RA and Eye Problems

Question

I have RA for two and a half years. The past week I have been waking up in the morning with pain under my eye. It even hurts to blink. After awhile the sorenss wears away and returns the next morning. I have no other sign like my eye is not red, itchy and my vision is fine. Because it wears off during the day and returns the next monring I was wondering if this could be connected to my RA or Plaquenil? What eye problems can a person get due to thier RA?

Answer

Patients with RA can get inflammation in the eye, either scleritis or uveitis. Symptoms may vary depending on the location of inflammation in the eye but usually the symptoms are pain and excessive tearing. Scleritis or episcleritis usually presents as redness in the eye. Plaquenil eye problems result in loss of vision without pain or redness. Dry eyes are common in RA. When in doubt, you should see an ophthalmologist.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University