What is Uveitis?
Uveitis is a general term that includes sub-groups named by the area of the eye in which they occur. For example, retinitis refers to an inflammation of the retina and iritis to an inflammation of the iris. It can be categorized as acute or chronic. Its cause defines the name of the disease as infectious or non-infectious. Some types of uveitis occur only in one eye, but in other types, both eyes may experience vision-threatening problems. Uveitis can be associated with diseases that affect other areas of the body or can be isolated only in the eye.
What are the symptoms of uveitis?
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Redness of the eye
Uveitis may develop suddenly. If the eye is red and painful, or if vision is blurry (with or without pain), it is important to contact a specialist immediately.
What causes uveitis?
In many cases, the cause of uveitis is unknown. However, some causes have been identified. These include:
- Fungi, such as histoplasmosis
- Parasites, such as toxoplasmosis
- A virus, such as shingles, mumps or herpes simplex
- Eye injury
- Related disease in other parts of the body, such as arthritis, gastrointestinal disease or collagen vascular disease (lupus)
What is the treatment of uveitis?
Treatments of uveitis depend upon the cause, which may be infectious or non-infectious. Treatments often include corticosteroid eye drops to reduce inflammation. Sometimes injections or oral corticosteroids are needed. Other treatments of chronic uveitis may include immunosuppressives or restorative surgery. Sometimes eye drops to dilate the pupil are required to prevent complications. The ophthalmologist treating uveitis may need to coordinate treatment with a rheumatologist or primary physician when addressing this disease.
Uveitis can resolve quickly without any permanent changes in the eye. However, it can cause blindness if treatment is unsuccessful.
Schedule your eye exam today
If you notice any changes in your vision or to the condition of your eyes, contact the Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center for an appointment with Dr. Jane Blackman, our uveitis specialist. Call 1-877-DR4-2020 to schedule an eye exam or click here to request an appointment.