What is Uveitis & Ocular Inflammation?
Ocular inflammation is swelling and inflammation of the eye tissue. The part of the eye that is commonly affected is the middle layer of the eye known as the uvea. Inflammation of the uvea is known as uveitis.
Types of Uveitis
Uveitis may be differentiated based on the part of the uvea that is affected:
- Iritis: Also known as anterior uveitis, iritis affects the iris, the coloured part of the eye that surrounds the pupil.
- Cyclitis: Also known as intermediate uveitis, cyclitis affects the ciliary body, a circular structure behind the iris that changes the shape of the lens to focus your vision.
- Choroiditis: Also known as posterior uveitis, choroiditis affects the choroid, a thin layer in the posterior part of the uvea that contains many tiny blood vessels.
- Diffuse uveitis: This type of uveitis affects all parts of the uvea.
Causes of Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
Uveitis and ocular inflammation may be caused by:
- Eye trauma
- Infections such as herpes zoster
- Inflammatory disorders such as ulcerative colitis
- Immune disorders
- Cancer (rare occurrence)
Symptoms of Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
Characteristic symptoms of uveitis and ocular inflammation include:
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurring of vision
- Dark sports or floaters in your field of vision
- Decreased vision
Diagnosis of Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
A diagnosis of uveitis and ocular inflammation would be based on your signs and symptoms, a complete eye examination, blood tests, analysis of fluid from the eye, specialised photography to evaluate retinal blood flow and the presence or absence of fluid within the eye.
Complications of Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
If left untreated, uveitis and ocular inflammation could result in:
- Vision loss
- Macular oedema
- Retinal detachment
- Scarring of the cornea
- Cataract formation
Treatment Options for Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
The various treatment options for uveitis and ocular inflammation include:
- Medications in the form of eyedrops, injections, or tablets for oral consumption; medications may include corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, antibiotics to treat infection, and immunosuppressive drugs to treat immune-related disease/li>
- Surgical removal of eye vitreous (gel-like material) and debris from the eye to improve vision
- Surgery to place implants in the eye that slowly release medication
- Laser treatment to treat severe oedema in uveitis
Prognosis of Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation
Most cases of uveitis and ocular inflammation can be successfully treated. However, early diagnosis is very important to improve prognosis. If you have any of the signs or symptoms of uveitis and ocular inflammation, visit your doctor or an eye specialist as soon as possible.