The uvea is the middle layer of the eye that contains the majority of the blood vessels. It is made up of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid and is located between the sclera, the white outer coat of the eye, and the retina, the inner layer of the eye.
Uveitis refers to a group of inflammatory diseases that cause swelling of the uveal tissues. It is not always limited to the uvea but can also affect the lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous, resulting in reduced vision or blindness.
Uveitis can be caused by problems or diseases in the eye, or it can be part of an inflammatory disease that affects other parts of the body.
It can occur at any age, but it primarily affects people aged 20 to 60.
Uveitis can be acute or chronic. The most severe forms of uveitis can reoccur multiple times.
Uveitis may affect one or both eyes at the same time. Symptoms may appear quickly and include:
Uveitis signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of inflammation.
Acute anterior uveitis can affect one or both eyes and is characterized in adults by eye pain, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and redness.
Blurred vision and floaters are symptoms of intermediate uveitis. It is not usually associated with pain.
Vision loss can occur as a result of posterior uveitis. This type of uveitis is only detectable during an eye exam.
The body’s natural reaction to tissue damage, germs, or toxins is inflammation. It causes swelling, redness, and heat, as well as the destruction of tissues, as certain white blood cells rush to the affected area of the body in an attempt to contain or eliminate the insult. Uveitis is caused by an inflammation of the uveal tissue.
Many cases of uveitis are chronic, and they can result in a variety of complications, such as corneal clouding, cataracts, elevated eye pressure (IOP), glaucoma, retinal swelling, or retinal detachment. These complications have the potential to lead to permanent vision loss.
If uveitis is caused by another condition, treatment will be tailored to that condition.
The first option for treating uveitis is to use anti-inflammatory drugs. Your doctor may first recommend anti-inflammatory eyedrops, such as corticosteroids. If these do not provide relief, corticosteroid tablets or injections may be required.
The second option for uveitis treatment is to use drugs that combat bacteria or viruses. If your uveitis is the result of an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications, or other medications, with or without corticosteroids, to treat the infection.
Drugs that suppress the immune system or kill cells If the disease does not affect both eyes, does not respond well to corticosteroids, or becomes severe enough to threaten your vision, you may require immunosuppressive or cytotoxic drugs for uveitis treatment.
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