These are the signs of arthritis - that can be found in your eyes

Our eyes can reveal a lot about our health – including signs of serious eye diseases or conditions such as arthritis.

By Leanne Clarke
Friday, 4th March 2022, 10:49 am

As well as checking for changes to your vision, an optometrist can spot signs of conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts as well as wider health concerns such as high blood pressure and in extreme cases, tumours.

However, what is not widely known is that optometrists can spot symptoms of arthritis.

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, said: "As well as causing inflammation of the joints, some autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause inflammation in the eyes.

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Our eyes can reveal a lot about our health – including signs of serious eye diseases or conditions such as arthritis.

"This inflammation usually leads to dry eye but occasionally it can cause more serious conditions like inflammation of the white part of your eyes (sclera), which can lead to scleritis.

"Other symptoms can include double vision and drooping eyelids."

This is because the eye is made up of tissues that are very similar to those of joints, meaning diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, which affect the joints, can also affect the eyes.

Mr Edmonds said: "We recommend you have a routine eye test at least every two years to monitor your eye health over time. Although if you are concerned about any changes in your vision, it’s important to book an eye test to get them looked at.

"Your optometrist will be able to carry out a number of different tests to spot any signs of an autoimmune eye condition and may also recommend that you have an optical coherence tomography scan (OCT scan).

"This will allow them to see what is going on beneath the surface of the eye and can help detect conditions in their early stages which may not have presented any symptoms."