Sunday, April 21, 2024

How Does Psoriatic Arthritis Affect The Eyes

Psoriasis And Your Nails

Psoriatic Arthritis: A Discussion with a Patient | Johns Hopkins Medicine

You may not think of your nails that often, but psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can affect your nail health and the skin around it. Basically, the immune system tells new skin cells to grow too fast under and around the nails, which can lead to a bunch of uncomfortable symptoms. The nails can begin to lift up, Dr. Hejazi explains. When the nail health is compromised in conditions like psoriasis, there is increased risk of fungal nail infections, which often leads to thickening of the nail and white or yellow discoloration, he adds.

With nail psoriasis, you might also see nail pits, a series of dents and divots in the nail itself, or have brittle nails that crumble. The best way to figure out whats going on if you have these symptoms is to make an appointment with your derm, who can take a small sample of the nail to either confirm or rule out an infection, which will guide proper treatment, Dr. Hejazi says.

What Makes That Cracking Or Popping Sound

When you crack your neck or any joint in your body, the capsules around your joint are stretched. These capsules contain fluid, and stretching them allows the fluid to put less pressure on the joint.

As the pressure decreases, the fluids in the joint turn to gas. When the fluid becomes gas, it makes a popping noise. This process is known as either boiling or cavitation, and it usually isnt harmful.

In the case of your neck, you have several sets of joints called facet joints. These joints are located on each side of your neck. When you crack your neck, the facet joints stretch, which lets fluid spread out in the joint capsule. Once the fluid becomes gas, your neck joints pop.

This is what makes neck cracking feel like its releasing pressure from your neck area.

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Whats Happening With Your Immune System

When your body needs to respond to an infection, an injury, or a substance that threatens your health in some way , your immune system should kick in to release various cells that fight potentially harmful invaders and protect the body. These cells travel to the affected area and start the healing process, causing inflammation. Heres the problem: When your immune system is in overdrive, as is the case with any autoimmune condition, including psoriasis, it continues to pump out a large number of inflammatory cells, even when theres no true threat to the body happening.

In people with psoriasis, its thought that theres a faulty immune response that mistakenly identifies healthy skin cells as threatening, which causes the repair system to malfunction. This kicks off an overgrowth of new skin cells, which is what causes the hallmark psoriasis rash. The majority of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, in which the rash appears as scaly patches, or plaques, on the skins surface.

And constantly having higher-than-normal levels of inflammation can wreak havoc on everything from your joints to your arteries, potentially leading to confusing body-wide symptoms.

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Your Anxiety Is Through The Roof

Who wouldnt be anxious when out of nowhere you cannot get out of bed or your toes dont want to go into your shoes? The emotional impact of psoriatic arthritis is real, says Karen Smarr, Ph.D., a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Missouri. In fact, those with chronic pain associated with conditions like psoriatic arthritis are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than the general population according to a study published in Trends in Neurosciences. Talk to your rheumatologist about what you are feeling because chances are they have a treatment plan ready to personalize just for you, plus some great therapist and support group referrals.

Effects On The Eyes And Vision

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The PsA can also affect the vision and eyes. As a matter of fact, inflammation and red dots in and around the eyes can affect vision.

It has been estimated that approximately 7 percent of people with PsA will develop uveitis, which is a full pack of the diseases related to eye inflammation. If it is not diagnosed on time, then Psoriasis-related eye conditions can cause a loss of vision.

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Cracking Your Back Neck And Other Areas

If you regularly crack your neck or your back, this is where you may actually be doing some harm to yourself. As mentioned earlier, if youre experiencing cracking or popping in these areas naturally, then you have nothing to worry about.

But if youre intentionally cracking these parts of your body because you feel pain or stiffness and youre looking for some quick relief, you might want to reconsider. Cracking your neck too aggressively puts you at risk for overstretching your ligaments or misaligning certain bones in your back.

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If you struggle with back pain regularly, your best bet is to seek professional help from your doctor. Even doing yoga or other gentle stretches can help with this discomfort, and youll be making more permanent gains than if you just give it a quick crack.

So now you know a little bit more about the nature of cracking your joints. But if youre suffering from joint pain, the knowledge alone might not give you the relief youre looking for.

To help get you started on your path to better joint health, here are a few tips you should keep in mind when thinking about your joints:

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Psoriasis And Your Eyes

Psoriasis can affect the skin around your eyes in an obvious way, since you may experience flaking and itchy rashes, but the underlying inflammation from psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis can also cause eye inflammation, Dr. Hejazi says. Again, its unclear why, exactly, this happens, but psoriasis-specific inflammation can also potentially affect the cells in the eyes. In fact, about 65% of people with psoriasis will have eye inflammation at some point in their lives, per research published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.4

This means you could end up with uveitis, inflammation inside the eye that might involve redness, pain, and blurred vision. If you have these symptoms, its important to see your doctor, who can refer you to an ophthalmologist. Uveitis can lead to permanent eye damage when left untreated, Dr. Hejazi says.

