- Powerful relief for RA dry eye- from the inside out
- Comprehensive protocol to restore and revive normal tears.
- No more drops
- Reduce joint pain naturally, no drugs
Why TheraLife® Eye Autoimmune?
Eye drops treat from the eye surface. TheraLife therapy is oral relief from the inside out.
TheraLife® has developed an oral formula that regulates autoimmune diseases through “immune-modulation.” Immune modulation refers to medical intervention to alter the body’s immune response when not performing correctly. TheraLife® Eye Autoimmune reduces inflammation and relieves clinical symptoms.
Why TheraLife Protocol?
TheraLife Eye Autoimmune capsules relieve dry eye syndrome, especially in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s.
TheraLife’s Autoimmune Protocol covers dry eyes and blepharitis, MGD, and inflammation simultaneously to restore normal tear production. TheraLife succeeds where eye drops fail.
Can RA Cause Dry Eye?
Rheumatoid arthritis affect the tissue in and around your eye through inflammation. The ocular manifestations of RA are dry eye. The most common ocular involvement of rheumatoid arthritis is the inflammation of the meibomian glands around your eyes, which causes abnormalities in the tear film and poor-quality tears. Dry eye in rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the sclera of your eyes, resulting in redness and pain.
How do I Know if RA is Causing My Dry Eye?
Consult with your eye doctor, receive an eye examination and get professional medical advice. You know you have rheumatoid arthritis and begin experiencing fewer tears like dry eye symptoms. In that case, your arthritis is most likely the cause of your condition. It is important to consult with an eye doctor before seeking treatment options.
Complications of Dry Eye in RA – Cornea Abrasion
Evidence suggests that rheumatoid arthritis dry eyes are associated with cornea abrasion. This ocular surface inflammation compromises tear secretion and cause ocular surface disease and other ocular manifestations. Using steroids along with conventional dry eye therapy is often used.
Diagnosis of Dry Eye in RA
Seek medical advice diagnosis or treatment from your eye doctor. They will take a close look at your eyes. In some cases, they might take a small sample of fluid, pus, or other material from your eye.
You may need a special eye doctor called an ophthalmologist to pinpoint your dry eye problem. An arthritis doctor called a rheumatologist might help assess your RA. Together, these two doctors can figure out which treatment is best for you.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a highly inflammatory disease that can lead to joint destruction, deformity, and loss of function. RA prevalence is 1% and occurs in twice as many women as men. RA can cause irreversible joint damage and significant disability. One of the key problems with RA is chronic dry eye.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
The etiology of RA remains unknown. It appears to involve the combination of repeated exposure to environmental factors and genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases.
Increased dryness in RA patients when:
- Increase with age,
- The severity of the disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis directly contributes to sicca, as evidenced by the increase in the risk of persistent oral and ocular dryness in RA compared to normal subjects.
Factors Influencing Dry Eye Disease
According to clinical and experimental ophthalmology, these factors will increase the likelihood of developing dry eyes.
- Being age 50 and over. Tear production tends to start diminishing as you get older.
- Being a woman. A lack of tears is more common in women. Especially apparent due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, using birth control pills, or menopause.
- Eating a diet that is low in vitamin A or low in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Contact lens wear.
- Having a history of refractive surgery– LASIK.
If you currently have dry eyes, these are some of the effects it can have on your life.
- Eye infections. Without an adequate volume or quality of tears, you may have an increased risk of eye infection.
- Damage to the surface of your eyes. Dry eye may lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, corneal ulcers, and vision loss.
- Decreased quality of life. Dry eyes can make it challenging to perform various everyday activities and hinder almost every situation.
The most common eye-related symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is dryness. Dry eyes are prone to infection, and if untreated, severe dry eyes can cause damage to the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface of the eye that helps your eye focus. Dry eyes can also be a symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome — an autoimmune disorder often associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
More rarely, rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation in the white part (sclera) of your eyes, resulting in redness and pain.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience eye pain, vision changes, consult an eye doctor for an evaluation. Early treatment can help prevent vision-threatening complications.
Secondary Sjogren’s Syndrome
People with Sjogren’s have severe oral and ocular symptoms; salivary gland involvement with RA is secondary to Sjogren’s syndrome.
About 15 percent of people with RA develop a complication that affects the tear and salivary glands. It’s called Sjögren’s syndrome (SS). Resulting in dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, and additional symptoms that further aggravate their arthritis.
