Psoriatic Arthritis and Uveitis
There is so much information on psoriasis and the comorbidities that come along with it. Psoriatic arthritis is one of those comorbidities. "Comorbidity" is the term used to describe other medical issues that happen on top of an initial diagnosis. In just the way that psoriatic arthritis is a comorbidity of psoriasis, it also goes for the other; psoriasis is a comorbidity of psoriatic arthritis.
However, did you know that psoriatic arthritis can affect your eyes as well? It can cause a condition called uveitis. I speak of this because I battle this on a daily basis. Psoriatic arthritis brings me moments of being worried about what the future holds, such as how bad it will get. I have to admit, I am very diligent in having my eyes checked every year. Uveitis is nothing to take lightly. It makes me scared that one day my eyesight might not be there.
Psoriatic arthritis can cause uveitis
Bet you never thought psoriatic arthritis can cause uveitis! Believe me when I say I didn't know it was possible either. Uveitis is the inflammation of your inner eye. The inner liner around your eye becomes affected. It can cause your eyes to be red and very dry. You might also have blurred vision.1,2
Ever see floaters as they are called when you are looking at something? Floaters are the little bubbles you see dancing around your eyes. Eye pain is another symptom of uveitis.2,3
Is it a serious condition? It can be. Just like psoriatic arthritis can be serious if left untreated, the same is true of uveitis. If left untreated it can lead to blindness. It depends on how bad of a case of uveitis you have. Only an optometrist can diagnose it.2
My diagnosed case of uveitis
For years, I have times when my eyes are extremely red. It feels like there is sandpaper in there. Every time I blink it hurts. I have the floaters that I mentioned earlier.
On one such episode with my eye, I decided I better see my optometrist so he could see firsthand what was going on. I was surprised when he told me that my psoriatic arthritis was putting pressure on my eyes from the inside. I was floored. Never would I have ever thought that this was possible.
I know how badly psoriatic arthritis has impacted my back. Now I am being told it is infecting my eyes as well! In my case, he felt it was not severe enough to be treated with prescribed medications. He told me to use an over-the-counter eye drop. I have to put the drops in three times a day.
Eye care is important
Psoriatic arthritis is important to treat because of permanent joint damage that cannot be reversed. Your eye care is just as important. It should go without saying that you only have the eyes you were born with. Once permanent damage is done to them there is no turning back.
Uveitis as a comorbidity of psoriatic arthritis is something we should all take seriously. Make sure your doctor knows that you have psoriatic arthritis along with any other medical conditions you have. It is detrimental for an optometrist to know upfront what you are dealing with. Please take my advice on this. Your eyesight depends on it.
Learning the comorbidities that come with PsA
When I was first diagnosed with psoriasis, I was never told that developing psoriatic arthritis would be a possibility. Now with psoriatic arthritis comes uveitis to cause problems!
Please make sure to have yearly appointments to get your eyes checked. I realize that it is another doctor in a long line of doctors, however, your eyesight is important to the extent that you should care about yearly check-ups.
I am not saying that it will stop uveitis from happening. It will, however, stop permanent damage that could be done in the long-term. Who knows--if I hadn't waited, maybe I wouldn't have to be putting eye drops in my eyes three times a day to keep psoriatic arthritis from causing my problems. Be proactive now that you know it can happen.
Have you had a similar experience? Share your story with us!
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