Treatment Options For Uveitis

Uveitis occurs when the uvea, the pigmented layer of the eye, is inflamed. There are many variations of this illness, which are classified by the placement of the inflammation. Uveitis is characterized by redness of the eye, pain and discomfort, and blurred vision. While anyone can contract uveitis, it primarily affects those between the ages of twenty and fifty, and it may form in one or both eyes. It is wise to seek treatment for this disorder early on as it is quickly progressive and could lead to permanent eye damage. If uveitis is untreated, it can result in optic nerve damage, retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma, or even blindness. Though these outcomes are frightening, luckily, uveitis responds well to early treatment. Here are a few ways to treat uveitis before it gets too bad.

Underlying Condition Treatment

The truth is, only about half of the cases of uveitis have identified causes, and a large amount of them are the result of other illnesses. Because of this statistic, treatment for an underlying condition can be used to cure uveitis. Often, an inflamed eye is the byproduct of serious bodily infections, autoimmune diseases, parasites, viruses, or a type of fungus. When this is the case, you would have contracted intermediate uveitis (middle of the eye) or posterior uveitis (back of the eye). Both of these types are the consequence of another illness or ailment, and by treating that issue, the uveitis would often cure as well. For instance, if herpes zoster causes uveitis, taking antiviral medication can be used to clear both the virus and your eye inflammation

Continue reading for the next effective treatment option for uveitis.

Vitrectomy

If you experience certain issues such as blurry spots or clouding of the eye, a vitrectomy may be recommended. A vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess fluid, blood, scar tissue, and foreign objects from the eye. It can be carried out using local or general anesthesia. This surgery allows the physician to better access the cause of the uveitis and properly manage it. However, this treatment option is usually advised only after certain medications like steroids or immunosuppressants have failed to better the conditions of the illness. The complications of vitrectomies are rare, and the recovery period takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Speaking of medication, learn about how they can help with treating uveitis.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication

You will need to try and rid the affected eye of inflammation to treat uveitis effectively. The most common way to treat an inflamed eye is the use of anti-inflammatory medication, which come in various forms. Upon visiting a physician, you will likely be prescribed a corticosteroid, which are steroids used to block and relieve inflammation within the body. Typically, you will be given this steroid in an eye drop form as they are the safest and least invasive method. However, eyedrops are usually only effective for uveitis cases on the superficial layer of the eye. For inflammation occurring towards the middle or back of the eye, you will likely be administered a shot instead. While the shot is only a one time deal and it holds a high success rate, it is often dreaded because it issued directly into the eye. As a last resort for healing via anti-inflammatory treatment, you may be advised to take the steroid orally. The pills are made with a much stronger formula and can cause other health issues if they are taken for a prolonged period.

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Antibiotics And Antivirals

Uveitis is often caused by an infection, fungus, or bacteria. In situations like these, killing off the harmful pathogen will clear any inflammation and return the condition of the eye to its normal state. You would achieve this through the use of medications such as antibiotics and antivirals. Antibiotics are used if the presence of bacteria is the identified culprit, antifungals are designed to combat fungi, and antivirals will rid your body of any viruses. Once the infection clears, so will the uveitis, and no further treatment is required. Unless a physician immediately identifies the cause, one of these medications might be prescribed only after anti-inflammatory medications have failed.

Continue reading to learn about another way of treating uveitis.

Implanted Device In The Eye

If one suffers from posterior uveitis, the rarest form of this condition, they may have to undergo a surgical procedure that requires an implanted device in the eye. It is the most difficult to cure, but if not treated properly it can result in permanent damage to the retina and optic nerve or even cause blindness. During this procedure, the physician will implant a small device within the eye that will remain there anywhere between two to three years. Within this timespan, the device will release corticosteroid medication into the eye slowly and steadily to avoid further complications. However, as a result of the surgery, a patient is at risk of contracting cataracts or glaucoma.