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Understanding Uveitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Author: Fardeen Ahmed

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Uveitis

Uveitis refers to inflammation that affects the middle layer of your eye wall which is also known as uvea. This condition could be caused due to infections or even some existing eye issues. Uveitis can sometimes be painful, cause redness, irritation and swelling and sometimes even affect your eyesight. If untreated, uveitis can also result in major eye tissue damage and even permanent loss of vision.

Types of Uveitis

Uveitis condition is classified into 3 types based on the part of the uvea that is affected.

  • Anterior Uveitis

If swelling happens to the uvea near the front of the eyes, it is called anterior uveitis. This condition can start all of a sudden with symptoms that last many weeks. 

  • Intermediate Uveitis

If the swelling happens to the uvea in the middle of the eye, it is called intermediate uveitis. In such cases, the symptoms could last a few weeks or sometimes many years. 

  • Posterior Uveitis

If the swelling happens to the uvea in the back of the eye, it is referred to as posterior uveitis. Symptoms develop and get worse gradually and will last for many years.

Uveitis Causes

In most cases, the cause of uveitis is unknown and in some cases, it could be a result of infections, systemic diseases, injuries or medications.

1. Infections

When pathogens enter your body, they cause damage and infection. Pathogens that cause uveitis are:

  • Virus – Viral pathogens like herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster, and cytomegalovirus can cause uveitis.
  • Bacteria – Treponema pallidum that causes syphilis and mycobacterium tuberculosis can also cause uveitis.
  • Fungi – Species like Candida and Aspergillus can cause uveitis.

2. Systemic Diseases

Uveitis isn’t always caused by only existing eye conditions. In some cases, the reason could be a condition that is affecting other body systems or even your whole body.

Systemic conditions that are linked to uveitis are:

  • Sarcoidosis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Arthritis

3. Injuries

Eye injuries can damage uvea tissues and blood vessels resulting in uveitis. Our immune system uses inflammation as a response to injury and as part of the repair process. 

4. Medications

Certain medications that can cause uveitis are:

  • Cidofovir
  • Rifabutin
  • Brimonidine Eye Drops
  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

Uveitis Symptoms

Symptoms can vary according to the type of uveitis and its severity. The most commonly observed symptoms are:

  • Eye Pain
  • Irritation
  • White Liquid Accumulation in Eye
  • Increase in Floaters
  • Red Eye
  • Gaps or Missing Sections in the Field of Vision
  • Decreased Vision
  • Blurred Vision
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Swollen Conjunctiva
  • Change in Pupil Shape

Uveitis Diagnosis

The diagnosis process of uveitis starts with an eye exam. At Nethradhama, we use cutting-edge technologies for visual acuity tests and slit lamp examinations. Sometimes tonometry is also used to measure the pressure in your eyes and optical coherence tomography to check for changes in the shape of your eyes. 

If uveitis is caused due to other underlying conditions, you may also have to include a blood test to check for infections, autoimmune disorders, forms of arthritis and other blood-related medical conditions. Imaging scans such as X-rays and MRI can also be performed to detect uveitis and its underlying causes. 

Since uveitis causes and symptoms can vary depending on its type, it is best to consult a specialist for early diagnosis and effective treatment. Nethradhama is all set to provide you with the best care and effective treatment options from our expert doctors.

Uveitis Treatment

The goal of uveitis treatment is to reduce the swelling in your eyes. If uveitis is caused by an underlying condition, treatment will be carried out for that specific condition. Several treatment options are available for uveitis.

1. Medications

  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Initial treatment involves eye drops that consist of anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids. But uveitis cannot be completely cured or maintained with eye drops alone. So your doctor may recommend injection of corticosteroid in or around the eye and sometimes tablets.

  • Anti-spasm Drugs

Eye drops with drugs that control spasms in the iris and ciliary body can help reduce eye pain associated with uveitis.

  • Antimicrobial Drugs

If uveitis is caused due to microbial infection, the main goal of treatment is to bring the infection under control and alleviate the cause.

  • Immunosuppressant Drugs

Immunosuppressant drugs are prescribed to inhibit the inflammatory responses of your immune system thus reducing uveitis.

2. Surgical Procedures

  • Intraocular Injections

Direct injection of corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory drugs into the eyes will alleviate uveitis and its symptoms for a few months. 

  • Sustained-release Implants

Implantable devices that release medications slowly into the eye will provide long-lasting relief from uveitis symptoms. 

  • Pars Plana Vitrectomy

This surgical process involves the removal of vitreous gel to maintain or prevent the gradual development of uveitis condition.

Uveitis Complications

Uveitis condition can cause changes in eye structure and have complications associated with that. Some of those complications are:

  • Vision loss & blindness
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular pucker
  • Cystoid macular edema
  • Detached retina
  • High intraocular pressure
  • Optic nerve swelling & damage
  • Synechiae
  • Retinal scarring
  • Retinal swelling

Uveitis Treatment in Bangalore

Visit Nethradhama Super Speciality Eye Hospital for the best care. Our team of expert doctors are equipped to provide advanced treatment for uveitis. We will make sure that your experience will stand testimony to our excellence in eye care.

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