Uveitis occurs when the middle layer of the eyeball gets inflamed (red and swollen). This layer, called the uvea, has many blood vessels that nourish the eye. Uveitis can damage vital eye tissue, leading to permanent vision loss.
TYPES OF UVEITIS
There are 3 types of Uveitis. They are based on which part of the uvea is affected.
- Swelling of the uvea near the front of the eye is called anterior uveitis. It starts suddenly and symptoms can last up to 8 weeks. Some forms of anterior uveitis are ongoing, while others go away but keep coming back.
- Swelling of the uvea in the middle of the eye is called intermediate uveitis. Symptoms can last for a few weeks to many years. This form can go through cycles of getting better, then getting worse.
- Swelling of the uvea toward the back of the eye is called posterior uveitis. Symptoms can develop gradually and last for many years.
Here are many causes of uveitis, including autoimmune disorders (such as sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, infections (such as syphilis and toxoplasmosis), and trauma. Additionally, some are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown.
SYMPTOMS OF UVEITIS INCLUDE SOME OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING
- Aching, painful eye(s)
- Red, bloodshot eye(s)
- Sensitivity to light (increased pain when eyes are exposed to light, called photophobia)
- Blurred, cloudy vision
- Floaters (spots seen in the visual field)
Uveitis is typically treated with either as topical eye drops (prednisolone acetate) or as oral therapy. In addition to corticosteroids, topical cycloplegics, such as atropine or homatropine, may be used.
In some cases, an injection of posterior subtenon triamcinolone acetate may also be given to reduce the swelling of the eye.
Antimetabolite medications, such as methotrexate are often used for recalcitrant or more aggressive cases of uveitis. In the case of herpetic uveitis, anti-viral medications, such as valaciclovir or aciclovir, may be administered to treat the causative viral infection.
WHAT IS THE PROGNOSIS ?
The prognosis is generally good for those who receive prompt diagnosis and treatment, but serious complication including cataracts, glaucoma, band keratopathy, macular edema and permanent vision loss may result if left untreated. The type of uveitis, as well as its severity, duration, and responsiveness to treatment or any associated illnesses, all factor into the outlook