Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include joint pain, inflammation, and restricted movement. But the condition, which affects some 400,000 people in the UK, could also cause this feeling in your eyes: are you at risk?
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis diagnosed in the UK.
It is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints.
It can make the joints feel sore and swollen, and could even damage the cartilage or surrounding tendons.
You could also be at risk for the disease if you have particularly dry eyes, it has been revealed.
Dry eyes can be a warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis, according to the NHS.
The condition can cause severe inflammation in other parts of the body, not just the eyes.
It is this inflammation that can have an effect on the eyes and make them feel drier than normal, he said.
“The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often develop gradually over several weeks, but some cases can progress rapidly over several days,” said the NHS.
“Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily a condition that affects the joints.
“It can cause problems in any joint of the body, although the small joints of the hands and feet are often the first affected.
In addition to joint problems, some people with rheumatoid arthritis experience a variety of more general symptoms.
“The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes also cause problems that affect other areas of the body, such as dry eyes if the eyes are affected and chest pain if the heart or lungs are affected.”
Inflammation of the eyes can cause scleritis, or a condition known as Sjögren’s syndrome, he added.
Sjögrens syndrome is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the glands that secrete fluids, including the tear ducts.
If you are concerned that your eyes are feeling drier than normal, you should speak to a doctor as it could be caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Some of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, the NHS said.
Symptoms generally develop gradually, over a period of several weeks. They can come and go, and they can change from person to person.
The condition can be difficult to diagnose, as there are a number of conditions that cause joint stiffness and inflammation.
However, you should still speak to a GP if you have the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Patients may need long-term treatment to reduce symptoms and prevent joint damage.