Youll also want to look out for pink eye , a common and uncomfortable eye condition that causes redness, tearing, and even discharge from the eyes. Its important to note that viral or bacterial pink eye is very contagious, so the possibility of getting it from another personrather than from inflammation due to psoriasisis probably more likely.

What Are Symptoms Of Uveitis

Psoriatic Arthritis

Uveitis can affect one or both eyes, and symptoms often develop rapidly. However, in some patients, the symptoms can occur more gradually. Several other autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are also known to cause an increased risk for developing uveitis.2,4

Symptoms of uveitis include:

  • Redness of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light 3,4

Uveitis can cause permanent vision damage, even with treatment. Additional complications may include cataracts, fluid within the retina, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and vision loss or blindness. Early treatment is important to reduce the risk of complications, and patients with eye pain, severe light sensitivity, or any change in vision should immediately see an ophthalmologist for examination. 3,4

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Psoriasis And The Eye

Psoriasis and the eye for patients with psoriasis, uveitis had been commonly thought to occur only in conjunction with psoriatic arthritis, however, there have been many case reports of psoriatic uveitis presenting independent of joint disease. Furthermore, the temporal relationship of these two entities has been disputed. Some recent studies suggest that inflammatory joint manifestations precede uveitis. Nevertheless, some cases of uveitis have been reported to occur even before psoriatic skin disease, and uveitis has been reported as the first presenting sign of psoriatic arthritis in 0% to 11.4% of cases. The severity of ocular inflammation does not necessarily correlate with extent of joint findings but may correlate with skin disease.

Since the latency period for development of symptomatic ocular abnormalities may be longer than 5 years, continued surveillance and continued use of appropriate ocular protection by all patients treated with PUVA is indicated.

Psoriasis And Your Mental Health

Psoriasis is a highly stigmatized condition, which can have a big impact on the self-esteem and mental health of the people living with it. According to the American Academy of Dermatology , 86% of people with psoriasis say theyre embarrassed by their skins appearance, 81% have depression or other emotional issues stemming from their condition, and 66% feel isolated or alone. Many patients with psoriasis are extremely self-conscious about their skin, because psoriasis often affects very visible areas of the body such as the scalp, face, hands, elbows, and legs, Dr. Hejazi points out. I have several patients who refuse to wear short sleeves or shorts as it may expose their rash. All of that can heighten feelings of anxiety and depression when it comes to psoriasis, she says.

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How Psoriatic Arthritis Affects Your Eyes

Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis areautoimmune diseases. That means they cause your body to attack itself by mistake. This can trigger inflammation in certain parts of the body, including your eyes.

If your eyes are irritated and you have psoriasis, you may have uveitis. That’s a term for any inflammation inside your eye. It can lead to swelling and damaged eye tissue. Uveitis may affect one or both eyes. Symptoms include:

Your eye doctor can treat pinkeye.

Glaucoma. This is a group of conditions that damage your optic nerve. It often starts with inflammation that causes a buildup of pressure in your eye. Symptoms include:

  • Halos or empty spots in your line of vision
  • Eye pain and redness

You may not have any of these if the disease is in its early stages. That’s why regular eye exams are important. Your eye doctor can catch it even if yoâre not showing symptoms. Glaucoma can also be a side effect of taking corticosteroids for psoriatic arthritis. Talk to you doctor about how to lower this risk.

Cataracts. That âs when inflammation turns the clear lens of your eye cloudy. Symptoms can include:

  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Changes to your glasses or contacts prescription

Steroids you put on your skin or take by mouth for long periods of time can raise your risk for this disease at am earlier age. Cataracts are usually treated with surgery. Your eye doctor will take out the cloudy lens and put in an artificial one.

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Is There A Cure For Psoriatic Arthritis

Joints commonly affected by psoriatic arthritis

Is psoriatic arthritis curable? Psoriatic arthritis is not curable, but medication and/or surgery can be used to alleviate symptoms. Your quality of life may improve with treatment, as well as the possibility of your joints not becoming worse. Psoriatic arthritis causes pain and inflammation to the skin, nails, and joints, as well as impairing and progressive arthritis. It can result in swelling and stiffness in the joints, as well as damage and deformity. However, with proper treatment, psoriatic arthritis can be managed and even cured.

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The Structure Of The Eye And Where Arthritis Strikes

The eye is a complicated structure. Different types of arthritis can cause different types of eye problems. Its important to understand some general eye anatomy:

The entire eye is covered by a white outer coat called the sclera. The sclera is covered by a thin semi-transparent mucous membrane that has blood vessels, which is called conjunctiva.

