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Uveitis Treatment and Diagnosis: What You Should Know

Uveitis Treatment and Diagnosis: What You Should Know

Uveitis is an inflammation of the part of the eye called the uvea, hence the name. Uveitis can cause blurred or lessening vision, eye redness, sensitivity to light, dark spots in your vision, and pain. Learn more about uveitis treatment, symptoms, and causes here.

How Does Uveitis Affect Your Vision?

Uveitis can affect just a single eye or both. And how long it lasts also varies from short to prolonged periods. It may even recur. Fortunately, because the symptoms are obvious and immediate, uveitis can be quickly diagnosed.

Because uveitis is made of different parts, the type of uveitis you have will depend on which part is inflamed.

uveitis treatment

The different parts of the uvea are:

Iris. This is the pigmented part of the eye that controls the amount of light that the retina receives.

Ciliary body. The ciliary body is the part of the eyes which provides oxygen and nutrients to the outer layers of the eye.

Choroid coat. More simply known as choroid or choroidea, this is the layer of the eye that contains the connective tissues and blood vessels that surround the exterior layer of the eye.

As listed above, the uvea and its individual parts are very important, and any damage to even a single part of the uvea can be very serious and have negative, long-lasting effects. This is why when diagnosed, uveitis treatment must be performed as soon as possible to prevent any complications.

Types of Uveitis

There are several types of uveitis. And the following are:

Anterior Uveitis

This type of uveitis occurs in the front of the eye and affects the iris. It is the most common type of uveitis, making up a third of all cases, and usually only occurs in one eye.

Unfortunately, anyone, even healthy individuals, can be affected by anterior uveitis. There are links to some other diseases such as rheumatologic and other infectious diseases as these can cause inflammation in parts of the body, which may also affect the eyes.

Intermediate Uveitis

Intermediate uveitis affects the ciliary body and is commonly seen in younger patients, usually in the 18-35-year-old age range.

Posterior Uveitis

This condition may occur in both the retina and the choroid coat of the eye, though the bulk of the inflammation occurs in the back of the eye. This is one of the more damaging types as posterior uveitis is usually long-lasting and recurring, causing long-term damage and even blindness if not treated in time.

Panuveitis

While not technically a type of uveitis, panuveitis is the term for when at least two, or all of the three parts of the uvea are affected.

Causes of Uveitis

Although most cases of uveitis are isolated and causes are usually unknown, here are some of the possible links and diseases that may cause uveitis.

  1. Tuberculosis. This bacterial infection may cause our bodies to release an immune response that may cause inflammation in the affected areas, sometimes including the eyes.
  2. Sarcoidosis causes clumps of inflammatory cells to spread throughout the body and its organs. It can spread to any organ including the eyes.
  3. Behcet Disease is a disorder that causes inflammation in the blood vessels all over bodies. Because the eyes contain a large number of blood vessels, both in the exterior and interior layer, the eyes are no exception to this disease.
  4. Sympathetic ophthalmia happens because of trauma to the eye. This may occur due to an accidental injury or in some cases an adverse reaction after eye surgery. How fast it develops varies from days to sometimes even years. It can cause permanent blindness, so you must seek emergency treatment immediately when diagnosed.
  5. Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes an abnormal autoimmune response to a viral infection. Unfortunately, the causes of this disorder are unknown.

Uveitis Treatment

Does uveitis have a cure? The short answer is no. The good news is uveitis treatment is very effective and can help contain the symptoms of this disease until our body’s natural healing can take over and stop the inflammation.

Uveitis can be linked to other diseases and disorders, and if so, treating those diseases is important to treat the uveitis they are causing. Uveitis treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, usually in the form of eye drops. These can control the inflammation of the eyes; however, eye drops do not reach the rear of the eyes. You may substitute them with anti-inflammatory injections around the eye or pills like corticosteroid tablets that can be taken orally.
  • Anti-spasm eye drops can relieve spasms caused by inflammation by dilating the pupils, which are the opening of the iris.
  • Antiviral and antibiotics can cure some of the underlying bacterial and viral infections which may be causing the uveitis.
  • Corticosteroid implants. These are implants that periodically release corticosteroids. This is used for difficult, recurring cases in hard-to-reach areas such as the back of the eye.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs are used for uveitis cases that cause abnormal autoimmune responses.

Key Takeaways

Uveitis is a very serious disease that can cause a severe loss of vision at the very least and permanent blindness at worst. Fortunately, symptoms are apparent which can lead to a quick diagnosis. This can help you get uveitis treatment immediately and prevent any long-term complications.

Learn more about Eye Diseases here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Giann Floresca Updated 4 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Victor Ephraime V. Paulino, MD, DPBO
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