What is it?
The Uveitis (U) specifically refers to inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, termed the “uvea” but in common usage may refer to any inflammatory process involving the interior of the eye.
It requires an urgent referral and thorough examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist along with urgent treatment to control the inflammation
The symptoms include:
- Increased sensitivity to light;
- Blurring of vision;
- Pain and redness of the eye;
- Dark, floating spots along the visual field;
- Injected conjunctiva.
The Different Kinds
Iritis – when the uvea is inflamed near the front of the eye in the iris (the colored portion of the eye). Cyclitis – If the uvea is inflamed in the middle of the eye involving the ciliar. Choroiditis If the inflammation is in the back of the eye affecting the choroid, it is called.
It may result from a virus, a fungus, or a parasite. It can also be related to disease in other parts of the body, such as arthritis or an autoimmune disease, or come as a consequence of injury to the eye. Inflammation in one eye can result from a severe injury to the opposite eye (sympathetic U). In many cases, the cause is extremely difficult. Often, the cause goes unknown.
In the case of uveitis, a doctor may have to use the entire spectrum of diagnostic tools: ophthalmoscope, to check the inside of the eye, blood tests to find any other systemic infection which may be causing the inflammation, even to x-rays and skin tests. Since most ophthalmologists do not deal on a daily basis with some of these forms of testing and disease diagnoses, consultation with other medical specialists may be helpful.
Eye drops, especially steroids and pupil dilators, are medications used to reduce inflammation and pain. For deeper inflammation, oral medication or injections may be necessary. If the uveitis is discovered to be secondary to (caused by) a systemic disease, treatment for that disease may relieve it. Complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, or new blood vessel formation (neovascularization) also may need treatment in the course of the disease. If complications are advanced, surgery may be necessary. U arising in the front or middle part of the eye (iritis or cyclitis) is commonly more sudden in onset, generally lasting six to eight weeks. In their early stages iritis and cyclitis can usually be controlled by the frequent use of steroid and pupil-dilator drops. Often, this type of U runs its course before any specific cause is found. U in the back part of the eye (choroiditis) is commonly slower in onset and may last longer. It is also often more difficult to treat. If you find yourself suffering from any of the symptoms of uveitis, it is best to see an eye physician as soon as possible so treatment can be started and any loss of sight stopped before it can begin.