What is Uveitis and What Could It Mean For Your Eyes?

As far as eye inflammations go, uveitis is among the ones which should be treated with more care. This condition can be relatively annoying to deal with and in this article we will take a look at some of the effects it can have on your life and vision.

What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea of your eye, which is the middle layer of your eye wall. This condition can often be mistaken for pink eye (conjunctivitis), due to the fact that the eye can also appear red as a result of it.

There are a few types of this condition which affect different parts of the uvea:

  1. Intermediate uveitis - this type of inflammation affects the blood vessels behind the lens and the retina of your eye, but it can also affect the gel within your eye (vitreous humour).
  2. Anterior uveitis - this is the most common form of uveitis. It affects the tissue between the iris and the cornea of the eye.
  3. Posterior uveitis - this type affects the back of the uvea and the choroid or the retina, which are located there.
  4. Panuveitis - another type of the condition in which multiple parts of the uvea become inflamed.

This condition can appear in either both eyes or only in one eye. The rate at which it progresses can also be different if both eyes are affected. In more severe cases, when the condition is left untreated, it can cause vision loss.

What are the symptoms of Uveitis?

Uveitis shares similarities with other conditions, so getting yourself checked is vital for a reliable diagnosis. Here are some of the signs that you should be keeping an eye out for:

  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Heightened light sensitivity
  • Seeing dark spots (floaters) in your vision
  • Headaches
  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Pain

A lot of these can be annoying on their own, but together they can interfere with your daily tasks. Apart from that, it might also cause serious complications if left untreated. Complications of uveitis include:

Some of those can be treated and their impact mitigated after they affect you, but in more severe cases permanent vision loss is also possible.

What causes uveitis?

In a good portion of the cases, the causes are hard to identify and can sometimes be traced back to other conditions being behind it. Some causes can be:

  1. Uveitis as a result of a surgical intervention
  2. Autoimmune disorder, which causes the body to attack healthy cells in your eyes.
  3. A range of infections, like tuberculosis and herpes zoster.

There are multiple other risk factors that can result in this condition, this is why regular eye check ups can save you a lot of trouble.

How do you treat Uveitis?

There are multiple solutions which can help you treat uveitis. A good portion of them depend on the type of the condition that you have and will be personally tailored for each individual, too.

Sometimes you'll be prescribed medication that relieves the different symptoms that you might be experiencing. For example, you might be prescribed immunosuppressors, if the cause lies within your immune system attacking your own body. If the uveitis has been caused by viruses, you might need to take antibiotics. 

If you have issues with an underlying condition, curing your uveitis can be dependent on dealing with said conditions first. This is because in many situations these turn out to be the cause behind uveitis.

If you're experiencing a heightened light sensitivity due to uveitis, it might be beneficial to wear some high quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection and low light transmission.

In conclusion

Uveitis is not a condition that you should overlook, so if you see your eyes getting red and you feel other symptoms along with this, you should definitely book yourself an appointment with your eye specialist. This way you’ll be able to avoid any possible complications and trace the causes, especially as uveitis could be a sign of another underlying condition.