What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is a group of inflammatory eye diseases that causes swelling in the uveal tissues in one or both eyes. The uvea is the eye’s middle layer that contains the most blood vessels.

It’s found between the retina and the sclera, which is the white outer coat of the eye. Uveitis also affects the vitreous, retina, lens, and optic nerve.

The condition can either be chronic or acute, and the severest form recurs many times. Consequently, uveitis can damage the swollen eye tissue over time, and left untreated, can result in vision loss.

Keep reading to learn more about uveitis and what treatment is available if you have it.

What Are The Symptoms of Uveitis?

The symptoms of uveitis will vary based on the kind of inflammation you have. Some of the signs and symptoms of uveitis include:

  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Floaters
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Iris changing color
  • Reddening of the eyes
  • Abrupt vision changes

Many of these symptoms are also associated with other eye conditions. However, the only way to know for sure if you have uveitis is to see your eye doctor regularly.

What Causes Uveitis?

The causes of uveitis vary, and certain conditions can increase the risk of the disease. But, the exact cause of uveitis is still unknown.

Likely other health conditions are the lead factors contributing to it. Autoimmune diseases, eye inflammation, inflammatory conditions, and eye injury can all contribute.

If you have any conditions that fall into those categories, you should see your doctor regularly. Also, as a result of these conditions be sure to pay attention to your eyesight and if you notice any changes, see your eye doctor.

Are There Different Types of Uveitis?

There are different types of uveitis, depending on where the inflammation is. 

For example, the inflammation in anterior uveitis is mainly around the iris. Intermediate uveitis is inflammation of the gel-like substance in your eye called the vitreous.

If you have posterior uveitis, you have inflammation in your choroid and retina too. The choroid is a layer of blood vessels between your retina and sclera.

Panuveitis or diffuse uveitis affects the entire uvea. Posterior, intermediate, and panuveitis are severe conditions that can lead to blindness if untreated.

Also, complications caused by other eye conditions can lead to permanent vision loss. If you have another eye condition, track your eye health closely if you develop uveitis.

How Do You Diagnose Uveitis?

Uveitis is usually diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. During your exam your ophthalmologist will also take into account your medical history.

Lab tests are necessary to confirm if you have an autoimmune disorder or infection. If your eye doctor thinks you may have uveitis, they will perform further tests.

Uveitis is a medical emergency. That means it requires rapid treatment to get rid of the inflammation.

How Do You Treat Uveitis?

Often, uveitis responds well when diagnosed and treated early. Treatment depends on the type of inflammation you have and where it is in your eye. Some of the treatments for uveitis are:

  • Anti-inflammatory injections
  • A combination of eye drops and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Oral immunosuppressant medications
  • Time-release capsules surgically implanted in your eye

Uveitis treatment aims to eliminate the inflammation, address the pain, and prevent further tissue damage. Treatment also helps avoid more loss of vision and even restores lost vision.

Do you have any uveitis symptoms? If you have signs of uveitis and haven’t had an eye exam in a while, schedule an appointment at Joshi Eye Institute in Boynton Beach, FL. Get your eyes checked to ensure uveitis is not damaging them!

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