UVEITIS

The eye is shaped like a ball with three layers of tissue surrounding a central gel filled cavity. The innermost layer called the Retina senses light, the outermost layer called the Sclera, is the white tough coat of the eye. The middle layer is called the Uvea, which is the vascular layer and contains many blood vessels that nourish the eye. Uveitis is inflammation of any part of the uvea- iris, ciliary body and choroid. Early detection and treament is necessary to avoid permanent visual loss. There are several types of uveitis-

Anterior Uveitis This affects the iris and is the most common type. It can be acute, recurrent or chronic.

Intermediate Uveitis This is also called parsplanitis and is inflammation of the ciliary body. It can last for weeks to years.

Posterior Uveitis This affects the back of the eye-choroid.

Panuveitis When all the layers of the uvea are inflamed.
Causes
  1. Idiopathic- In most cases the specific cause remains unknown
  2. Infective- TB, viral infections such as herpes,lyme disease, parasitic infections like toxoplasmosis,toxocara, syphilis, HIV etc
  3. Systemic inflammatory diseases- Sarcoidosis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Behcets disease, Collagen vascular and Autoimmune disorders
  4. Post cataract surgery or any injury to the eye
Symptoms
  1. Idiopathic- In most cases the specific cause remains unknown
  2. Redness
  3. Pain
  4. Blurring of vision
  5. Photophobia
  6. Floaters
Diagnosis
  1. Detailed eye examination is important as it may be confused with simple conjunctivitis.
  2. Several blood tests, Xrays etc maybe required to investigate the exact cause.
  3. However, in 40-60% cases no associate disease can be identified.

Treatment

Uveitis, if not appropriately managed can be a serious problem and lead to permanent damage.
The mainstay of treatment are Steroids drops, dilating drops and nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs. For severe cases oral medication or injections maybe necessary.

Complications

Serious complications can occur if untreated
Glaucoma
Cataract
Neovascularization
Retinal damage- swelling, detachment
Optic nerve damage
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