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Did you know that arthritis affects your eyesight?

Most people associate the inflammation of some joints with arthritis, so they do not think that inflammation of the eyes can develop because of it, since it is usually expected that they will develop in other parts of the body and not as in these cases in the eyes.

Any inflammatory disorder that affects collagen, the main component of connective tissue, can damage the sclera (sclera), the white outer layer of the eye, and the cornea that allows light to pass through, as they are basically made up of collagen.

These are four disorders related to various types of arthritis:

Dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca, xerophthalmia)

The eye, for various reasons, including the ingestion of some drugs or damage to the tear-producing glands, is unable to maintain an adequate film of moisture that covers it. This film not only lubricates the eye, but also protects it from external particles and is necessary for good vision.

Dry eye syndrome is the most common ophthalmological manifestation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Women are the most affected with this condition.

Scleritis (inflammation of the sclera)

The sclera, the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed due to inflammatory processes, causing it or the cornea to thin, which makes it susceptible to minor traumas that can break them.

The symptoms of this condition are redness that does not respond to treatments with free-shelf drops as they come, sharp and deep pain, hypersensitivity to light and sometimes deterioration of vision.

In some cases the treatment for scleritis may be corticosteroid eye drops to control inflammation, but often the problem lies inside the eye to be treated with topicals. Scleritis usually indicates that inflation is rampant, not only in the eyes, but in the rest of the body, which is why it is essential to keep arthritis under control.


Eye disorders that result in damage to the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. High pressure inside the eyeball is often the cause, but not always. In a healthy eye, a nutritious fluid in the front of the eye called aqueous humor flows and is kept regulated by a drainage valve known as the trabecular meshwork. If this becomes inflamed, intraocular pressure can increase to the point of causing glaucoma.

The symptoms of glaucoma can appear in eye pain, blurred vision or black spots, rainbow-like halos around lights can be the symptoms of this disease. In the early stages, symptoms do not usually appear.

Regular eye exams can identify the problem in the early stages and improve the prognosis.


Inflammation of the eyeball can cloud the optical lens, which under normal conditions should be clear and is known as a cataract. Cloudy or blurred vision, decreased nighttime visibility, colors that appear faded are symptoms you may have if you have cataracts. Cataracts can be operated on, in which case the opaque lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic one.



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