Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dry Eyes and Rheumatoid Arthritis

While my joints have been taking a break from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, my eyes have not. A side effect of RA that isn't often talked about is dry eyes. Last time I saw my rheumatologist, she ran tests to rule out Sjogren's Syndrome. My optometrist recommended Restasis (used to help reproduce tears) at my eye exam in October when I complained that I was waking up at night with extremely dry eyes that burned when I added drops. My rheumatologist agreed with this recommendation. Restasis is a prescription eye drop and like many medications we take, it doesn't work immediately. After a month or two, I expected some relief, but it didn't happen. At six months, I still wake up with dry burning eyes. My very sweet optometrist spent a lot of time on the phone with me Monday discussing other options. He said that Restasis, like RA meds in general, don't work for everyone and I should have seen some improvement by now.  So, this week I will be moving on to new options. What works for you?