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Does RA change your eyesight drastically over a short period of time? I have trifocals glasses.

My eyes seem to have gotten worse and better too.

Its really weird. I do not need the reading glasses part anymore, the distance view is as crappy as before, but the part where I use glasses for using the computer or laptop has gone worse.

When I drive I have problems reading the TomTom screen. But can still see the distance ahead when driving.

When weeding up close I need to take the glasses off as I can see better without them.

I just got these glasses about 9 months ago, and they worked better then than now.

9 Replies

Hiya, me here! Inflammation of the eyes can happen with RD. I'd have them checked again, particularly if your other problems started after your last eye exam. Some RD meds can cause issues with eyesight but as you're not taking any that's not an issue here. Oddly enough although I'm shortsighted my distance vision has improved & now need glasses for close work, go figure!


Reading earthwitch's reply I should have added if you think it's necessary, even though you haven't had an official diagnosis, request a test from an optometrist (if you're intending to make your own appointment). He has the ability & is qualified to refer you to an ophthalmologist. The major high street opticians have up to date testing equipment but unfortunately some of the independents can't afford the very expensive machines to detect some problems so be choosy, it may save time & money.


Untreated inflammatory conditions of eyes (scleritis, iritis and others) can lead to eyesight problems, and do go along with some other autoimmune conditions - iritis being particularly common with spondyloarthritis for example. Also, some of the meds can cause eye side effects - hydroxychloroquine in particular can be a nasty one. Anyone with an autoimmune condition would be well advised to have regular eye checks, preferably from an opthalmologist or optician who understands the problems caused by autoimmune conditions and who has the appropriate equipment for really examining both the surface of the eye, and inside the eye (slit lamps, etc).

In your case, it might be worth asking your GP if you should be referred for an opthalmology check. An opthalmologist is a medical doctor who deals with eyes and will be able to do all the testing necessary to make sure there is nothing happening that is related to your RA or your treatment. An optician doesn't usually have either the same skill or knowledge, or the same equipment available, though some opticians (in Scotland anyway) do emergency eye exams and do have slit lamps. If your eyes become painful, or suddenly very red, or very light sensitive, don't delay but just get yourself to an emergency eye clinic - if you say you have an autoimmune condition they should give you a same day appointment.


This is really weird, your post put some light on my problem.

Last year my usual optician found something in my eye or thought he found something and sent me to have it checked at the hospital. I went and there the doctor said nothing is wrong. Its because I have these grey rings around my eyes (from high cholesterol) and some white grey stuff moving into the centre or the eye on one eye. But he said its nothing to worry about.

I have high Cholesterol of the good fat which is evening it out with the bad fat. (At least that is what I was told).

This is also the time my neck and shoulder pains were getting more frequent and I wanted better glasses to use the computer screens better. Because I was pulling the screens really close to my face to be able to read. Everyone kept telling me that because the screen was so close to me that is why my shoulders hurt. I got bifocals but just could not get used to them.

I think it was the Spondilitys rearing its ugly head at that time for the second time. But I did not know what it was caused by. I just thought it was being stuck behind a desk in an unnatural position. GP's response was take some painkillers, it will pass....

In then went to a large Boots and got a very thorough eye test. Better than at the other optician or at the hospital. I then got the trifocals. that was about 9 months ago. I will go back and have another test done. In November. And then compare to see if any changes and if they are bad.

My eyes have always been light sensitive. In summer I squint or wear my sunglasses or my eyes continuously weep.


Thanks for the comments. I have read up on the other diseases. I think I understand it better now. Going to have another chat with my GP about the different type of issues I may be experiencing and how to go about sorting some of them out.


Just had a may be worth investigating progressive lenses, far less messing about if your eyesight has changed enough to warrant them.


My problem is that one eye is damaged when I got run over as a small kid. So all my lenses are different. I cannot get anything from off the shelve.


No, they're just a different type of prescription lenses, not off the shelf ones. My h has them & they're graduated in power as your vision changes. This site, although specific to one make, explains the difference


OK thanks, I followed the link, a lot of info. Thats going to be a big learning curve. I will read up on it at the weekend. All of sunday will be dedicated to researching my ailments (laughs). I want to make sure when I speak to my GP (well any GP as I never get to see the same one), that the correct tests are requested.

Blocking off a couple of days in my diary for the blood tests and the eye test.


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