The Uveitis About Vision Loss
One of the main causes behind vision loss is something called Uveitis, a catch-all term for a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the uvea, the middle part of your eye. Uveitis has symptoms of swelling, redness, blurred vision, and pain. If you recognize any of these symptoms, you should contact your eye doctor since uveitis can destroy eye tissue.
While the cause is not always known for uveitis, it can be caused by injury, infection, or diseases such as AIDS, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, syphilis, and tuberculosis. Uveitis can occur in ages 20 to 50, but it has been known to affect children too. Complications in uveitis can cause permanent vision loss so early diagnosis is important in leading to treatment.
Possible Causes for Uveitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Behcet's disease
- Birdshot retinochoroidopathy
- Herpes simplex
- Herpes zoster
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Kawasaki's disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reiter's syndrome
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome
Four Types of Uveitis
Each type of uveitis is classified by where the inflammation occurs. Severe cases involve multiple layers of the following types of uveitis:
Anterior uveitis is when inflammation occurs at the front of the eye in the iris or the iris and ciliary body.
Intermediate uveitis occurs in the middle of the eye when inflammation is only in the ciliary body.
Posterior uveitis happens when it's only inflammation of the back of the eye in the choroid.
Diffuse uveitis or panuveitis is inflammation of all of the uvea.
- Symptoms of Uveitis
- Blurred vision
- Dark, floating spots
- Decreased vision
- Eye redness
- Eye pain
- Light sensitivity
Uveitis can increase the chances of complications and other eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, optic nerve damage, and permanent vision loss. This is why it’s crucial to seek medical care if you notice eye swelling, redness, or eye pain. Your primary care physician may be able to refer you to an ophthalmologist for significant eye pain or vision problems.
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