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Uveitis

 

diagram_of_the_vitreous_and_retina

 

 

 

 

 

What is Uveitis?

If we think of the eye as a hollow, fluid-filled, 3-layered ball, then the outer layer is the sclera, a tough coat, the innermost is the retina, the thin light-gathering layer, and the middle layer is the Uvea. The Uvea is made up of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid (see diagram). When any part of the urea becomes inflamed then it is called Uveitis.

A big problem, when trying to understand Uveitis, for patients and doctors alike, is that there are many different types of Uveitis. This is because:

The term intraocular inflammation is often used to cover the spectrum of uveitis conditions. As there is this wide variety of different conditions and complications, it follows that there are numerous ways that it presents itself. The degree and type of visual impairment and the type of treatment may vary considerably from patient to patient. Although the potential for confusion sounds high, as long as it is remembered that Uveitis is actually a number of different conditions, then it is possible to find out about your own particular case. It is, of course, very important, for both patients and doctors, to establish the exact type of Uveitis that exists, as far as it is possible, early on.


What causes Uveitis?
As just suggested, there are a number of quite different types of causes of Uveitis.

Another important way of classifying the different types of Uveitis is by describing the part of the eye that is affected. Very simply, there may be:

 

Tests and examinations
Because of the quite diverse types of causes of Uveitis and also due to the many other medical conditions associated with it, then you can expect to receive a number of tests and thorough questioning. All these are straightforward and painless enough but may seem far removed from your eye problem, e.g. back X-rays, but as said before, it is important to establish the correct type of Uveitis so that the best treatment can be planned.

How is Uveitis treated?
The treatment of Uveitis aims to achieve the following:

Like the varied nature of uveitis, the treatment of it may differ from case to case quite considerably. Corticosteroids are often the mainstay of treatment but now are, importantly, being joined by some other newer drugs, usually used along with the steroids. Various eye-drops are used, particularly to treat anterior uveitis.

What will happen to my eyes (prognosis)?
This, once again, varies considerably, but there is a growing confidence, especially with the newer drug treatments, that the eyesight can be stabilised over the long term. Uveitis as a disease should be regarded as incurable in the sense that it will never completely go away, but that is not to say that it cannot be controlled.

Would you like to find out more about Uveitis?
The group aims to provide information to those suffering from or interested in uveitis, in the form of leaflets, regular newsletters and by phone. It also helps people to contact other sufferers.

logo_the_uveitis_information_group
South House
Sweening
Vidlin
Shetland Isles ZE2 9QE
Tel: 01806-57 73 10
e-mail: info@uveitis.net or visit the website: www.uveitis.net

 

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