Understanding Uveitis and Infectious Retinitis

Jan 12, 2016 @ 06:01 PM — by Retina Associates, P.A.

An older woman smilingThe team at Retina Associates is committed to helping patients in and around Kansas City experience excellent vision. This is why we offer state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of retinal conditions, including serious infections that can result in blindness if not dealt with in a timely manner.

It's with this in mind that we'd like to consider the issue of uveitis and infectious retinitis. These are terms that you may not have heard before, but they're serious and worth knowing about. Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of these conditions can help save your eyesight.

Infectious Retinitis Defined

Infectious retinitis is a type of inflammation that affects the retina, which is the light sensitive tissue located in the back of the eye. This type of condition can lead to blindness if it is not treated. It's also related to uveitis, which we'll go into in more detail right now.

About Uveitis

Uveitis is a type of inflammation that often affects the middle tissue of the eye. It can affect various portions of this middle tissue layer, resulting in eye pain and vision loss. Uveitis typically affects people between the ages of 20 and 50.

Types of Uveitis

There are different types of uveitis that can affect a patient. They are as follows.

  • Anterior Uveitis (Iritis) – This type of uveitis is the most common and affects the front portion of the eye.

  • Intermediate Uveitis (Cyclitis) – This type of uveitis affects the ciliary body, which is responsible for releasing vitrous humor into the eye.

  • Posterior Uveitis (Choroiditis and Retinitis) – This type of uveitis affects the back portion of the eye.

  • Diffuse Uveitis (Panuveitis) – This type of uveitis affects the middle portions of the eye located under the sclera (the white of the eye).

Causes of Uveitis

The most common causes of uveitis are infection of the eye, injury to the eye, autoimmune disease, and inflammatory disease. There are many instances in which the exact cause of the uveitis cannot be properly identified.

Some studies have found that people who smoke may be more at risk of suffering from uveitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Uveitis

Common signs and symptoms of uveitis include:

  • Red eye
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Issues with light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Floaters
  • Diminished vision

Keep in mind that these issues can affect one eye or both eyes, and that they quickly worsen as soon as they set in. It's important to speak with your doctor as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms.

Treatment Options for Uveitis

Treatments for uveitis are designed to reduce inflammation in the patient's eye while also attempting to treat the root cause of the condition should it be identified.

Non-surgical treatments for uveitis typically involve the use of medications that reduce the ocular inflammation, fight the virus or bacteria responsible for the inflammation, or address the autoimmune condition that's resulted in the inflammation.

If surgery is required to save your vision or prevent serious vision loss, this will typically involve a vitrectomy, which removes some or all of the vitreous humor within the eye. Sometimes a special device may be implanted within the eye that carefully releases medication to treat your inflammation.

The ideal treatment option can be discussed during the consultation process.

Contact Retina Associates

For more information about treating serious conditions affecting vision and overall eye health, we encourage you to contact our team of retina specialists today. The team at Retina Associates will help you see better and experience better wellness overall.

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