If there is a persistent reduction in visual acuity, which is accompanied by tearing and redness in one or both eyes, an ophthalmologist should be consulted to rule out uvetitis. This inflammation of the vascular skin can affect patients regardless of age and should be treated immediately to avoid permanent damage to the eye.
What is uveitis?
Uveitis is an inflammation of the vascular skin of the eye. The eyeball is a structure lined with three layers of tissue, with the middle layer being the vascular lining (uvea). The inflammation can affect specific areas of the uvea. For meconium aspiration 101, please visit photionary.com.
This results in a distinction between anterior, intermediate and posterior uvitis, with anterior uvetitis being the most common form of inflammation of the vascular skin and also referred to as iritis or inflammation of the iris. The disease can occur once or be chronic.age limitsdo not exist in the affected patients.
The symptoms that occur include dull pain in the eye that can radiate to the forehead. The eye is red and tears. Visual acuity is usually reduced and there is sensitivity to light. Chronic uvetitis often has fewer symptoms. The disease can occur in one eye or in both eyes.
Uvetitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Viruses include herpes or varicella. The inflammation can also occur during tuberculosis or Lyme disease.
It is often a consequence of another disease that has already been overcome, such as a bacterial diarrhea caused by Yersinia . Various autoimmune diseases also promote uvetitis. These include the chronic intestinal diseases Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as well as rheumatic diseases such as juvenile arthritis, Bechterew’s disease and sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis or certain kidney infections.
Often, however, no cause for the occurrence of the disease can be found. It is assumed that in these cases it is an immune reaction of the body to certain protein structures in the eye, which are regarded as foreign and thus trigger the uvetitis.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Uveitis can be acute or chronic. In the chronic forms of the disease, however, acute flare-ups with symptom-free intervals are possible. The most important sign is a sudden or slowly developing deterioration in vision. Those affected see increasingly blurred. At the same time, visual acuity decreases.
In addition, there is often severe pain. Very rarely, the iris can be colored differently. Depending on where the vascular skin is inflamed, there can also be a significant reddening of the eye with heavy tearing and increased sensitivity to light (glare). This is especially true when the front part of the [Eye Infection|Eye is inflamed]].
A basic distinction is made between three forms of uveitis. So there is an anterior, middle and posterior uveitis. Posterior uveitis is usually only characterized by blurred and unclear vision. Pain, redness of the eyes and tears do not usually occur here. Uveitis is usually very treatable.
In some cases, however, it can become chronic. Then later recurrences occur more often. Sometimes the iris can also grow together with the lens or the chamber angle. Visual impairments due to vitreous opacities, cataracts or glaucoma also occur. If the retina or choroid are involved, the retina can be destroyed, which can lead to night blindness or even total blindness.
Diagnosis & History
The ophthalmologist makes the diagnosis of uvetitis. By questioning the patient, he already receives the first indications of possible vascular skin inflammation. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a thorough examination of the fundus of the eye. Blood tests may also be necessary to detect other infections that may be the underlying cause of the vascular inflammation.
A one-off uvetitis usually heals without further consequences for the patient. However, if the infection recurs and chronic inflammation develops, damage to the eye can be expected, which will permanently limit visual acuity.
Depending on the type of uveitis, various complications can occur. A typical complication of anterior uveitis is inflammation of the anterior portion of the vascular skin, which is associated with visual disturbances and sometimes with scarring and permanent impairment of vision. In addition, the iris and the lens can stick together. As a result of an increase in intraocular pressure, so-called glaucoma occurs.
With moderate uveitis, fluid can collect on the retina, sometimes causing the retina to tear. A cataract or glaucoma can also occur. In the case of inflammation of the posterior uveitis, the retina is also often damaged, resulting in visual disturbances that can become chronic.
Other possible complications are a clouding of the eye lens (cataract) and the storage of calcium in the cornea. In infants and young children, uveitis is often severe and causes permanent damage to the eye. Surgery can cause eye injuries. In addition, infections can occur or the eye may not heal properly after the procedure and become inflamed again. Laser therapy carries similar risks.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor should be consulted if symptoms in the eye area persist or increase. Watery eyes, redness and irritation indicate discrepancies that need to be checked and treated. If there is impairment of vision, pain or an increased risk of accidents, a doctor is required to clarify the cause. If the person concerned suffers from sensitivity to light influences, blurred vision or dizziness, a doctor’s visit is advisable. If night blindness is noticed or if headaches occur regularly, the cause should be investigated.
