Treatment available for eyes affected by arthritis largely consists of eye drops, salves or artificial tears to control the inflammation and keep the eyes moist, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Other treatments are punctal plugs, sleeping with a humidifier in the room or surgery, as a last resort.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at risk for conditions such as dry eye, notes the Arthritis Foundation. This autoimmune disease affects the white of the eye and the lens of the eye, and when they dry out, the eye is subject to scarring, which impairs vision. Scleritis is a painful condition in which the white of the eye is red, inflamed and dangerously thin. Although eye drops can provide some relief, the best treatment for this condition is to treat the overall rheumatoid arthritis and keep it under control.
Uveitis occurs when the layer of the eye between the white and the retina becomes inflamed, explains the Arthritis Foundation. It mostly affects patients who suffer from juvenile, psoriatic and reactive arthritis. The physician administers corticosteroid eye drops to treat this condition, but if this isn't enough, the patient may need to take a corticosteroid by mouth or inject it into the eyeball. Sometimes, the doctor prescribes a course of antibiotics.