Symptoms of this eye problem, called uveitis, are light sensitivity, blurry vision and eye pain.Many people put off scheduling regular eye exams. But yearly vision exams can catch problems early. Review seven reasons why it’s essential to visit the eye doctor to keep your eyes healthy and make sure your vision is clear.

American Academy of Ophthalmology
Medical News Today