Video Q & A:

RA Progression

Question:

How does RA affect the eyes?

Expert:   Harry D. Fischer, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Beth Israel Medical Center New York »

Rheumatoid arthritis causes eye conditions such as scleritis and uveitis. Find out what the symptoms are and why they develop.

Transcript: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, not just in your joints, but in other parts of your body, including – rarely -- your eyes. If RA DOES affect your eyes, they may become irritated, red, and sensitive. And your vision may become blurry. One type of eye complication is called uveitis. It affects the interior of the eye that contains a layer of blood vessels and connective tissue. Episcleritis, another eye-related complication, affects the membrane covering the white of your eye, and SCLERITIS affects the white of the eye itself. DRY eye—and dry mouth—are the most common side effects of SJOGREN’S syndrome, the disorder that kept Venus Williams out of the 2011 U.S. Open. It develops in 10 to 15 percent of people with RA In Sjogren’s, the immune system mistakenly attacks moisture-producing glands. Rarely, RA patients will develop dry eye syndrome. This means that they have a decrease in tear production. People with this syndrome often feel like there’s sand in their eyes. Remember, your risk for complications may be controlled effectively IF you manage RA with consistent treatment and therapy. For more answer to your rheumatoid arthritis questions, watch other videos in this series. More »

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