Sudden changes in your usual vision are considered to be a cause for concern. You should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Disorders of the tear duct, swelling in the eye area or itching should also be presented to a doctor. Since it can lead to complete blindness if left untreated, a doctor’s visit should be made as soon as the first irregularities appear. In addition, it is generally advisable to visit a doctor for a check-up if you notice a difference in your eyesight in everyday life in direct comparison to people from your social environment.
Unsteady gait, abnormal behavior or mood swings indicate health problems that should be discussed with a doctor. Due to the functional disorders of the eye, psychological irregularities often occur at the same time, since the emotional burden on the affected person is very strong.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of uvetitis depends on the cause of the disease. The ophthalmologist selects medications to reduce inflammation and prevent long-term damage to the eye. Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial causes, and antifungal drugs for fungal infections. A cortisone ointment is usually prescribed to reduce inflammation.
It is also important to avoid adhesions to the iris. To do this, the pupil must be dilated with appropriate eye drops (cycloplegics or mydriatics). In the case of disorders of the immune system, the immune reaction is dampened with cortisone. Depending on the type of inflammation, the medication is administered as eye drops, in tablet form or as an injection.
In most patients, the administration of cortisone cures the uvetitis. If the inflammation does not recede sufficiently, other medications are available that can intervene in the inflammatory process of the vascular skin inflammation and thus achieve its healing. Surgery on the vitreous body of the eye is only necessary in particularly severe cases of uvetitis.
There is no effective way to prevent uvetitis because this inflammatory response can have many causes. However, it is necessary to immediately consult an ophthalmologist if there are any discomfort in the eye, which is accompanied by a decrease in visual acuity, so that uvetitis can be diagnosed and treated quickly. This is especially important for patients with underlying chronic diseases.
In order to avoid the development of secondary diseases, the treatment of uveitis should be followed by comprehensive follow-up treatment. This consists of regular follow-up examinations by the ophthalmologist. This measures the visual acuity, examines the fundus of the eye, as well as the skin, choroid, radiating body and iris and checks the intraocular pressure and takes countermeasures in good time in the event of a secondary disease or renewed uveitis.
If visual acuity is permanently impaired as a result of uveitis, glasses or contact lenses may be necessary. If the lens is clouded as a result of the uveitis, it must also be treated. If the intraocular pressure has increased as a result of the uveitis or its treatment, it must be reduced with medication. For this purpose, special water tablets (Glaupax, Azemid) are used, which lower the intraocular pressure.
If an infection with viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites was the trigger for the uveitis, increased personal hygiene should also be ensured. Above all, rubbing the eyes with uncleaned or non-disinfected hands should be avoided. If an autoimmune disease is present, as a result of which uveitis has developed, it must be treated separately in order to prevent the recurrence of uveitis and the development of secondary diseases of the eyes.
You can do that yourself
Home remedies are also good for relieving itching and redness in the affected eye. Cold or warm compresses are proven as an immediate measure. A clean cloth should be soaked in cold or lukewarm water. This compress should then be carefully placed on the closed eye. The compress will help relax the affected eye.
However, the infection cannot be fought with it. Eyewashes can help better. This will wash pus out of the eye. One method of eyewash is with a non-needled syringe filled with lukewarm water. However, the water should be dripped slowly into the eye with only slight pressure so that the cornea is not damaged.
Pads with chamomile tea are also a proven remedy for symptom improvement in uveitis. To do this, water should be boiled and steeped with chamomile tea for five to ten minutes. It is important, however, that it is not chamomile tea from the supermarket, but pure chamomile from the pharmacy or a health food store. For the pad, a clean cloth should be soaked in the lukewarm or even cold chamomile decoction. This wet pad should then be placed on the affected eye. This is how the chamomile compress can unfold its healing and beneficial effect.