Your eyes, like the rest of your body, can succumb to inflammation and irritation. If your eyes become severely inflamed, you could have a condition called uveitis. If it goes untreated for long enough, it can cause permanent vision loss.
Don’t let eye inflammation rob you of your eyesight. Schedule a visit at Retina Consultants of Austin to ensure your vision remains healthy.
What is Uveitis?
Uveitis is inflammation in your eye. The middle layer of your eye is the uvea. If a part of the uvea becomes inflamed, you have uveitis.
The uvea has many blood vessels that provide nourishment to the eye. Uveitis may affect one or both eyes and can lead to severe and permanent vision loss, especially if untreated. Uveitis can cause vision loss in many ways including progressive clouding of the lens (cataract), increased eye pressure and optic nerve damage (glaucoma), swelling in the macula, increased floaters, compromised blood flow to the retina, and retinal detachment.
Types of Uveitis
There are three primary types of uveitis:
Anterior uveitis affects the part of the uvea that’s toward the front of your eye. The symptoms begin suddenly. Some cases of anterior uveitis go away and then come back. Others are ongoing.
Intermediate uveitis is in the middle of your eye. This type of uveitis can get better, worsen, and tends to fluctuate between the two.
Posterior uveitis develops gradually and affects the uvea near the back of your eye. It could last for many years.
Uveitis can affect one or both eyes at the same time. Severe cases of uveitis, called panuveitis, inflame every part of your uvea.
Smoking tobacco increases your risk of developing uveitis. Other causes of uveitis include:
- An eye injury
- Certain medications
- Other diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus, or ulcerative colitis
What are the Symptoms of Uveitis?
Symptoms of uveitis include light sensitivity, blurry vision, specks in your eyesight, and red eyes. You may or may not experience pain.
If you think you might have uveitis, it’s essential to contact your eye doctor right away. If you don’t get immediate medical care, uveitis can cause permanent vision loss.
How is Uveitis Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will examine your eye and talk with you about your medical history.
In some cases, they may order blood tests, X-rays, or a skin test because other diseases often cause uveitis.
Does Uveitis Have Complications?
Uveitis does have complications. It can cause cataracts, glaucoma, and a swollen or detached retina if it goes untreated.
What are Uveitis Treatment Options?
Your eye doctor will determine your uveitis treatment based on a couple of factors. What is causing your uveitis, where the inflammation is in your eye, and how severe your condition is.
They will consider all these factors when recommending treatment for uveitis. But the most common treatment is corticosteroids.
These are medications that reduce inflammation. You can take them as eye drops or through injections in your eye. Sometimes your eye doctor might prescribe corticosteroids as an oral pill.
Other medical conditions can cause uveitis. If another disease is causing your uveitis, it’s essential to treat the underlying cause.
You might need to take an antibiotic to treat an infection. Or you may need a biological drug that targets your immune system. Treatment depends on what is causing your uveitis.
Some cases of uveitis need surgery. If your uveitis keeps coming back and no other treatments will work, your eye doctor may perform a vitrectomy. This procedure removes part of the gel inside your eye.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Corticosteroids do have the potential to cause side effects. These might include cataract formation or glaucoma if steroids are only used around the eye. If steroid pills are given you can have side effects that can include weight gain, acne, or trouble sleeping.
Since vitrectomy is a medical procedure, it has potential risks as well. But, it is a common procedure that your surgeon has experience performing.
The physicians of Retina Consultants of Austin are well-versed in the diagnosis and management of the varied presentations of uveitis. The key to the best visual outcomes is prompt evaluation and treatment.
If you think you have uveitis, seek medical attention. Schedule an appointment at Retina Consultants of Austin in Austin, TX, today!
Uveitis can cause permanent vision loss. Don’t risk your eyesight by not scheduling an appointment!