Protecting Your Eyes from Uveitis

  • Seeing people with blurred vision

With uveitis causing around 10% of new blindness cases in the United States, it’s important to understand what it is and how Palm Beach Eye Center can help you. It’s the fourth leading cause of blindness, and it can be caused by long-term inflammation in different parts of the eye. In up to 50% of cases the cause is unknown, but in other cases it has been linked to other auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, or even an eye injury or infection.

Some symptoms include:

  • Eye Redness;
  • Sensitivity to Light;
  • Eye Pain;
  • Blurred Vision;
  • Floaters;
  • And sometimes tearing, eyelid puffiness, and drooping eyelid.

The four types of uveitis are:

  • Iritis: inflammation that affects the iris. Susceptibility may increase with autoimmune disorders.
  • Cyclitis: inflammation that affects of the middle part of the eye, which could affect the muscle that focuses the lens.
  • Retinitis: inflammation that affects the back of the eye. Viruses such as shingles or herpes or bacterial infections such as syphilis or toxoplasmosis may be a cause. This form is often difficult to treat.
  • Choroiditis: inflammation that affects the layer beneath the retina. It may also be caused by an infection such as tuberculosis.

Because the state of your vision is at stake, it’s important to set up an examination to be sure your eyes are healthy, especially if you have an autoimmune disorder. By giving your doctor a detailed medical history, having a thorough eye exam, and in some cases x-rays and lab tests, you can determine if you have uveitis.

Treatment

Because the cause of uveitis lies in the inflammation of the eye, the swelling must be treated. This may be done through steroid eye drops, shots, or pills. Often the form of treatment depends on where the inflammation is occurring.

Because complications of uveitis includes glaucoma, cataracts, abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes, fluid in the retina, and blindness, it is important to get an early diagnosis. If you’ve experienced a sudden onset of symptoms that don’t quickly and easily go away, it’s important to contact your doctor at Palm Beach Eye Center right away. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential.

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