(LifeWire) - Psoriasis is more than just a skin disease. It can cause joint damage, known as psoriatic arthritis, and it has been linked to cardiovascular risk, including heart attacks. Psoriasis can also affect your eyes.
Eye problems may be directly related to flare-ups around the eyes. But psoriasis can also lead to problems within the eye itself -- problems that when left untreated can cause permanent vision loss.
Flare-ups Around the Eyes
Although it is relatively rare, flare-ups near the eyes can be especially painful and hard to treat. Scales and dryness may cause the edges of the eyelids to curve up or down, which may produce drying of the cornea or allow the eyelashes to scrape the cornea of the eye.
In such cases, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends the following:
Dermatologists will sometimes prescribe low-potency steroids for use on the eyelids. This is appropriate, but because of the risk of cataracts and glaucoma, patients should not continue use of these steroids beyond the time recommended by their doctor. Protopic (tacrolimus) has also been shown to be very effective for treatment of eyelid psoriasis.
Uveitis and Iritis
Uveitis and iritis frequently arise as a complication of a disease, such as psoriatic arthritis or lupus, in which the body's immune system attacks its own healthy tissue.
Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye's surface. The uvea includes the iris, the colored area at the front of the eye. When uveitis is localized at the front of the eye, it's called iritis (or anterior uveitis). Uveitis can also be localized to the ciliary body, which produces aqueous humor -- the fluid that fills the eye. Uveitis can also be localized to the choroid, which is the small blood vessels behind the retina.
Symptoms of uveitis can include:
A diagnosis can only be made after an examination by an ophthalmologist, who'll also look for any concurrent problems in the eye, such as cataracts or glaucoma.
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When I researched the post about RA and Eye Problems, I was looking specifically for issues directly related to RA or JIA. I didn't expand the search to include psoriatic arthritis. However, as V points out there are serious complications which are possible. It is important to talk about these things with your opthalmologist and rheumatologist. If you experience any new problems in or around your eyes, please see the doctor quickly.
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