Uveitis: What is it and what does it mean for you?

You may have found yourself wondering at one point or another if a bothersome irritation of your eye or perhaps something that feels more serious warrants an appointment with your optometrist. There are a few types of emergencies that you may encounter and there are several symptoms you should look out for to ensure your condition is diagnosed and treated effectively. Conjunctivitis, Uveitis, and Retinal Detachment are three main eye emergencies to be on the lookout for. This blog post will cover Uveitis, also known as Iritis.

Uveitis is a grouping of inflammatory diseases that leads to the deterioration of the eye tissue. There are concrete risks to leaving this untreated which can include severe vision loss. These diseases generally affect the Uvea which is the middle part of the eye however it also can affect other areas such as the optic nerve or retina. It can occur at any age and it can be short lived or it can become an ongoing and re occurring issue for some people.

Uveitis can begin as an autoimmune disorder in the body or alongside other infections within the body. It can also begin if a toxic substance makes contact with the eye. There are also times where its origins are unclear. Symptomology usually includes sudden difficulty seeing or blurriness, pain, light sensitivity, or floaters. If you experience the onset of these symptoms you should see your optometrist immediately. Treatment will depend on which part of the eye is affected. Anterior Uveitis is present in the front portion of the eye and it is typically treated with eye drops that either dilate the pupil or steroid drops to help bring down inflammation. Intermediate Uveitis, Pan-Uveitis and Posterior Uveitis which affect different parts of the eye are treated with injections. Sometimes immunosuppressant medication will also be prescribed if the root cause of the Uveitis is an auto immune response to a disease such as Multiple Sclerosis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

If you are concerned that you may have uveitis you should see your optometrist immediately for a complete assessment and management.