Uveitis – What is it ?
• What is it ?
It is the occurrence of swelling in the middle layer of the eye which is called uvea.
It can be either anterior uveitis , posterior uveitis , intermediate uveitis or panuveitis. This means that the swelling may be localised to the front of the eye, back of the eye, intermediate portion of the eye or involve the entire middle layer of the eye. The swelling can be due to many known and unknown causes.
• What are it’s symptoms ?
The patient may perceive it as redness, pain , photophobia (difficulty in opening eyes in light) or as black spots floating in front of the eye or even fall in vision.
• Can it be treated ?
The aims of management in this disease are
1) To try and find a cause for the swelling. This may not be possible in upto 30-60% of patients despite all investigations
2) To decrease the swelling in the eye with medication
3) To reduce the complications of the disease
• Can it occur again ?
The main problem in management of this disease is that it can occur again. How many or how frequent a patient is going to have a relapse is difficult to predict. Each relapse can cause complications in the eye. Thus treatment must be initiated early in the disease to prevent these complications. For this the patient must be able to recognize his symptoms so that he/she can report to the doctor early. If the symptoms mentioned above are not clear ask your doctor to explain them to you.
• What are it’s complications ?
The main complications are cataract and glaucoma (increased eye pressure). In cases of posterior or panuveits there can be loss of vision if the most sensitive part of the eye i.e. the macula is involved. All these can be minimised by timely and appropriate therapy in most cases.
• How can I be helped at ARC Telediagnosis ?
Our ophthalmology consultant has had special training in management of cases of uveitis at AIIMS, New Delhi. If you send us your history and treatment undertaken and if available photographs of both anterior and posterior segment (ask your treating doctor), we can guide you regarding further course of action and new modalities of treatment available.