Disease

The Uvea is the middle layer of tissue that is present on the wall of the eye. Uveitis is a type of eye inflammation that affects the uvea.

Either one or both the eyes can get affected with uveitis. It is considered to be quite serious and can graduate to a permanent vision loss.

People from every age group can get affected by uveitis.

There are different types of uveitis and each of these is categorized based on where the inflammation in the eye occurs -

1. Anterior Uveitis is the most common and not a very grave type of uveitis. It is also known as Iritis because it shows its effects on the iris. Anterior uveitis can attack one or both the eyes at the same time and normally takes place among people who are otherwise healthy.
2. Intermediate Uveitis damages the middle portion of the eye that lies between the iris and the choroid. It is also referred to as Iridocyclitis and arises among healthy people. Also, it has been linked to a few autoimmune diseases.
3. Posterior Uveitis also goes by the name is Choroiditis as it distressed the choroid. The blood vessels and tissue of the choroid are essential because they are responsible for delivering blood to the back of the eye. Posterior Uveitis takes place among people who are suffering from an infection (virus, fungus or parasite) and those with an autoimmune disease. It is the least common type of uveitis, but tends to be more serious than anterior uveitis as it can lead to retinal scarring.
4. Pan-Uveitis is a type of uveitis that affects every major part of the eye. It is a combination of features and symptoms of all three types of uveitis.

Causes

The factor/s responsible for the birth of uveitis almost always remains unknown.

Uveitis could possibly arise due to the existence of an autoimmune disorder or a bacterial / viral infection. 

An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system damages one part of your body. Various autoimmune conditions linked with uveitis include are

1. Arthritis
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
3. Ankylosing Spondylitis
4. Ulcerative Colitis
5. Psoriasis
6. Sarcoidosis
7. Kawasaki Disease
8. Crohns Disease


Various infections that could cause uveitis are as follows -

1. Syphilis
2. CMV Retinitis
3. Histoplasmosis
4. AIDS
5. Tuberculosis
6. West Nile Virus
7. Toxoplasmosis


While the above are causes related to autoimmune disorders and infection, there are other factors that could possibly cause uveitis like trauma, bruising, exposure to toxins that enter the eye or an injury.

Diagnosis

When you go for a diagnosis of uveitis, the ophthalmologist will assess your eyes and do a run through of your complete medical history.

In addition to this, you may be required to undergo particular tests in the laboratory to rule out any kind of an infection or autoimmune disorder. And if there is an underlying condition that is causing uveitis, you will be referred to another specialist.

Treatment

 If you have been diagnosed with uveitis, your treatment will be based on the kind of uveitis you have. The target of uveitis treatment is to reduce inflammation in the eye. 

Quite often it is treated with eye drops. If you have an underlying condition due to which uveitis has occurred, that condition will be treated.

Following are treatments for different kinds of uveitis -

1. Posterior Uveitis is Oral Steroids / Injections around the Eye / Visits to Additional Specialists to Treat the Infection or Autoimmune Disease / Antibiotics for a body-wide bacterial infection
2. Intermediate Uveitis is Oral Steroids / Steroids taken by mouth
3. Anterior Uveitis is Eye Drops to Dilate the Pupil and Reduce Pain / Steroid Eye Drops to Reduce Inflammation or Irritation / Wearing Dark Glasses

 If you have a severe case of uveitis, you may be asked to take drugs that can suppress the immune system.

Takeaway 

Signs and symptoms linked to uveitis come suddenly and get worse quickly. Hence, remember to get it diagnosed and treated on time; doing so will only reduce any kind of complications and you will be able to preserve your vision.