Treatments for Uveitis
When it comes to addressing vision loss and issues that affect the retinas, the people of Kansas City can count in our team of eye care specialists. We will use the latest techniques and technology to diagnose and treat all types of retinal conditions that negatively impact vision.
With that in mind, a number of patients have had questions with regard to uveitis, a condition that affects another part of the eye. Let's go over the basics of uveitis and discuss some potential treatment options.
What is uveitis?
Uveitis refers to a type of inflammation that affect the uvea, the middle layer of tissue in the eye wall. The most common causes of uveitis include:
- Eye injuries
- Complications from eye surgery
- Bacterial and viral eye infections
- Autoimmune disorders (e.g., sarcoidosis)
- Inflammatory disorders (e.g., Crohn's disease)
In general, people may have a genetic risk of developing uveitis, which is why it's important to consider family history with regard to this condition and other medical issues associated with uveitis. There some studies that suggest smoking can increase the risk of developing uveitis as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Uveitis
Common signs and symptoms of uveitis include the following:
- Red eyes
- Eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Issues with light sensitivity
- Vision loss
These symptoms may develop gradually or quickly, so be sure to speak with an eye doctor as soon as you begin to experience these symptoms.
Medications for Uveitis
Medications can be used to help address the cause of uveitis. This includes:
Anti-Inflammation Drugs– Eye doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications in eye drop form (typically corticosteroids) to help get the uveitis under control. Corticosteroids may also be administered in pill or injection form to supplement the eye drops.
Antibiotics or Anti-Viral Drugs – For uveitis caused by eye infections, the ideal approach to treatment typically involves drugs that fight bacterial or viral infections.
Immunosuppressive or Cytotoxic Drugs – For autoimmune disorders that impact the eyes and your vision, drugs may be prescribed that address these sorts of issues.
Surgical Treatments for Uveitis
When medications alone do not prove an ideal treatment option, it's important to consider surgical treatments that can help prevent vision loss and eye damage due to inflammation. That may include:
Vitrectomy – This procedure involves the removal and replacement of the vitreous gel inside of the eye to help prevent issues with inflammation.
Ocular Medication Implant – In some cases of uveitis, a small implant is placed inside of the eye to slowly release and administer a corticosteroid over the course of two to three years.
Addressing the Underlying Medical Condition
If a case of uveitis is a symptom or consequence of another medical condition, it is important for that underlying medical problem to be addressed directly. Eye doctors can still use the above medications and surgical procedures to help address a patient's vision, but it's of the utmost importance that the autoimmune disease or inflammatory disorder be treated as well.
Contact Retina Associates, LLC
To learn more about treating vision problems and helping you see clearly, we encourage you to contact our team of eye care and vision specialists today. We will diagnose your condition and discuss options for treatment and prevention.