Rheumatoid Arthritis & Eye Problems What does arthritis have to do with your eyes? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease characterized by swelling and irritation. The inflammation of RA occurs when your body's defense system (immune system) attacks your own body tissues instead of foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. Most of these attacks occur in your joints, but RA inflammation can also affect other parts of your body, including your eyes. In fact, your eyes are especially vulnerable. Some of the more common eye complications of rheumatoid arthritis include dry eyes, scleritis-an inflammation of the “white” of your eye-which is uncomfortable and even painful, iritis-an inflammation of the colored part of the eye or the iris, or uveitis, an inflammation of the middle lining inside the eye that supplies blood to other internal structures. Any of these rheumatoid arthritis complications can requirement treatment to avoid at a minimum discomfort and more seriously vision loss. So, if you have been told you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience dry eyes, redness, pain, or changes in your vision, you should make sure to see us for a diagnosis and treatment if needed.