Uveitis is group of diseases that have in common some degree of inflammation in the uvea, the pigmented tissue in the eye. The uvea itself includes the iris, located in the front of the eye; the ciliary body, located behind the iris; and the choroid, a layer of blood vessels. Uveitis can occur in any one of the aforementioned parts of the uvea or all of them. Therefore, when one is concerned about uveitis, it is important to have all layers of the uvea examined.
This condition can be found in individuals of all ages, even children. There are multiple causes of uveitis:
The symptoms of this condition include redness, pain, and blurred vision. Light sensitivity and the presence of floaters are also common side effects of uveitis. Symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually.
If left untreated, uveitis could result in retinal swelling or scarring, or retinal detachment. In severe cases, permanent vision loss could occur. Those diagnosed with uveitis are also at increased risk of other ocular problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts.
There are four main types of uveitis, characterized by the location of the eye which they affect. The names of each as well as the layers of the uvea in which they are found are as follows:
The best method to treat uveitis is to treat the condition causing the inflammation. Treatment could be required for a few months or a few years. Treatments may involve local therapies — such as eye drops, injections, or surgical implants — or systemic medications.
Possible treatment options include:
In severe cases, drugs that modify the activity of the immune system may be required.
Untreated uveitis can result in severe visual impairment. However, there are multiple methods of treatment available to help manage the condition. If you are contemplating the best course of action to treat your uveitis, please act now and see your ophthalmologist for professional advice.
Known as Dhanu among his family and friends, Annal Dhananjayan Meleth was born in Kerala, India, but he admits with a chuckle it is difficult to answer the question of where he is from. This world traveler has lived in 26 different places. But most of his life was spent in India, England, Canada, and now the U.S. Dr. Meleth’s education and medical training have taken him on a meandering journey reaching from Québec, Canada, to Alabama, Washington, D.C., Texas, Australia, and now Atlanta, where his family resides. He spends some time every year teaching courses about medical and surgical management of diabetic retinopathy and provides charitable care for patients with advanced diabetic complications in various parts of the world. Read his full bio here.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. It describes itself as a “global community of 32,000 medical doctors who protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public.” Its website is a great resource to learn more about how to care for your eyes.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) describes itself as the leading authority on quality care and an advocate for our nation’s health, representing more than 44,000 doctors of optometry (O.D.), optometric professionals, and optometry students.
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