RA & dry eyes

Hi not posted here for ages, but had post op check up for cataract op yesterday , although the op was very successful I have dry eyes, the doc said this is because I have RA, & that I must use eye drops regularly as if untreated this could cause damage to my sight,having checked the nhs site & found no information there, I wondered if anyone else had heard of this?

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  • Yes. I have terribly bad dry eyes. It got so bad one time there was a tear on the surface and was excruciatingly painful. See the eye doctor and get drops. I have had RA for eight years and was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome a couple of years later. It started with dry eyes and now I have dry mouth too especially at night when I sleep. Talk to your rhuemy. 😊

    Take care.

    Cas xx 🌸

  • Hi there I am glad your operation went well , I am sorry to hear you are suffering with dry eyes . This tends to be quite common with people with RA and it is probably worth you speaking to your Rheumatologist as some people can develop Sjogren's syndrome. Here is a link to our website which can explain it in more detail. nras.org.uk/ocular-manifest... .

    I hope this helps. take care Alison

  • I agree speak to your Rheumy about your symptoms, it could be Sjogrens or something else, but best to get it check. I have Sjogrens it affects my eyes and my nose. They are very dry, get very sore. Especially with your eyes its important to keep them moist, I have Lacrilube gel to put I at night and drops for through out the day. Also speak to your GP. Good luck lovely. X

  • Thank you all so much, I appreciate all your help, the doctor I saw yesterday was very helpful,& gave me eye drops,I will speak to my rheumy nurse( who is brilliant) I had no idea the dry eyes was connected to RA til now,once again thank you. X GillianX

  • Yes. I had it called Sicca syndrome (sicca meaning dry in latin). I've also been told by my optician to use regular eyedrops frequently and try not to let my eyes get to the point where they feel dry.

  • Hi. Glad the op went well. I have dry eyes too and know how uncomfortable it is. I have had to use drops for years now, also have a dry throat. I have always to have a drink when I am eating because I choke. I also have to use Blaphasol lotion twice a day for permanemnt blepharitis. I was prescribed (by Optician) Thealoz eye drops that don't contain a preservative. I have never been diagnosed with sjorgen's but have suspected it. It is definitely related to RA because they are much worse when I have a flare up. I have also recently been told I have the start of a cataract in one eye and MD in another. Interestingly, I was told by the Optician that cataracts are caused by damage done before we are 18 years of age and that children should wear sunglasses from the age of 2 or 3. I hope you get on with your eyedrops.

  • Thanks Sheila, have had what feels like grit in my eyes for ages, seemed worse after cataract op, but the improvement in my sight was so good I felt it was worth it! But obviously was nothing to do with the op,(never even thought of dry eyes until I had the check up after the 1st op,but when I told the doc about it on Thursday,she examined the eyes further & that's when she told me it was due to the r a! But if you get the chance to have your cataract done, please do, the difference is just amazing! 😃👍 Gillian

  • Thanks Gillian. I think it is a long time off yet. Optician said it was very early stages and she wouldn't even have mentioned it a couple of years ago but they have to tell you the slightest thing now in case you sue them somewhere down the line. What awful times we live in. x

  • I've had Sjögren's syndrome since the early 1980s and use eye drops regularly. They work well. I use one without preservative though as I reacted to it.

    The other thing that can help is the hot flannel technique! Just hold a really hot (not so that it's uncomfortable of course) flannel against your eyes for a few minutes, before putting in your drops. Very soothing, and helps if you have blepheritis, inflammation of the eyelids, which also causes the eyes to feel sore and gritty.

  • Thank you Matilda, will try the hot flannel! One more thing, do you use sunglasses when out? Been advised to do so but unsure of what to get, was told cheaper ones could make it worse?

  • So sorry for the delay replying. I wear glasses, and have optical sunglasses which are also photochromic, ie they change colour depending how sunny it is. But I don't always wear them even when it's sunny, just depends! I would avoid sunglasses with very cheap lenses.

  • Hi Matilda, I have been so confused about the sunglasses, my husband is disabled & we live in the countryside so I am the driver! Have looked at the photo chromatic ones,but have been told they are not suitable for driving, think I will have to go to the opticians,ideally I would like some that are OK for driving and walking, which I do a lot of(three dogs) once again thank you so much for your help it is much appreciated. Gillian.

  • The optician sounds a very good idea. I do use my photochromics for driving but also have an ordinary pair handy!

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