Research shows that the same arthritic inflammation that causes joint problems might also cause damage in other areas of your body, including your vision. One Arthritis Today reader asked us how psoriatic arthritis can lead to potential vision problems. Read on to find out more about what causes these complications and how to treat them, with answers from an expert rheumatologist in Toronto
Question From a Reader:
I have psoriatic arthritis and often hear that it can lead to eye and vision problems. What are these problems and is there anything I can do to avoid them?
Answer From Dafna D. Gladman, MD, rheumatologist at Toronto Western Hospital:
About 7% of people with psoriatic arthritis develop uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye, which provides most of the retina’s blood supply. Uveitis is also associated with spondyloarthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Symptoms may include blurred vision, eye pain, redness, light sensitivity and the presence of dark, floating spots in the vision field. Uveitis must be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist and treated appropriately in order to prevent complications such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and vision loss. Treatment for uveitis may include corticosteroid eye drops, oral corticosteroids and/or or immunosuppressive medications such as traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic agents. Treated properly, uveitis can go away, but relapses may occur. It is possible that controlling the underlying disease prevents uveitis, although this has not been proven.