Uveitis is inflammation of the pigmented layer of the eye called the uvea. The uvea contains many blood vessels providing nourishment to the eye. Uveitis is a very serious condition that can cause serious damage to vital eye tissue that can lead to permanent vision loss. Uveitis can occur at any age and happens suddenly. Symptoms include a red eye with or without pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision and a random outburst of floaters. It is recommended to seek immediate consultation if you experience any symptoms of uveitis.
The likelihood of having uveitis is higher if you suffer from an autoimmune disease, a systemic inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), lupus, or may have been affected by infections like Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), shingles, Lyme disease, or exposure to parasites such as toxoplasmosis.
Uveitis falls into three categories depending on the part of the uvea affected.
Swelling of the uvea near the front of the eye is known as anterior uveitis. This happens all of a sudden and symptoms can last many weeks. Some forms of anterior uveitis are on-going, while others may be recurrent. Intermediate uveitis refers to inflammation in the middle of the eye. This affects the area around and behind the ciliary body. Symptoms of immediate uveitis can last for a few weeks to many years. Intermediate uveitis involves cycles of getting better then worse. Posterior uveitis occurs when the back of the uvea is affected symptoms can develop gradually and last for years.
Your ophthalmologist will examine your eye to confirm the disease. Since uveitis is usually connected with other conditions, your ophthalmologist may ask for some additional exams such as blood tests, x-rays, skin tests and imaging tests. Uveitis is usually treated using anti-inflammatory medicine (corticosteroid) to reduce the inflammation. With this your ophthalmologist may also prescribe dilating eye drops to widen the pupil, which will help reduce the pain and swelling. Sometimes other forms of medicine may need to be administered like injections or oral tablets and capsules depending on which part of the uvea is affected.
Uveitis requires immediate treatment to prevent lasting problems. If you or someone you know may be suffering from symptoms of uveitis please contact The Eye Center on 0302 829 1799. Our staff will assign you under the care of one of our highly experienced ophthalmologists in order to start adequate investigation and treatment, which ensures preservation of vision.