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Millions of Britons are currently living with arthritis, a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints.

Depending on the severity of the condition it can make everyday tasks extremely difficult, and even impossible for some.

As with any condition or illness, the sooner you spot the symptoms, the sooner you can seek the appropriate support and treatment.

Due to the nature of the condition, it is expected that some of the most common signs involve pain and tenderness in the joints.

However, there are some less likely signs that you might not expect.

GP Doctor Bryony Henderson, from healthcare service Livi, spoke with Express.co.uk to explain more.

She warned that dry eyes could be a red flag sign for rheumatoid arthritis.

This causes your eyes to feel itchy, sore, watery, gritty and sensitive to light. They may appear more red and your eyesight could become blurry.

Dry eyes are often not serious and can be caused by dry, winter weather or staring at a computer screen for too long, for example.

However, if they are linked to rheumatoid arthritis, this is something that should be followed up with your doctor.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis in the UK.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which is often caused by age or wear and tear on joints, it occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected areas – leading to pain and swelling.

The Mayo Clinic explains how this condition can affect the eyes.

It says: “Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints. However, rheumatoid arthritis occasionally affects other parts of the body — including the eyes.

“The most common eye-related symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is dryness.”

The Arthritis Foundation adds: “Anyone with arthritis can have dry eyes for a variety of reasons.

“But for people with autoimmune types of arthritis – like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or Sjogren’s syndrome – dry eyes are chronic, painful.”

According to Dr Henderson, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can “develop gradually” over weeks.

“But in some cases they can progress quickly over a number of days,” she said.

She listed the most common early signs of the condition as “stiffness and swelling in the wrists, feet and hands, which means that you can’t fully bend your fingers or form a fist and your joints could be hot and tender to touch”, or “a throbbing and aching pain, which might be worse after a period of inactivity or in the mornings.”

Alongside dry eyes, other less common symptoms include:

Lack of energy and tiredness
High temperature and sweating
Lack of appetite
Weight loss
Chest pain.

Dr Henderson added: “If you have persistent pain, swelling or stiffness in your joints, you should go and see a GP so that the underlying cause can be identified.”

Source: | This article first appeared on Express.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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