Uveitis – Inflammation of Middle Layer of Eye
Uveitis is the internal inflammation of the middle layer of the eye known as the uvea or uveal tract which is made up of the iris, the coloured part of the eye, ciliary body, that is the ring of muscle behind the iris and choroid, the layer of tissue which supports the retina, all of which together form the middle layer of the eye between the retina and the sclera which is the white area of the eye.
The eye is like a tennis ball having three types of layers of tissue which surround the central gel filled cavity known as vitreous while the innermost layer is the retina which is responsible in seeing light and sending images to the brain.
The middle area between the outer layer being the sclera or the strong white wall of the eye and the retina is the uvea which comprises of several blood vessels namely the veins, capillaries and arteries. These carry blood to and from the eye.
The uvea plays an important role in nourishing various parts of the eyes since it transports blood to the different parts of the eye that are important for vision and if inflammation of the uvea occurs, it could damage the sight of the person.
Causes & Types of Uveitis
uveitis may be pain in one or both of the eyes, blurred vision, redness of the eye, floater which are shadows that move around in your field of vision, or sensitivity to light – photophobia. There are four types of uveitis namely –
Iritisis one of the commonform of uveitis that affects the iris and is usually associated with auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or sarcoidosis. It could develop suddenly and could last for weeks with treatment. Chronic cases may need close and long term monitoring which is quite rare.
Retinitis another type which affects the back of the eye and progresses rapidly makes the treatment difficult which could be caused by viruses like shingles or herpes with bacterial infections like syphilis or toxoplasmosis.
Choroiditis is the inflammation of the layer which lies beneath the retina and this could be caused by infections like tuberculosis.
Uveitis – Serious Condition
The two types of uveitis namely, retinitis and choroiditis, can be caused by auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid, lupus or arthritis and in most of the cases of uveitis, the cause is unknown. Sometimes stress could be the cause since the inflammation is triggered by the body’s immune system.Since uveitis is a serious condition, treatment should be started immediately.
If uveitis is not caused by an infection, the physician may recommend eye drops with steroids which may reduce the swelling that has occurred along with drugs to relieve the pain. People with infectious uveitis are prescribed antibiotics. Dark glasses are suggested to help with light sensitivity.