Everyone at one time or another has dealt with inflammation in the eye, which can include eye pain, redness, sensitivity to light and blurry vision. But if you’re experiencing chronic eye inflammation, it can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated. Here’s more information about uveitis, which is a form of eye inflammation, and what you should do to treat it.
Uveitis affects the middle layer of the eye, in an area called the uvea. This area consists of the iris, ciliary body and choroid). Uveitis happens when the jelly-like material in the uvea becomes inflamed. The signs and symptoms of inflammation in this area of the eye include eye redness, pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision, dark floating spots in your field of vision and decreased vision.
The specific cause of uveitis isn’t clear in about half of all cases. Identifiable causes include:
- An injury or surgery
- An infection such as Lyme disease or cat-scratch disease
- An autoimmune disease such as sarcoidosis or ankylosing spondylitis
- An inflammatory disease such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
- A cancer that can affect the eye
Symptoms often come on suddenly and get worse quickly, affecting one or both eyes. Sometimes, symptoms develop gradually.
Early diagnosis and treatment are vital, so contact your doctor if you think you have uveitis. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, optic nerve damage, retinal detachment and permanent vision loss. If you’re having significant eye pain or vision problems, seek immediate medical attention.
Treatment options vary upon what is found upon exam and testing. Noninfectious uveitis in the front of the eye is treated with steroid eye drops. Infectious uveitis can be treated with antibiotics. Dilating eye drops can be prescribed to reduce pain. You may be advised to wear dark glasses to help with light sensitivity. Steroid medications may help address systemic inflammation in the back of the eyes.
If you believe you are suffering from uveitis or you have other concerns about your vision and eye health, call (800) 676-5050 to set up an appointment with Longwood Eye & LASIK Center at one of our several locations.