See more below
Conventional Treatments for dry eye in RA
You can treat dry eye caused by rheumatoid arthritis by using prescription eye drops, eyelid heating & compression, and focusing on the hygiene of your eyes. Your eye doctor can suggest more in-depth and specific treatment options.
The most common complaint about people with RA is a dry eye disease. The medical term for this is keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Inflammation from RA causes abnormalities in the tear glands (lacrimal), significantly reducing tear production.
The symptoms associated with dry eyes are more common in the latter part of the day when tears from the tear gland (systemic) have dried up and evaporated.
Other dry eye disease symptoms of this condition include redness, itchy eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and a feeling of debris in the eye.
People with RA often have severe dry eye issues.
Red eyes, along with RA, is most likely the result of scleritis or inflammation in the white part of the eye.
Redness from scleritis won’t go away with the use of eye drops. Scleritis also can cause pain in the eyes, light sensitivity, and reduced vision.
Uveitis is another possible complication of RA seen in the juvenile form of the disease.
Uveitis occurs when the uvea, the layer between the retina and the white of the eye, becomes inflamed. Symptoms include red eyes, pain, light sensitivity, gritty feeling, and blurred vision because the eyes are not producing enough tears.
(systemic juvenile inflammatory arthritis cause the majority of cases of uveitis in children. Uveitis is treatable but can cause blindness if ignored.
Uveitis and other eye inflammation can also cause floaters, which are dark spots that move across your field of vision.
You must get treatment if you have RA and dry eye symptoms. Untreated, dry eyes, scleritis, uveitis, or Sjogren’s can cause the cornea to become scratched, scarred, or ulcerated. Corneal damage can cause permanent loss of vision.
Dry Eye Related Arthritis and Other Diseases
Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease in the body’s mucous membranes, especially dry eyes and dry mouth. Immune system cells attack the lacrimal glands in the eye, resulting in not enough tears.
According to International Ophthalmology clinics, Primary Sjögren’s occurs without any other diseases; secondary Sjögren’s occurs along with other autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
About half of people with Sjögren’s have these other conditions, according to the American College of Rheumatology. A Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation survey revealed that dry eye symptoms were the most bothersome and activity-limiting aspect of Sjögren’s.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system starts attacking the joints, causing telltale inflammation, pain, and stiffness, often first in the small joints of the hands and feet. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis also have Sjögren’s or other eye-related issues. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, dry eye syndrome is the most common “ocular manifestation” of rheumatoid arthritis. One study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that 44 percent of RA patients surveyed had a diagnosis of dry eye disease.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system can attack multiple organs and systems, including the joints, skin, heart and blood vessels, kidneys, lungs, and brain. Eye manifestations of lupus are common; many people with lupus also have Sjögren’s syndrome and other eye-related issues. According to a study in the journal Rheumatology, dry eye is the most common way lupus affects the eyes, affecting about one-third of lupus patients. The study reports that symptoms are relatively mild (irritation, redness), but severe pain and visual loss may occur.
Also known as systemic sclerosis, scleroderma is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system attacks connective tissue, such as collagen in the skin, causing skin texture and appearance changes. But scleroderma can also affect other body parts, including blood vessels, muscles, and organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Research shows dry eye problems are common in people with scleroderma; research indicates it may affect anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of people.
Other Treatments for Dry Eye from RA and Autoimmune Diseases
First, suppose you have dry eye disease. In that case, it’s essential to see an eye doctor and your rheumatologist for a thorough evaluation. It’s not a good idea to attempt to self-treat your symptoms. Dry eyes can cause long-term damage if not treated correctly.
Inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune disorders can cause other eye issues in addition to dry eye. You need a professional evaluation to figure out what’s behind your symptoms and how to treat them optimally.
Medication, lenses, devices
Commonly used to treat dry eye disease based on your medical condition.
Over-the-counter artificial tears
People with mild symptoms may be able to use over-the-counter eye drops, also known as artificial tears (they come in gel or ointment form), which can help lubricate the eyes.
Topical cyclosporine (Restasis) eye drops
A prevalent prescription that helps relieve inflammation in the eye, which can, in turn, help boost tear production.
Lifitegrast (Xiidra) prescription drops
Lifitegrast also helps reduce inflammation in the eye and is a common prescription for those with an autoimmune disorder and dry eye.
Your doctor may also recommend corticosteroid eye drops. Corticosteroids should not be used for long periods because this can increase the risk of vision-related side effects such as glaucoma and cataracts.
