Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Eye and Vision Care

Episcleritis in Rheumatoid Arthritis

05/21/2009

Question:

I 48 yr old female have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 6 yrs back.I have been having recurrent episodes of redness on temporal side of my right eye, without symptoms of watering, foreign body sensation or pain.do i have episcleritis?I have been told that this is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, is that true?Does this indicate any progression of arthritis in my case?How do i treat it?What are the possible complications?

Answer:

I can not diagnose your condition over the internet. Any red eye should be evaluated by your eye doctor to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment.

As far as the rest of your questions...

Yes -  recurrent episcleritis can be associated with rheumatoid arthritis as well as a host of other systemic conditions. Thus the first step in cases of recurrent episcleritis is to try and determine if there is an underlying cause (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and to treat this condition. Only your doctors can determine if any changes in your current treatment are recommended.

There are a couple of options when it comes to treating the episcleritis itself. One option is to just wait it out and allow the condition to clear up on its own. Using artificial tears can help with any associated discomfort. A final option is to prescribe a steroid eye drop. Using a steroid drop typically lessens discomfort and leads to a faster recovery. 

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Andrew J Toole, OD, PhD, FAAO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University