What is Occular Inflammatory Disease?
Ocular Inflammation is inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of your eye. The eye is shaped much like a tennis ball, with three different layers of tissue surrounding a central gel-filled cavity.
The innermost layer is the retina, which senses light and helps to send images to your brain. The middle layer between the sclera and retina is called the uvea. The outermost layer is the sclera, the strong white wall of the eye.
What are the symptoms of Uveitis?
About half of all uveitis cases — with most occurring in the anterior uvea — don't have an obvious cause. Symptoms of anterior uveitis include light sensitivity, decreased visual acuity, eye pain and red eyes.
Intermediate and posterior uveitis usually are painless. Symptoms of these types of uveitis include blurred vision and floaters, typically in both eyes. Most people who develop intermediate uveitis are in their teens, 20s or 30s.
What are the causes of Occular Inflammatory Disease?
Uveitis has many causes. Most cases are due to autoimmune disease or infection, and there are some for which a cause is not found – so called “idiopathic” uveitis – which is treated as non-infectious inflammation. Other causes include trauma, medication-induced uveitis, and in rare instances, cancer.
What are the different types of Uveitis?
A simple way to classify types of ocular inflammation is according to the part of the eye that is affected into:
• Episcleritis /Scleritis
• Anterior uveitis (also known as iritis or iridocyclitis)
• Intermediate uveitis (including pars planitis)
• Posterior uveitis (including retinitis, choroiditis, chorioretinitis and neuroretinitis)
• Panuveitis (when the whole eye is inflamed from anterior to posterior aspect)
How do you diagnose uveitis?
The first step in diagnosing uveitis is a thorough history of illness and review of systems. The importance of this cannot be overstated, and is, unfortunately, sometimes overlooked. Examination reveals the type of uveitis. Clinical testing can help to identify features or complications of uveitis such as vasculitis, macular edema, and glaucoma. Blood work is almost always performed to look for well known causes of the type of uveitis that presents. Outside referrals, imaging, and biopsies can be sought to evaluate for associated systemic disease. Finally, response to therapy can sometimes help the physician to decide what type of uveitis is most likely present.
What kind of treatment are available for Ocular Inflammation?
Ocular Inflammation is a serious eye condition that may scar the eye. You need to have it treated as soon as possible. Eye drops, especially steroids and pupil dilators, can reduce inflammation and pain. For more severe inflammation, oral medication or injections may be necessary.
Uveitis can have these complications:
• Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
• Cataract (clouding of the eye's natural lens)
• Neovascularization (growth of new, abnormal blood vessels)
These complications may develop in chronic severe inflammation. Specialist care is essential to ensure your condition is appropriately managed.