These tiny inserts of the medication hydroxypropyl cellulose (Lacrisert) are like a slow-release version of artificial tears. Small inserts are to be placed in your eye (between your lower eyelid and eyeball) once a day.
Doctors put little plugs in the tear ducts — where the tears drain — to keep those tears around longer. While there are permanent punctal plugs, doctors commonly use the temporary variety.
Medication that stimulates tear production
A class of medication called cholinergic helps to promote tear production. Available in eyedrop, pill, or gel form. Names include pilocarpine (Salagen) and cevimeline (Evoxac).
Autologous blood serum drops
Autologous serum drops use components from a sample of your own blood, with vitamins and growth factors that more closely mimic real tears. They are essentially supercharged artificial tears because they have natural proteins and growth factors to help heal severe, dry eyes.
There are a few challenges with these — they are expensive, need to be specially made by drawing blood, need to be refrigerated, and expire pretty quickly. Because of all of these factors, we usually only recommend blood serum tears when more conservative measures fail.
Moisture chamber spectacles
These are specially outfitted glasses with a gasket or cup. Rests between the glasses frame and your face to help slow down the evaporation of tears by acting as a barrier against wind and other drying factors in the environment.
Scleral Contact lenses
Special contact lenses, called scleral contact lenses, are for people with bad ocular surface disease, such as chemical injury, burn, or graft-versus-host-disease. PROSE lens vaults over the cornea so that a well of fluid is always in contact with the eye. Not to be used routinely for Sjögren’s, except in very severe cases.
Tarsorrhaphy is eyelid surgery to close the eyelid partially. Done for the eyelids don’t close properly, resulting in dry eyes. Dry eyes result from exposure to the outside environment.
Use of amniotic membrane
Human amniotic membrane (AM) — placed in the eye or as specialized contact lenses — can help treat severe dry eyes. The amniotic membrane has anti-inflammatory properties; however, it blurs the vision when it is in place. The benefit is usually not permanent, though a scratch on the cornea from severe Sjögren’s can promote healing.
An antibiotic that helps particularly well with meibomian gland dysfunction (when there is a blockage of these glands) lowers the amount of oil secreted in tear production.
Other treatments and medications
Some patients with Sjögren’s syndrome that is affecting other organs and systems prescribed such medications as:
- Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), an antimalarial drug also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus; can help with the joint pain and rashes that some of Sjögren’s patients’ experience
- Oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone
- Other immune-suppressing medications, such as methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate, and cyclophosphamide
- Rituximab, a biological drug that targets specific immune system pathways to decrease inflammation
Omega-3 fatty acids have shown benefits for dry eyes.
Some patients may try a liposomal spray which is an eye spray that helps the outer lipid layer of your eye to ease the discomfort.
People with chronic inflammatory diseases and dry eye disease should regularly see an ophthalmologist to watch for early signs of eye damage and ensure treatment as soon as possible.
For mild cases of dry eye, lifestyle changes also help you feel better. Even for more severe cases, it’s essential to keep up with these lifestyle changes.
Minimizing screen time — Making adjustments to your life, like taking a break from the computer, can be helpful for everyone.
Take visual breaks
If you’re having trouble doing things like reading a book or writing emails on your computer — anything that requires visual focus, go on a quick eye holiday. Switch up tasks or close your eyes for a minute or two, and often blink, which helps move the tears evenly over your eyes.
Add moisture to your environment.
Do you live in a dry home? Especially during the winter, the air in your house can get dry, which isn’t ideal for your eyes. Try moisturizing the inside of your home with a humidifier.
Keep wind away
Wind in your eyes can exacerbate eye dryness. If possible, do your best to avoid hair dryers pointed toward your eyes and car heating or air conditioning that blasts air toward your face. On very windy days, consider staying indoors. When outside, wear wrap-around sunglasses to prevent wind from irritating the front and sides of your eyes.
You’ve probably heard that exercise can help prevent heart disease and relieve joint pain. Physical activity helps with a dry eye too?
Exercise can help reduce inflammation and maybe alleviate some of the consequences of Sjögren’s”. One possible explanation: Movement increases blood flow, which can help encourage the release of oils needed for healthy tears.
Handle your tech wisely.
Spending too much time with computer and phone screens can contribute to dry eye. One way to reduce dry eye issues caused by your tech is to position your computer screen, so it’s below eye level. When your screen is higher than eye level, you have to open your eyes wider, which can accelerate the evaporation of the tears resting on your eyes.
