Eye problems range from some non-serious infections to severe problems that may hamper your vision. Uveitis is a word collectively used for conditions that cause inflammation to the middle layer of the eye called uvea. Various reasons may cause inflammation to the eyes.
Uveitis can cause swelling and damage to the eye tissues. Although this condition is not considered very serious, it can hamper your vision if left untreated or ignored for a long period, just like any other eye problem.
What is Uveitis?
Uveitis by name refers to the condition in which there is inflammation of the uvea of the eye. But this term is widely used for inflammation to any part inside the eye. The condition is mainly caused due to an injury to the eye, a viral or bacterial infection or some underlying disease that may lead to inflammation of the eye tissues.
Uveitis may cause vision problems as the uvea supplies blood to the retina, so the inflammation of this part directly affects the functioning of the retina. Early uveitis treatment is mandatory because if left untreated, even this condition can severely hamper your vision and lead to vision loss.
This condition is usually seen in people between 20 to 60 years of age and may affect one or both eyes.
Different layers of the eye form the uvea of the eye. It consists of the iris, the pars plana, the choroid of the eye, and the ciliary body. Depending upon the exact site of inflammation, there are different types of uveitis.
These types of uveitis include — anterior uveitis, which involves the iris; intermediate uveitis, which involves the pars plana; posterior uveitis, which involves the retina and choroid; and pan uveitis which involves the entire uvea.
What Causes Uveitis?
The causes of uveitis are varied, the main causes being injury or infection to the eyes. Other than that, uveitis can also be caused by some underlying diseases or infections like autoimmune diseases.
Some autoimmune diseases that can cause uveitis are rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Along with these, infections that can also cause or worsen uveitis are HIV, syphilis, Lyme’s disease, and herpes simplex.
Symptoms of Uveitis
Some common uveitis symptoms that should not be ignored are:
- Blurred or cloudy vision
- Redness and irritation to the eyes
- Pain in the eyes
- Floaters or spots in vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Small pupil
- Change in the colour of the iris
How is Uveitis Diagnosed?
An early uveitis diagnosis is very important for getting the uveitis treatment at the right time and as early as possible.
As with any other eye condition, your ophthalmologist will begin with a normal eye examination when you visit them with any of the above uveitis symptoms. This usually involves assessing your vision, tonometry, and slit-lamp examination, which helps check the eye’s inflammatory cells.
Treatment of Uveitis
Like any other eye condition, uveitis needs to be treated at the earliest possible to avoid future damage to your vision. There are various options available for uveitis treatment. We will discuss a few of them in detail.
The initial method of treatment is usually medications. Your doctor will prescribe antibacterial or antiviral medications if the root cause of the inflammation is bacterial or viral infections, depending on the series of blood investigations advised by your doctor.
Eye drops containing corticosteroids are prescribed as they may prove to be beneficial in treating inflammation. However, corticosteroids cannot be prescribed if you have corneal ulcers. Hence, they should be ruled out before taking corticosteroids.
In cases where the root cause is autoimmune disorders, immunotherapies have proven to be beneficial in uveitis treatment.
2. Surgical treatment
Surgery for uveitis is rare and only done in extremely severe conditions or when conservative treatment fails. There are two types of surgeries popularly done to treat uveitis. These include— vitrectomy and a medication releasing implant.
As the name suggests, vitrectomy is a process in which some of the vitreous of the eyes is surgically removed. This is very rarely done, and the dissected vitreous can help diagnose and treat uveitis.
Posterior uveitis is sometimes hard to treat in some people. In such cases, a device or medical implant that releases medicine in your eye is implanted for two or three years.
Why Choose Centre for Sight?
Centre for Sight is the largest chain of eye care hospitals and clinics with a team that will guide you throughout your consultation and treatment. We have some of the best uvea specialists to ensure that you get the best possible treatment.
Article: A Guide on the Best Ophthalmologist / Eye Specialist in Kolkata | Centre For Sight
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Aug 07 2021 | UPDATED 03:00 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.