Image of various shapes and sizes of eyes.

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.

Our eyes

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
View References
  1. Collins, Cliff. Uveitis: A Threat to Eyesight. Accessed on June 14, 2018 at https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/uveitis-eye-inflammation-linked-to-psoriasis-psoriatic-arthritis.

Comments

View Comments (5)
  • imschmarte
    6 months ago

    Hi Carrie! Definitely check with your doctor. I have an auto-immune disease called Sjogrens disease, and it affects the eyes, and other mucous membranes, and can cause so many other problems. When I am having a flare, my eyes hurt so bad, I don’t want to open them, and it is all due to dryness. My ophthalmologist recommends Systane ultra, but you can ask yours what he recommends. The sad part is, like most autoimmunes, this one too is hard to diagnose. It can act like so many other diseases. I hope and pray for you this is something that will go away and stay away. After ‘collecting’ 5 of my own autoimmunes, I hope this is not the case for you. Good luck to you!

  • Mr Benn
    6 months ago

    Ditto. Dumb Doctors took so long to fix I nearly went blind!

  • Rojo
    6 months ago

    I have had dry eye episodes for four years. Far more dryness than Lasix surgery would have caused. The rheumatologist I see says it’s very likely inflammation related. She also recommended warm compresses when my eyes ache. The compresses work well and provide some decent relaxation time. I now use a sleep mask at night and notice improved eye health upon waking. The OTC eye drops have gone from episodic to daily use. I am much more attentive to taking eye breaks when using LED screens as well as using clear UV blocking glasses.

  • Cece85
    6 months ago

    In addition to OTC eye drops my eye doctor recommended warm compresses twice a day. This helps increase the natural oil that mixes with tears. I use a gel-filled mask that you warm up in the microwave (or hot water) for 15 seconds. This helps a lot. He also suggested an OTC supplement for eye health.

  • lydiamene
    6 months ago

    I am one of those that have issues with the eyes. When I have alot of pain (let me say joint pain) because I have Lupus also, then I know I will wake up with the crusty eye. I have such a good Dr. though and he keeps me updated on my eye drop prescription. I also have trouble with my ears at times. Knowledge is power. Good Luck and have a blessed day.

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