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Uveitis

Alternative names :- Iritis; Pars planitis; Choroiditis; Chorioretinitis; Anterior uveitis; Posterior uveitis

An inflammation of one uveal tract, uveitis may occur as anterior uveitis, which affects the iris (iritis) or the iris and the ciliary body (iridocyclitis); posterior uveitis, which affects the choroid (choroiditis) or the choroid and the retina (chorioretinitis); or panuveitis, which affects the entire uveal tract.

Although clinical distinction isn't always possible, anterior uveitis occurs in two forms - granulomatous and nongranulomatous. Previously, granulomatous uveitis was thought to result from tuberculosis bacilli; nongranulomatous uveitis, from streptococci. Although it's now known that these pathogens do not cause the disease forms, the names remain in use. The onset of anterior uveitis may be acute or insidious. Posterior uveitis begins insidiously and may be acute or chronic.

Causes

Uveitis is typically an idiopathic inflammation that can result from allergy, bacteria, viruses, fungi, chemicals, trauma, surgery, or systemic diseases, sucra, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Symptoms

Depending on which part of the eye is inflammed in uveitis different combinations of these symptoms may be present.

  • Redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain

These symptoms may come on suddenly, and you may not experience any pain. The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have uveitis. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor for a complete exam.

Diagnostic tests

Uveitis is diagnosed with a thorough examination of the eye with a slit lamp microscope and ophthalmoscopy.  Visual acuity and intraocular pressure are also evaluated.  In some cases, blood work and others tests are required to rule out underlying systemic disease or infection.

Treatment

Uveitis requires vigorous and prompt management, which includes treatment for any known underlying cause and application of a topical cycloplegic, such as 1 % atropine sulfate. Additional therapy may involve applying topical and subconjunctival corticosteroids.

For severe uveitis, the patient may receive oral systemic corticosteroids. Because long-term corticosteroid therapy can increase intraocular pressure (lOP) and cause cataracts, the patient will need lOP monitoring during the active inflammatory stage. If lOP increases, therapy includes an antiglaucoma drug, such as the beta-adrenergic blocker timolol, or acetazolamide, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor.

Prevention

Treating any underlying disorders may help to prevent uveitis for some people with existing systemic diseases.

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