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Uveitis is an inflammation inside the eye. It often occurs when the immune system is fighting an infection. In some cases, uveitis indicates your immune system is fighting an eye infection, but it may also happen when your immune system attacks healthy eye tissues.

Uveitis may cause problems such as vision loss, pain and redness. It damages the part of the eye known as the uvea but usually affects other eye parts. In some cases, uveitis resolves quickly but may reoccur; sometimes, it is long-term.

Uveitis can affect one or both eyes, resulting in vision loss if untreated, so it is important to see your eye doctor immediately to experience symptoms.

What is the uvea?

The uvea is the centre layer of the eye between the retina (the light-sensitive tissue layer at the back of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye). Its three parts include:

Types of uveitis

The different types of uveitis affect different eye parts. They include:

Symptoms of uveitis

Early symptoms of uveitis often start suddenly. These symptoms include:

If you experience these symptoms, visit your eye doctor immediately, as uveitis may result in vision loss if left untreated.

Can I have uveitis?

Anyone can develop uveitis, but it is more common in people between 20 – 60 years. You also have a higher risk if you smoke cigarettes.

Causes of uveitis

The causes of uveitis are still unknown, but several known causes exist. In some cases, uveitis results from autoimmune diseases, such as

Sometimes, it results from an infection or condition related to an infection, such as;

Uveitis can occur from cancers that affect the eye, like lymphoma

How can my eye doctor diagnose uveitis?

Eye doctors can diagnose uveitis during a dilated eye exam which is painless and simple. Your eye doctor will administer dilating eye drops to widen your eyes and check for uveitis and other eye conditions.

Your eye doctor will also ask about your medical history and may recommend some tests to check if you have an infection or other diseases that may cause uveitis.

Treatment for uveitis

Medications like steroids can reduce eye inflammation. This may ease your symptoms and prevent vision loss. The eye doctor may prescribe the steroids in different ways.

Steroids may have side effects and elevate your risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts. If you take steroids for uveitis, ensure you get regular eye exams to check for signs of these eye problems.

Your treatment plan will depend on different factors, like the part of your eye affected and other health conditions. For example, a doctor can prescribe medicines to help control the immune system. You will work with your doctor to find the most suitable treatment.

If you experience symptoms of uveitis, visit Optimal Vision for an eye exam. Call us on 020 3178 3725 to book your eye exam appointment.

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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