Some of the ocular complications of rheumatoid arthritis can cause significant ocular discomfort, but others are serious threats to vision.
A 58-year-old woman presented with a six-month history of progressively uncomfortable eyes. She described a foreign body sensation, a ‘burning’ feeling and ocular tiredness; both eyes were equally troublesome. She also complained of intermittently blurred vision, which she could improve by blinking.
Specific questioning revealed that her symptoms were exacerbated by prolonged reading and windy weather, and that her mouth often felt dry. She had recently bought some over-the-counter eyedrops ‘for red eyes’ and felt they gave some relief, but only for a few minutes.