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In this section, you or a loved one can find out more about medical treatments, research studies and practical information about uveitis. Read on to find answers to some of your questions as well as links to other information. Being informed is an important first step towards becoming an active decision-maker in your care plan.
Uveitis is caused by inflammation of the eye. Inflammation is the body’s way of responding to tissue damage, germs or toxins.
In uveitis, the inflammation can occur in many important structures of the eye, including but not limited to, the choroid, the retina, the vitreous, the ciliary body and the iris.
Uveitis is not one disease. It is a group of conditions all characterised by irritation, swelling and damage to the different tissues of the eye. Early diagnosis and treatment of uveitis are important. Uveitis can be serious and may lead to permanent vision loss.
The type of uveitis depends on the location of the inflammation in the eye.
Possible causes of uveitis include:
The effects of uveitis can be different in different people. Some people, particularly children and young adults, may not experience any symptoms at all. Other people may experience severe symptoms. A patient’s experience with uveitis may be affected by the cause, location and duration of the disease, as well as the patient's overall state of health.
Which body parts are affected?
The signs and symptoms of uveitis may occur suddenly and quickly worsen, or they may develop gradually. The signs and symptoms may affect one or both eyes.
Common signs and symptoms of uveitis include:
Without treatment, uveitis may cause complications, including:
Uveitis can also be associated with many conditions, such as:
For most people, regardless of having an eye disease or not, taking care of your eyes, exercising, healthy eating and good sleeping habits are recommended. A healthy lifestyle can lead to an enhanced quality of life for most people. Talk to your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.
Tips for eye health:
Like most parts of our body, our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen, which are both stimulated by regular exercise. Regular exercise also helps us maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of diabetes and diabetes-related eye disease.
Make sure that you discuss any plans for new activities with your doctor. If you experience shortness of breath or severe pain while exercising, make sure that you seek medical attention.
For some people with uveitis, complementary and alternative therapies may help. Complementary and alternative therapies are treatments that fall outside the scope of traditional western medicine. Ask your health care professional about alternative therapies.
Uveitis needs medical treatment prescribed and monitored by a doctor. Relying on complementary and alternative therapies alone to treat uveitis is not advised.
Make sure that you let your doctor know about any herbs or supplements you use or plan to use.
The goals when treating uveitis are to prevent vision loss, to provide pain relief, and to reduce or prevent new and harmful changes in the eye. Specialists (ophthalmologist or rheumatologist) work with patients to find the best possible treatment options for that particular patient. The decision of whether or not to treat uveitis and how to do so is made in consideration of the following factors:
How uveitis medications are administered:
The most commonly used medications to treat uveitis are: cycloplegic medications, corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There are also other medications, such as antibiotics and antiviral medications, which are only used for specific causes of uveitis.
You may need to visit your doctor for follow-up appointments and blood tests every 1 to 3 months.
Supplements that a patient can take
These supplements may help your eyes stay healthy:
Please note that the information on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from a healthcare professional. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a medical condition or health problem. Speak to a healthcare provider if you have any questions about your health, medical condition, symptoms or treatment options.
Royal National Institute of Blind People; UK Charity
American Academy of Ophthalmology
The mission of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, leading ophthalmic education, and advancing the profession of ophthalmology.