Uveitis

"Uveitis is a serious disease that can irreversibly affect vision, causing blindness. A case of simple red eye, can in fact be a serious problem of uveitis".

DR. ÁNGEL SALINAS ALAMÁN
SPECIALIST. OPHTHALMOLOGY DEPARTMENT

The eye has three different layers of tissue around a central cavity. The outermost is the sclera (the white layer of the eye), and the innermost is the retina (tissue responsible for forming images in the back of the eye). The middle layer between the sclera and the retina is called the uvea.

The uvea contains abundant blood vessels that nourish the retina and other structures of the eye. Inflammation of the uvea can affect the cornea, the retina, the sclera and other vital parts of the eye.

The inflammation of this layer, uveitis, can irreversibly affect vision, causing blindness. A case of simple red eye, can in fact be a serious problem of uveitis.

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What are the symptoms of uveitis?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Perception of flying flies in vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain in the eye
  • Red eye
  • In anterior uveitis, most attacks last from a few days to a few weeks and the symptoms end with treatment, but relapses are common.
  • In the posterior uveitis, the inflammation can last for months or years and can produce permanent vision damage, even with treatment.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a uveitis

What are the causes of uveitis?

Uveitis can be caused by autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, infection or exposure to toxins. However, in many cases, the cause is unknown.

Uveitis can be associated, for example, in the following diseases: ankylosing spondylitis, Behcet's disease, eye infections, Kawasaki disease, psoriasis, arthritis, sarcoidosis, etc.

What is your prognosis?

  • In anterior uveitis, most attacks last from a few days to a few weeks and the symptoms end with treatment, but relapses are common. 
  • In the posterior uveitis, the inflammation can last for months or years and can produce permanent vision damage, even with treatment.

Complications such as glaucoma (increased eye pressure), cataracts (loss of transparency of the lens of the eye), or the formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization), may need to be treated in the course of the disease.

Types of uveitis

  • The most common form is anterior uveitis, which involves inflammation of the front of the eye. It is often called iritis because it usually only affects the iris. The inflammation can be associated with autoimmune diseases, but in most cases it occurs in healthy people. This disorder can affect only one eye and is more common in young and middle-aged people.
  • Posterior uveitis affects the back of the uvea and primarily involves the choroid, a layer of blood vessels and connective tissue in the middle of the eye. This type of uveitis is called choroiditis and if the retina is also involved, then it is called chorioretinitis. You may have this condition if you have had a generalized (systemic) infection or if you have an autoimmune disease.
    Another form of uveitis is pars planitis, an inflammation that affects the narrow area (pars plana) between the iris and the choroid. Pars planitis often occurs in young men and is usually not associated with any other disease. However, some evidence suggests that it may be linked to Crohn's disease and possibly multiple sclerosis.

How is uveitis diagnosed?

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A complete medical history and eye examination should be performed. Laboratory tests may be done to rule out infection or an autoimmune disorder.

People over the age of 25 with pars planitis should have MRIs of the brain and spine to rule out multiple sclerosis.

A red eye that does not resolve quickly should be evaluated and treated by an ophthalmologist, and should be referred to a specialist even on an emergency basis.

How is uveitis treated?

We have a team of professionals with more than 25 years of experience

Early treatment is necessary to decrease vision loss.

Drops, especially steroids and mydritics are the drugs of choice for reducing inflammation and pain in iritis. The use of sunglasses can help.

Pars planitis is often treated with eye drops containing steroids. Other medications, including oral steroids, may also be prescribed to help suppress the immune system.

Treatment of posterior uveitis depends on the underlying cause, but almost always includes oral steroids.

  • If the uveitis is caused by a widespread infection, treatment may consist of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids.
  • In the case of autoimmune diseases, immunosuppressants may be necessary.

Complications such as glaucoma (increased eye pressure), cataracts (loss of transparency of the lens of the eye), or the formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization), may need to be treated in the course of the disease.

Where do we treat it?

IN NAVARRE AND MADRID

The Department of Ophthalmology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Equipped with the latest technology, the Department of Ophthalmology has the necessary equipment, both technical and human, to offer comprehensive and specific assistance to each patient.

We are one of the few centers that have a microsurgery laboratory for the improvement of clinical practice.

Organized in specialized units

  • Cornea and eye surface
  • Retina
  • General Ophthalmology
  • Refraction defects
  • Oculoplastic
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
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Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 25 years of experience.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies.
  • With the security and guarantee of a prestigious hospital.

Safer than ever to continue taking care of you

We update safety protocols weekly with the latest scientific evidence and the knowledge of the best international centers with which we collaborate.