Diagnosing and Treating Uveitis

By Gordon Wong, OD on March 15, 2016

Male undergoing an eye examThe health of the eyes should be taken seriously. Just like the rest of the body, the eyes can develop conditions such as infection or disease that can compromise their health and function. Eye conditions may pose a serious threat to a person’s vision if not treated as soon as possible. Regular eye exams are vital to monitoring the health of the eyes, but it is also important for individuals to make note of any changes in the eyes, and to report these changes to an eye doctor as soon as possible. In many cases, early diagnosis is key to saving a person’s vision. This is the case with uveitis, an inflammation of the inner eye that seriously compromises eye health. At GW Eye Associates Inc, our team of eye doctors can diagnose uveitis for our San Diego, CA patients so that appropriate treatment can be administered before any permanent damage occurs.

What Is Uveitis?

Uveitis is a condition in which the inner eye has become inflamed. Specifically, this inflammation affects the middle layers of the eye, also known as the uvea or the uveal tract. The uvea contains the iris, the choroid, and the ciliary body. All of these parts work together to transport blood to the parts of the eye that make vision possible. An inflammation of the uvea may be caused by a viral infection, a bacterial infection, or a fungus or parasite. No matter the case, uveitis can result in blurry vision, floaters, eye pain, and redness. If left untreated, this condition could permanently damage a person’s vision.

Diagnosing Uveitis

Without treatment, the long-term effects of uveitis can be devastating. That is why diagnosis and early treatment is so important. Any symptoms of uveitis should be reported to an eye doctor immediately so that an exam can be scheduled and a diagnosis made.

In order to diagnose uveitis, the eyes will be carefully examined. This exam will be similar to a routine eye exam, with the doctor testing for visual acuity, eye movement, depth perception, and glaucoma. The doctor will use instruments to examine the cornea, the conjunctiva, the iris, the lens, the retina, and the optic nerve. In order to rule anything else out, it is likely that an x-ray, an angiography (a photo of the retinal blood flow), an analysis of the eye fluid, and a blood test will also be performed. By looking at all of these aspects, our eye doctors can be certain that an accurate diagnosis is made, and that appropriate treatment is offered.

Treating Uveitis

Treatment will vary based on the type of uveitis that is present, and the seriousness of the condition. In most cases, uveitis can be treated with medication, which may include anti-inflammatory eye drops, antibiotics, or immunosuppressive drugs. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Possible surgical treatments for uveitis include a vitrectomy (in which some of a patient’s vitreous gel is removed) and a surgical implant of a device that will provide a slow and steady release of medication. All of these treatments can be discussed in further detail with one of our eye doctors.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of uveitis, it is important to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis can relieve you of these uncomfortable symptoms and preserve the health and function of your eyes. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors at your earliest convenience to learn more about the treatment of uveitis.

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