Uveitis

Uveitis is swelling of the middle layer of the eye, which is called the uvea. It may occur from both infectious and non-infectious causes. The uvea supplies blood to the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive part of the eye that focuses the images you see and sends them to the brain. It’s normally red due to its blood supply from the uvea.. severe cases can cause vision loss if not treated early.

Symptoms

The following symptoms may occur in one or both eyes:

  • severe redness in the eye
  • pain
  • dark floating spots in your vision, called floaters
  • light sensitivity
  • blurred vision

Causes

The cause of uveitis is often unknown and frequently occurs in otherwise healthy people. It can sometimes be associated with another illness such as an autoimmune disorder or an infection from a virus or bacteria.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Aids
  • Herpes
  • Cmv retinitis
  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Exposure to a toxin that penetrates the eye
  • Bruising
  • Injury
  • Trauma

Prevention

Seeking proper treatment for an autoimmune disease or infection can help to prevent uveitis. Uveitis in otherwise healthy people is difficult to prevent since the cause isn’t known.
Early detection and treatment are important to reduce the risk of vision loss, which can be permanent.

Diagnosis

Your eye surgeon, also called an ophthalmologist, will examine your eye and take a complete health history.
They may also order certain laboratory tests to rule out an infection or autoimmune disorder. Your ophthalmologist may refer you to another specialist if they suspect an underlying condition is causing your uveitis.

Treatment

Treatment for uveitis depends on the cause and the type of uveitis. Usually, it’s treated with eye drops. If uveitis is caused by another condition, treating that underlying condition may eliminate the uveitis. The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation in the eye.
Here are the common treatment options for each type of uveitis:

  • Treatment for anterior uveitis, or iritis, includes dark glasses, eye drops to dilate the pupil and reduce pain, and steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation or irritation.
  • Treatment for posterior uveitis may include steroids taken by mouth, injections around the eye, and visits to additional specialists to treat the infection or autoimmune disease. A body-wide bacterial infection is usually treated with antibiotics.
  • Treatment for intermediate uveitis includes steroid eye drops and steroids taken by mouth and injections in the eye