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Everything You Need to Know About Uveitis

The uvea is comprised of the middle layers of the eye, including the iris, choroid, and ciliary body. Inside the uvea is a network of arteries and veins that provide nourishment to the rest of the eye. Inflammation of the uvea, also known as uveitis, is a serious condition that can damage your vision if not treated by your ophthalmologist.

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What Is Uveitis?

Uveitis refers to an inflammation inside the eye. Inflammation can affect the iris, the middle regions of the eye, the retina, and the tissue at the back of the eye. This condition can develop and worsen rapidly, causing symptoms such as blurry vision, red or irritated eyes, and eye pain. You may also notice an increased sensitivity to light and see floaters or spots. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your symptoms and pain or irritation does not abate within a few days, see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

What Causes Uveitis?

Autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis can affect the immune system and lead to inflammation. Viral and bacterial infections, including shingles, herpes, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis, may cause inflammation of the retina and related tissues. Fungal infections and injuries to the eye may also result in the development of uveitis. In cases where no exact cause is identified, uveitis may be related to stress and its effect on the immune system.

What Treatments Address Uveitis?

Receiving treatment from your ophthalmologist as soon as possible prevents uveitis from permanently damaging your vision. Steroidal eye drops to reduce swelling are prescribed to relieve most forms of uveitis. If an infection is identified, antibiotics are prescribed to treat the underlying cause. Other treatments include immunosuppressive medications and surgical solutions if your uveitis does not improve and continues to threaten your vision.

If you have questions or concerns about your eyesight, contact Dr. Mark Hornfeld by calling (646) 502-4142. Dr. Hornfeld specializes in ophthalmology in NYC, with a focus on providing complete vision care and counseling. Please visit our website to learn more about common eye afflictions, including glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.