Uveitis is a treatable, yet serious, eye inflammation condition. It impacts the middle layer of the eye and can cause a variety of symptoms, or in some instances, no symptoms at all. However, warning signs typically spring up quickly and can worsen in no time at all. It is critical if you experience eye redness, blurred vision, or pain in the eyes, that you seek medical treatment right away.
What Causes Uveitis?
In nearly half of the reported cases of uveitis, the cause is unknown. This can be incredibly frustrating for patients who would like to learn the best way to avoid the condition in the future. However, if a cause can be detected, it usually falls into one of the following categories:
An inflammatory disorder
An eye injury
An eye surgery
An autoimmune disorder
Cancers that impact the eyes
Who Can Be Impacted?
While anybody of any age can get uveitis, it is more prominent in people ages 20 to 50. Additionally, certain gene mutations and smoking cigarettes may increase your chances of developing uveitis at some point in your life.
How is Uveitis Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will be able to determine if you have this condition. Patients should expect a series of blood tests, fluid analysis, evaluation of retinal blood flow, and measuring the thickness of retinal tissue. If it is determined that there is an infection or another underlying health condition, then you may be referred to another specialist at that time in order to treat those concerns.
Depending on the root cause of uveitis, the treatment plan will vary. It is likely that a series of medications will be prescribed to reduce inflammation, address any pain, and/or medications to address any bacteria or virus infections.
In more severe cases, surgery may be the solution. The following surgical procedures may be elected:
Vitrectomy: a surgery to remove the vitreous from the eye.
Medication implants: Patients who have especially complex uveitis, may require an implant that slowly releases medication over a two to three-year period.
Many patients are curious about how long it takes to fully treat this problem. It varies based on the location and severity of the inflammation. For instance, uveitis that forms in the back of the eye will likely take longer to go away than if it were in the front of the eye. Keep in mind, it may return and you will need to complete another round of treatment.
What Happens if Uveitis is Left Untreated?
While uveitis is somewhat common, it can be severe if left untreated. Complications that may occur include:
Optical nerve damage
Permanent vision loss
Any of these symptoms can permanently impact your vision and overall health. If you have any of the common symptoms associated with uveitis, be sure to bring it up to your eye doctor as soon as possible. A quick response time coupled with the appropriate treatment will increase the chances of your vision not being impacted long-term.
Valuable Information to Bring to Your Appointment
It is critical to take a few moments to prepare for your eye appointment. If you suspect you may have uveitis, please bring the following information:
A list of your symptoms
Any medications you are currently taking
Any information about previous treatments, traumas, or surgeries
A thorough list of questions or concerns you may have
You deserve to have the best vision possible. Don’t let untreated uveitis steal that from you! Please contact StylEyes in West Des Moines, IA today to schedule a consultation and go over any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to working with you to address your vision concerns (515) 225-6447.