Uveitis is swelling of the middle eye layer or uvea. Generally, it can arise in both non-infectious and infectious causes. It is important to note that the uvea provides blood to the retina. The condition is not considered serious. Nevertheless, severe cases can lead to vision loss if not treated immediately.
What are the signs?
The usual signs might affect one or both eyes such as:
- Eye pain
- Severe eye redness
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Lastly, dark floating spots in the vision (floaters) occurs
What are the causes?
The root cause of uveitis is often unknown and generally occurs even in healthy individuals. Proper treatment is vital since it is oftentimes linked with another condition such as a viral or bacterial infection or autoimmune disorder.
An autoimmune disease arises if the immune system attacks a part of the body. Overall, the usual conditions that are linked with the uveitis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Kawasaki disease
Some of the infections that can cause uveitis include the following:
- West Nile virus
Management of uveitis
Overall, the treatment for uveitis is based on the cause and form. Generally, the treatment involves eye drops. If brought about by another condition, the treatment focuses on the underlying condition.
The objective of treatment is to lessen the eye inflammation. The commonly used treatment options include:
- Anterior – treatment involves dark glasses as well as steroid eye drops to lessen the irritation or inflammation and eye drops to dilate the pupil and reduce the pain
- Posterior – involve the use of oral steroids, injections around the eye. In addition, treatment of the infection or autoimmune disease is also necessary.
- Intermediate – steroid eye drops and oral variants
Consequently, in serious cases, the doctor provides medications that suppress the immune system.
What is the outlook?
With the anterior form, it eventually settles in a few days with treatment. For the posterior form, it heals in a slow manner than the form that affects the front of the eye. If the posterior form is brought about by another condition, it can last for months and can result to lasting visual damage.