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Uveitis is a collection of eye diseases that has one thing in common: the eye becomes inflamed. It can become inflamed in anyone of its many parts.
Source: America Academy of Ophthalmology
There are several categories of uveitis including;
• Iritis, or anterior uveitis. This is the most common and affects the front part of the eye.
• Cyclitis or intermediate uveitis, this affects the tissue behind the pupil or the middle of the eye.
• Choroiditis or retinitis. This affects the back of the eye.
People complain of any of the following symptoms: an aching eye pain, red eye tender to the touch, light sensitivity, floating spots or blurred vision. While floaters are a common finding in uveitis, they are also experienced in the more common age-related floaters. We can tell the difference by retinal examination.
Uveitis has many causes;
• It may be caused by injury.
• It may be caused by the body attacking itself - this is called an autoimmune disease. Examples include sarcoidosis, ulcerative colitis or lupus and there are many others.
• Uveitis can also come from an underlying infection caused by either a virus, bacteria, or parasite. A few examples are lymes disease, tuberculosis, or syphilis.
• However, in many cases the cause is frequently unknown- we call this idiopathic.
A careful full body evaluation may be necessary in uveitis patients, working with a medical doctor. Blood work, genetic testing and X-ray examinations are often ordered to look for an underlying cause.
Uveitis must be controlled to prevent vision.
Treatment is initially anti-inflammatory medication- like steroids via eye drops, injections, or by mouth.
If an infection is suspected, this is treated as well.
We may also use immunotherapy (stronger medications to suppress the immune system) in cases of more severe disease. Especially if patients will require long term treatment to avoid the side effects sometimes seen using steroids as well as control the inflammation of uveitis.
Dr. Gloth is a fellowship trained retinal specialist with special expertise in uveitis having over 10 years’ experience in practice. He uses the latest special treatments for uveitis and is connected to leading laboratories as well as tertiary referral centers if your treatment should require this.