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Symptoms and Signs of Eye Problems Caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis

Doctor's Notes on Eye Problems Caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of progressive arthritis that primarily affects spine and the related ligaments and joints. It can also affect other joints and organs in the body, including the eyes, lungs, kidneys, shoulders, knees, hips, heart, and ankles. About one-third of ankylosing spondylitis patients develop an eye condition called anterior uveitis, which is an inflammation of the front part of the eye called the uvea, including the iris and ciliary body.

Eye symptoms caused by ankylosing spondylitis usually develop over a few hours. Anterior uveitis associated with ankylosing spondylitis may occur in one eye or both eyes and tends to recur. Symptoms of anterior uveitis associated with ankylosing spondylitis may include eye redness, light sensitivity (photophobia), tearing, eye pain which is described as being deep and is made worse by bright light, and blurred vision. Rarely, there is discharge from the eyes.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.