Uveitis means there is inflammation inside your eye. This typically occurs when your immune system is fighting off an eye infection, but it could also be a result of your immune system misfiring and attacking healthy tissue within your eyes. Since Uveitis is rare, it is often misdiagnosed until severe complications (such as vision loss) occur.
What Are the Symptoms of Uveitis?
The symptoms of Uveitis often come on early and include:
- Blurry vision
- Small dark spots or lines that float across your vision (floaters)
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Light sensitivity
If left untreated, Uveitis can lead to vision loss because it causes damage to the uvea, but it can also impact other parts of the eye.
Causes of Uveitis
Anyone can get Uveitis, but it most commonly occurs in people between 20 and 60 years of age. Smoking cigarettes puts you at a higher risk of Uveitis.
Doctors can’t always tell what causes Uveitis, but known causes include autoimmune diseases like:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
Uveitis can also be caused by an infection, like shingles, syphilis, or toxoplasmosis. Cancers that affect the eye, such as lymphoma, can also cause Uveitis.
Your eye doctor can check for Uveitis during a dilated eye exam, also known as pupil dilation. This exam is painless and uses special eye drops to open up your pupils so your doctor can get a better look inside your eye to check for Uveitis and other eye problems.
If you have symptoms of Uveitis, your doctor will ask about your medical history and may recommend getting tested for infections and diseases that could cause Uveitis.
Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. Treatment may include steroids to reduce inflammation, which can ease symptoms and prevent vision loss.
Steroid treatment for Uveitis can be prescribed in the form of eye drops, pills, injections, or implants, which are inserted into your eye to deliver small, regular doses over time. Steroids can have side effects, including increasing your risk for cataracts or glaucoma, so it’s important to get regular eye exams.
How your doctor decides to treat Uveitis will depend on which part of your eye is infected and whether or not you have other health conditions, like those impacting your immune system.
Protect Your Vision
Do you have symptoms of Uveitis or other eye concerns? Scheduling routine exams with your eye doctor will help you protect your vision and ensure your long-term health and comfort.