Patient's Complete Guide to Uveitis
Overview of Uveitis
The eye has three layers that lie flat against each other and form the eyeball. These layers are:
- The outer layer containing the sclera of the eye
- The middle containing the choroid
- The inner layer containing the retina
Uveitis ( Aankh Ki Darmiani Ta Ki Sujan /آنکھ کی درمیانی تہ کی سوجن) is the inflammation of the uvea which is also known as the middle layer of the eye. Uveitis causes swelling and destroys the eye tissues. Uveitis can take a turn for the worst very quickly. The symptoms and signs are there for a short time before the infection gets worse.
It can simultaneously affect both eyes and appear in all age groups. It can be mild, or serious leading to permanent blindness.
Sometimes uveitis is not limited to the uvea and can also damage and affect the lens, retina, optic nerve, etc causing vision problems and blindness.
This disease is more specifically described by which part of the eye is inflamed and based on that known as:
- Anterior Uveitis
- Intermediate Uveitis
- Posterior Uveitis
- Panuveitis Uveitis
It can be both infectious and non-infectious.
Signs and Symptoms of Uveitis
Signs and symptoms of uveitis include:
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Dark, floating spots in the field of vision
- Decreased vision
The symptoms can appear gradually or suddenly with the progression of the disease. Sometimes, there might be no symptoms at all. Each type has its own signs and symptoms.
Causes of Uveitis
The exact cause of uveitis is not known but the most general causes include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Inflammatory disorders
- Eye injury
- Eye cancer
- Toxins that may penetrate the eye
- Certain medications
Risk Factors of Uveitis
Certain gene changes or mutations can put a person at an increased rate of developing uveitis. Tobacco smoke also increases the risk of getting uveitis.
Health Complications Due to Uveitis
Untreated uveitis can lead to many health complications, such as:
- Macular edema
- Permanent vision loss
- Scarring of the retina
- Retinal detachment
Diseases Associated with Uveitis
Uveitis is associated with many other conditions including:
- Behcet’s syndrome
- CMV retinitis
- Herpes infection
- Reactive arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
By taking the following preventive measures into account a person can low the risk of uveitis:
- Make sure to seek the proper treatment help for your immune health
- Early detection is important to protect the eye vision from permanent loss
A diagnosis is made after a thorough examination and knowing the complete medical history of the patient. Tests may be done to rule out autoimmune disorders.
The eye exams performed include:
- Visual Acuity Test: An eye chart is used to measure a patient’s vision
- Ocular Pressure: The pressure inside the eye is measured
- A Fundoscopic Exam: The pupil is dilated and the inside of the eye is inspected
- A Slit Lamp Exam: It is a non-invasive inspection of the eye
Treatment of Uveitis | When to Consult a Doctor
The primary purpose of the treatment is to reduce inflammation, reduce eye pain, and prevent further vision loss and tissue damage. Treatment depends on the type of uveitis.
Medication is given to reduce the symptoms of uveitis which include:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Antibiotics, antiviral medications
- Spasms controlling drugs
Some of the medications can have serious side effects.
Surgical procedures might be done to improve uveitis including:
- Vitrectomy: Some of the vitreous of the eyes is removed
- A medication releasing implant is placed in the eye
Uveitis is a serious condition that can cause many other eye complications including vision loss. In case any symptoms appear, consult your doctor immediately.