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What are the symptons of an eye problem with GCA?

This morning I had an ‘odd’ feeling in my eye and, looking in the mirror, the left third of the eye looked a bit watery. It wasn’t painful and didn’t feel like an infection and I wondered if this might be a ‘flare’ of some sort, so perhaps I should go to the local A & E department. But first I ‘phoned Winchester Rheumatology Advice Line having been given a leaflet about it. That didn’t help much as they had an ansaphone. I left my name and address and am still waiting for them to call back.

I wasn’t keen on driving to the Eye section of Southampton A & E by myself, but didn’t want to drag my husband down there, so was persuaded that I was being over-anxious and let matters rest. Several hours later the eye is normal.

What symptons should I be looking for? Double vision, presumably? Lost or misty sight? Any pain or other odd feeling?

I was diagnosed with GCA in January 2013 and am in the first week of reducing from 11.5mg to 10.5mg by the slow method. I had double vision for the first three weeks or so when I was diagnosed and was told that I had damaged the third cranial nerve (Oculomotor). I had an eye test last month and the optician (Spec Savers), who knew about GCA, said that the optic disc was OK.

3 Replies

Trenny, I doubt your "watery eye" was due to a flare - perhaps you'd been in a draught previously, or possibly suffering from a bit of 'dry eye' (that can result in a watery feeling).

As to "what symptoms to be looking for" - blurred vision, eye/temple/jaw pain (on chewing), or a return of whatever symptoms you experienced pre-diagnosis.

I'm glad to hear that your watery eye resolved after just a few hours.


I was diagnosed with PMR/GCA in December 2013. Unrelated to that diagnosis, I previously had shingles in my right forehead area. The virus settled in my right eye, so I continue to use one drop of Prednisolone in that eye daily. I went to my Opthamologist again last week and was told my right eye is doing okay. The doc was emphatic that I should also use daily eyedrops (Tears, Systane, etc) for dry eyes to alleviate the blurry/double-vision that I was experiencing caused by dry eyes. He said it's very important/helpful for people as they age, especially those of us with GCA.


Many thanks to everyone for your support. I'll buy some 'Artificial Tears' or whatever - good suggestion.


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