Try a warm compress
There are tiny glands on the eyelid called meibomian glands, which provide the oil for tear film, these can easily get clogged up, so to keep the oils flowing well, you can use a warm compress or heat on your eyelid to open them,”
Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s Syndrome
Dealing with rheumatoid arthritis all on its own was very challenging, coping with rheumatoid arthritis. Sjögren’s syndrome can feel overwhelming at times.
The No. 1 challenge of RA is the pain, though which joints are affected and how intense the pain is varied. Sjögren’s seems minor compared to RA. Eyes are painful and light-sensitive that one has to sit in a darkened room for a few hours with eyes closed. When eyes flare up, driving is affected due to poor vision.
Compliance – being diligent about taking prescribed medication.
Good attitude – keep a good attitude, and stay positive. Don’t dwell on the pain and talk about it too much. Focus on what you can do rather than what you can no longer do. For example, If you can not exercise on some days, do yoga, lift light weights, ride a recumbent bike, or just do some stretches. Even doing a little bit is better than nothing. Plus, it gets you out of the house.
Exercise – According to Reza Dana, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, vigorous exercise benefits dry eyes by increasing blood flow, regenerating tissues, and encouraging the release of oils needed for healthy tears. And it’s one of the best treatments for arthritis, too.
Other Arthritis-Related Eye Issues
The hallmark of arthritis—inflammation—can lead to vision problems when your eyes are affected.
Scleritis can be dangerous because an injury to the eye may cause the thinning eyeball to split open. When inflammation thins the sclera or eyewall, some people with arthritis may develop scleritis, especially adults between 40 and 70 years old. Scleritis symptoms can appear as continuously red eyes (despite using eye drops), deep eye pain, and light sensitivity.
Uveitis is another arthritis-related eye condition. When the uvea—the layer of tissue between the retina and sclera, including the iris—becomes inflamed. Eye pain, light sensitivity, and blurry vision are symptoms of uveitis.
Steroid medicine may help control scleritis and uveitis inflammation. But it’s important to know that steroid use, as well as the inflammation it treats, can lead to other eye problems.
Some people with arthritis may develop glaucoma. When inflammation affects the part of the eye that helps drain fluid. If fluid can’t drain properly, eye pressure can increase and damage the optic nerve, causing vision loss. Glaucoma can also develop as a side effect of corticosteroid use for arthritis treatment.
Glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. Eventually, you might see colored halos around lights. Things will look blurry, or you will notice blank spots in your field of vision. Eye drop medication can help reduce eye pressure. Sometimes may need surgery to help improve fluid flow from the eye.
Using steroid medication to treat arthritis can also increase your risk of developing cataracts. Cataracts make things look blurry, and colors appear faded. When the eye’s naturally clear lens becomes cloudy. It also makes seeing at night difficult.
Because using long-term steroids can affect your eyes, you should see an ophthalmologist to help preserve your vision. It would be best to talk with your doctors about using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs instead.
Natural remedies for RA
Chose natural remedies to treat your dry eye disease. Your health conditions facilitate treatment success.
Controlling Inflammation Helps Your Body and Your Vision
Suppose you have arthritis and notice changes in your vision or other eye issues. In that case, it may mean you have inflammation in your eyes. Treating eye inflammation always involves treating the arthritis inflammation throughout your body. It’s important to work with your doctors to help keep your arthritis under control.
Whether or not you have arthritis, early treatment can prevent vision loss. See your ophthalmologist regularly or as they recommend to protect your sight.
Don’t Let Arthritis Steal Your Vision!
People with arthritis risk developing eye problems. If you are treating your arthritis with steroids, or if you have the following symptoms, be sure to see your eye doctor for advice diagnosis or treatment
- Dry eye disease -eyes that burn, itch, or feel gritty
- Continuously red eyes (with blurred vision, pain, or light sensitivity)
- Severe eye pain (with light sensitivity, tearing, or redness)
Rheumatoid Arthritis with Joint Pain & Dry Eyes
I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic dry eyes. The biggest miracle by taking TheraLife Autoimmune is that my very painful right knee and dry eye symptoms continue to improve. Last year the pain was so bad that I could barely walk- I used a cane. After taking the TheraLife Autoimmune for about 3 months, my knee felt better along and eyes also improved. Now I am close to walking normally, and no longer need the cane. I am simply amazed. Thank you so much.
P H. Crestline, CA
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