These Eyes: Dealing With Symptoms Beyond Joint Pain
Beyond the joints!
One day I was working away at my new job and I felt my eyes begin to sting and feel like something was stuck in them. I blinked and blinked and they just felt worse. I thought maybe I had been on the computer too long, but I had never experienced this feeling before in my eyes. I have worked at a desk job for most of my adult life. This was something totally new. So like always, when I got home I started to read about it. Knowledge is power.
Doing some research I found out that PsA can affect your eyes in lots of different ways. It can cause pink eye and/or dry eye (which is what my symptoms feel like). Also, about 7% of people with PsA can develop uveitis, which can affect one or both eyes and causes pain, redness, irritation and sometimes vision disturbances.1 As if joint pain and fatigue weren't enough! I have started marking on my calendar when my eyes are bothering me so I can explain it to my doctor and have a record of when it has occurred as this is a new symptom for me.
Treatment for dry eyes
I found out that you can use over the counter drops for dry eyes' and that you may have to try several different brands to see which one works best. So far, I have tried Visine and it seems to help. It's important to use something to help with dry eyes, as you risk causing abrasions on the eye surface. I do plan on visiting my doctor and letting her know about this new development to make sure I am doing all the right things.
Why does PsA affect the eyes?
Research shows that the inflammation that causes our joint pain and swelling, can also cause problems with the eyes - or at least that is what they think it causing issues with our eyes. It's important to be aware of the symptoms that can occur with our eyes because we are at risk for permanent damage to our vision. Just like we have periods where our joints are more achy and sore than usual, our eyes are the same. We may have intermittent episodes where our eyes are causing problems for us. For me, this is new and I hope it goes away and never returns. However, I'm guessing it will be like my joints and show up randomly and maybe disappear for months at a time.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?