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Uveitis

Definition:

Uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye which provides most of the blood supply to the retina(the inner most layer of the eye)

Anatomical classification and causes of Uveitis:

Uveitis can be caused by autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, infection, or exposure to toxins. However, in many cases the cause is unknown.

  • Anterior uveitis or iritis which is predominantly the inflammation of the iris(the coloured portion of the eye). It is most common in young and middle-aged people
  • Intermediate uveitis or pars planitis which is the inflammation of the narrowed area (pars plana) between the colored part of the eye (iris) and the choroid and is usually occur in young men.
  • Posterior uveitis which is the inflammation of the choroid, a layer of blood vessels and connective tissue in the middle part of the eye. This type of uveitis is also called as choroiditis. If the retina is also involved, it is called chorioretinitis
  • Panuveitis implies the involvement of the entire uveal tract.

Uveitis can also be associated with systemic diseases like AIDS, Rheumatoid arthritis etc.

Symptoms:

Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may develop rapidly and can include:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Dark, floating spots in the vision.
  • Eye pain.
  • Redness of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

Treatment option:

Iritis is usually mild. Treatment may involve:

  • Dark glasses.
  • Eye drops that dilate the pupil to relieve pain.
  • Steroid eye drops.

Pars planitis is often treated with steroid eye drops. Other medicines, including steroids taken by mouth, may be prescribed to help suppress the immune system. Posterior uveitis treatment depends on the underlying cause but almost always includes steroids taken by mouth. Additional specialists in infectious disease or autoimmunity may be needed for such diseases as syphilis, tuberculosis, AIDS.

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