Uveitis- An Overview
Uvea or the uveal tract is the middle layer of the eye that is located between the sclera and the retina which supplies most of the blood to the retina. The uvea encompasses the iris, the choroid of the eye, and the ciliary body. The condition of inflammation or the irritation and swelling up of the uvea is called as uveitis.
There are several kinds -Anterior, Intermediate, Panuveitic Forms and Posterior Uveitis. The extremely common type that is found is Anterior Uveitis. It is the condition of inflammation of the front part of the eye which is called as iris and hence it is referred to as Uveitis and Iritis as well.
Causes of Uveitis
Statistics provide that around 10% of the blindness in USA is because of Uveitis. Uveitis is commonly seen in young and middle aged individuals. Uveitis can be caused by several causes such as autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, infections or exposure to toxins. Blindness can develop if uveitis is left untreated. There are other causes for Uveitis like diseases that can damage the immunity system of our body such as tuberculosis, AIDS, Syphilis, Herpes etc, Cancers like Lymphoma and severe injuries to the eye also cause Uveitis.
Symptoms of Uveitis
Mostly all the symptoms of Uveitis are associated with eventual loss of vision. Hazy and blurred eyesight, severe pain in the eye, photosensitivity or sensitivity to light, Blood shot eyes, constriction of pupils and changes in the color of the eye are the major symptoms of uveitis and Iritis. However it is essential to observe that the children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis generally do not tend to have any Uveitis symptoms until vision loss occurs.
Treatment for Iritis is rather simple in cases of mild implications. The patient will be prescribed eye drops or steroid drops to control the immune system, these drops also help in dilating the pupils and bringing down the muscular spasms to control pain to some extent. The patient will be asked to wear dark glasses for the protection of the eye. Oral steroids may also be prescribed as a treatment option for uveitis. If Uveitis is caused because of some body infection, strong anti-inflammatory medications called corticosteroids and antibiotics may be prescribed to the patients.
It is necessary that you hurry without delay to an ophthalmologist who is specialized in treating uveitis. It is also essential to go for regular eye checkups to protect and prevent your eyes from uveitis attacks.