Rheumatoid arthritis affecting my eyes

Meli Member Posts: 11
edited 6. Oct 2021, 11:53 in Living with arthritis

Hi, just wondering if anyone else has experience of dry eyes as one of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed with RA a few months ago. I only have to look at my phone screen for a short while and I can tell. I wake up in the night to use the bathroom and my eyes feel gritty. I use an eye mask which I put in microwave to heat up as sometimes my eyes can ache. Tried various lubricating eye drops that give relief when I first put them in but it doesn't seem to last long. Can't wear my contact lenses anymore. Also I'm round the age of the menopause which I know doesn't help . Can anyone recommend any good long lasting eye drops?


Meli x


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271

    R.A. can, indeed, affect the eyes and this is something that requires your rheumatologist not just eye drops. Your meds might need tweaking a bit. Ring your rheumatology heline for advice.

    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Meli
    Meli Member Posts: 11

    Hi, thanks for your reply, I did mention it to my rheumatologist and she just said to get some dry eye drops. My Dr won't even let me have any on prescription. She said that they are not allowed to give over the counter items on prescription so I am having to buy them every fortnight and I am entitled to free prescriptions.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271

    If your rheumatologist is aware of the problem and happy for you to use eye drops then I suggest you ask your local pharmacist for a suitable type. Your GP is right. They are not supposed to prescribe OTC meds. See here https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/medicines/why-cant-i-get-prescription-over-counter-medicine/

    if drops don't help perhaps make an optician's appointment to check that there is no actual damage.. Best to limit your screen time as that's not great for eyes.

    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • kathleenT
    kathleenT Member Posts: 3,385

    Many people with RA (myself included) find themselves blessed? With a secondary condition, Sjogren’s Syndrome (pronounced Shergren’s) your rheumatologist should aware of this and advise you accordingly. Versus Arthritis has some excellent information about SS and so does BSSA (British Sjogren’s Society), All the best.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Moderator Posts: 393

    Just leaving a link to our information on Sjogren’s Syndrome for @kathleenT :