At the very front of the eye is the cornea, which is the transparent layer that transmits and focuses light.

Behind the cornea is the iris, which is the colored part of the eye that helps regulate the amount of light that enters the eye like the diaphragm of a camera. The pupil is the dark hole in the middle of the iris, which adjusts in size to let in more or less light.

Just behind iris and pupil is the lens, which is like the lens of the camera. The lens is suspended in the eye cavity through some fine fibrils that attach to the ciliary body.

The back of the eye contains these important structures:

  • Choroid: A layer that contains blood vessels, located between the sclera and retina
  • Retina: A nerve layer that lines the back of the eye it creates electrical impulses from light that are sent to the brain via the optic nerve
  • Macula: An area in the retina with special light-sensitive cells
  • Optic nerve: A bundle of nerves that transmits visual messages from the eye to the brain

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The Relationship Between Psoriatic Arthritis And Degenerative Disc Disease

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can affect the joints and skin. It is estimated to affect up to 30% of people with psoriasis. While the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, it is thought to be related to an overactive immune system. Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the spine. It is characterized by the breakdown of the discs that cushion the vertebrae. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. While the exact cause of degenerative disc disease is unknown, it is believed to be the result of wear and tear on the discs. This wear and tear can be accelerated by conditions such as psoriatic arthritis.

Some psoriasis patients are suffering from psoriatic arthritis, which is a type of arthritis. There are several symptoms and signs that indicate psoriatic arthritis, such as joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. While there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, treatment can reduce symptoms and prevent joint damage. The Mayo Clinic may use information about your email and website usage to more accurately predict which information will most be of interest to you. This could include any protected health information, such as your email address. When the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues, this is referred to as psoriatic arthritis. There are genetic and environmental factors that can increase or decrease the risk of developing this disease.

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How To Minimize The Effects Of Psoriasis

When it comes to treating psoriasis, the sooner you get a diagnosis and begin your treatment journey, the better. There are a number of medications that can help reduce inflammation throughout your bodyso you can start feeling better quickly. If one doesnt work for you, there will be plenty of others to consider.

Treatment options that target the entire body include oral immunosuppressant medications, which work by tamping down an overactive immune system, and injectable or infusion medications called biologics, which target specific parts of the immune system to block the faulty reaction that causes psoriasis, according to the AAD. Both biologics and oral immunosuppressants essentially reduce chronic inflammation, which also can reduce the effects of psoriasis beyond the skin. On top of that, topical medications and managing your psoriasis triggersstress is a big onecan help keep your flare-ups in check.

What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Its Effect on the Eyes

Psoriatic arthritis can cause several different symptoms around the body. People will often have two or more of these symptoms, and they can range from mild to severe.

Some of the main symptoms include:

  • swelling in one or more joints
  • joint stiffness which feels worse when you get up after a rest and lasts longer than 30 minutes.

These symptoms are caused by inflammation inside a joint. This is known as inflammatory arthritis.

Any joint can be affected in this way. See below for the most commonly affected joints.

Psoriatic arthritis can cause pain and swelling along the bones that form the joints. This is caused by inflammation in the connective tissue, known as entheses, which attach tendons and ligaments to the bones. When they become inflamed its known as enthesitis.

Enthesitis pain can spread over a wider area rather than just inside a joint. Affected areas can feel tender if you touch them or if theres just a small amount of pressure on them. It commonly occurs in the feet. This can happen at the back of the heel or on the bottom of the foot near the heel. In some cases, this pain can make standing or walking difficult.

The knees, hips, elbows and chest can also be affected by enthesitis.

People with psoriatic arthritis can have swollen fingers or toes. This is known as dactylitis, or sausage digit, because it causes the whole finger or toe to swell up. It most commonly affects one or two fingers or toes at a time.

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The Effects Of Psoriatic Arthritis On The Body

PsA is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy parts of the body, mostly the skin and the joints.

This causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, either singly or throughout the body. Early treatment is essential to avoid long-term joint and tissue deterioration.

Psoriatic arthritis usually develops within 10 years of developing psoriasis. Skin psoriasis causes flare-ups of red, patchy skin that can occur anywhere on the body.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 30 percent of people with psoriasis eventually develop PsA.

In some cases, PsA is diagnosed before you have skin psoriasis because the arthritic symptoms might be more noticeable.

Its also possible to develop PsA without having psoriasis, especially if you have a family history of psoriasis. Both skin psoriasis and inflammatory types of arthritis are considered autoimmune disorders.

PsA is a chronic, or long-term, condition. Anyone can get it, but its most common between ages 30 and 50 years. Since theres no cure, treatment is aimed at managing symptoms and preventing permanent joint damage.

Research theorizes that genetics play a part in the development of psoriatic arthritis. Scientists are trying to find out which genes are involved. Identifying the genes may allow the development of gene therapy treatment.

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