The rheumatic disorders are a heterogeneous collection of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that include rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, connective tissue diseases, and the vasculitides. Ocular involvement is common in autoimmune diseases, but its prevalence and manifestations vary among the different disorders. Ophthalmologists should be familiar with these conditions, their potential for ocular involvement, and the pharmacotherapy used. If a patient has been diagnosed with a rheumatic disorder, it is important for the ophthalmologist and the rheumatologist to communicate and to coordinate management. Treatment of rheumatic diseases commonly involves systemic anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive therapy, some of which have ocular effects. Drug therapy is discussed at the end of this chapter.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 1 - Update on General Medicine. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.