Uveitis refers to a range of eye related conditions. The term is used to refer to an inflammatory process in the inside of the eye associated with the uvea.
Uveitis occurs either due to an inflammatory or an infective cause. A workup by means of a blood tests and an X-ray is required in certain cases.
5 Suspected Causes of Uveitis:
- Trauma (injury to the eye).
- Bacterial or Viral infections.
- Exposure to eye penetrating toxins.
- Inflammatory or autoimmune diseases.
- Infections or tumours in the eye or elsewhere in the body.
10 common uveitis symptoms
- Blurry vision.
- Cloudy vision.
- Decreased vision.
- Floaters (tiny rods or chains of bubbles).
- Sensitivity to light (Photophobia).
- Eye pain.
- Redness of eye.
- Alteration of the Iris colour.
- A small pupil.
5 Risk Factors:
- Autoimmune conditions
- HLA-B27 gene
Types of Uveitis:
- Anterior Uveitis affects the iris and anterior chamber of the eye.
- Intermediate Uveitis causes inflammation of the vitreous .
- Posterior Uveitis occurs at the back of the eye and includes inflammation of the choroid.
- Panuveitis is an inflammation in all layers of the Uvea.
The most common Uveitis is Anterior Uveitis.
An eye exam in conjunction with a review of medical history is needed to diagnose uveitis. During the eye test, the ophthalmologist will evaluate if a patient’s vision has decreased, inspect the inside of the eye and measure eye pressure. Laboratory tests might be used to rule out additional infections or an autoimmune disease.
Without treatment, uveitis can lead to more serious conditions such as cataracts, retinal edema and loss of vision. Treatment is tailored to the individual’s reasons for the inflammation.
After an ophthalmologist has excluded any underlying causes or illnesses, most people will be treated with topical steroid eye drops. More severe cases of uveitis may require systemic or periocular steroid treatment.
Those who get treated quickly may recover quicker. Anterior uveitis generally goes away within a few weeks of treatment. Posterior uveitis, especially when linked to an additional condition, can take months to heal. It is not uncommon to have a relapse.
It is important to follow your doctor’s advice, including the need for any follow up appointments or additional tests once the infection has cleared up.
How to prevent Uveitis
The best measure is to seek prompt evaluation and treatment. This is especially important if you have already had uveitis and are experiencing a recurrence. How severe the uveitis is, is linked to how quickly you seek treatment once you have it. It is therefore important to get a professional diagnosis and treatment as soon as you suspect you may have something wrong with an eye.
Get in contact for a consultation or call us on 021 671 5154 for urgent enquiries.