Eye inflammation if untreated can cost your vision

eyeInflammation of eyes are very common eye condition that we had have experienced at some point of our life. At some point, it seems to be harmless and we get away without any treatment. But friend, it is not the case everytime. Can you take a risk with your vision?

Hope not. Eye inflammation symptoms are generally like eye redness, swelling, discomfort, watery discharge, itchiness, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. These are very general, and most of the time we get through without any harm by taking some eye drops or hot bag treatments. We seldom think of visiting a doctor. But the tragedy lies there.

People often fail to judge which is a serious case of eye inflammation and which is a minor one. And the line of chronicity is very thin. That is why in a report recently published by Dr. Narsing Rao, a professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of the Inflammation and Uveitis Service at the Doheny Eye Institute, warns against the casual approach in cases of eye inflammation.

We can summarize his report in the following points:

  1. Avoid cleaning your eyes while working in households, specially during handling pet wastes, cooking and dusting. In case anything goes into your eyes, flush your eyes with continuous water flow.
  2. If inflammation is persistent then it may be a case of viral, bacterial or fungal infection. Contact your opthalmologist immediately and take some medications.
  3. If untreated, uveitis can lead to serious complications including retinal damage, glaucoma, cataracts and even permanent loss of vision. The typical treatment is the administration of corticosteroids, particularly among cases in which the cause of uveitis is unknown. But in patients with infectious uveitis caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi, the standard steroid treatment can actually cause the infectious agent level to increase.
  4. He also points out that regular uptake of steroidal doses, makes the patient's eyes vulnerable to eye inflammations.
  5. Smoking is also a source of eye inlammation. People should quit smoking, to keep their eye healthy.

Now lets read  something more about the inflammation of eye which is in medical terms known as uveitis.

What is Uveitis?

large_2_252204Uveitis (pronounced you-vee-EYE-tis) involves all inflammatory processes of the middle layers of the eye, also called the uveal tract or uvea. The uvea includes the iris (colored part of the eye), choroid (a thin membrane containing many blood vessels) and ciliary body (the part of the eye that joins these together).

The uvea is very important because its many veins and arteries transport blood to the parts of the eye that are critical for vision.

What Are the Symptoms of Uveitis?

Symptoms of uveitis may include:

  • Eye redness and irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Floating spots before the eyes

Uveitis may develop rapidly, and it is very important that you see your ophthalmologist for a complete eye examination if you develop these symptoms, especially if a painful, red eye does not clear up quickly.

Left untreated, uveitis may permanently damage your vision.

What Causes Uveitis?

Uveitis has many potential causes, including infection with a virus, fungus, bacteria or parasite, inflammatory disease affecting other parts of the body, or injury to the eye.

There are four types of uveitis:

  • Iritis is the most common form of uveitis. It affects the iris and is often associated with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Iritis may develop suddenly and may last up to eight weeks, even with treatment.
  • Cyclitis is an inflammation of the middle portion of the eye and may affect the muscle that focuses the lens. This also may develop suddenly and last several months.
  • Retinitis affects the back of the eye. It may be rapidly progressive, making it difficult to treat. Retinitis may be caused by viruses such as shingles or herpes and bacterial infections such as syphilis or toxoplasmosis.
  • Choroiditis is an inflammation of the layer beneath the retina. It may also be caused by an infection such as tuberculosis.

Retinitis and choroiditis can each be caused by an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. In a large number of cases, the cause of uveitis is not known, but it is often related to stress.

How Is Uveitis Diagnosed?

Uveitis can permanently damage your eyesight and even cause blindness. Therefore, if you have any symptoms of uveitis, is very important for you to see your ophthalmologist right away.

Your ophthalmologist will perform a careful examination of your eyes. He or she may order laboratory tests including blood work or X-rays.

Uveitis may have an underlying cause elsewhere in your body, and your ophthalmologist may want to talk with your primary care doctor or a specialist to evaluate your overall medical health.

How Is Uveitis Treated?

blepharitisBecause uveitis is serious, treatment needs to begin right away. For uveitis not caused by an infection, your ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops containing steroids to reduce swelling and drugs to relieve pain. Antibiotics are used in patients with infectious uveitis. Dark glasses will help with light sensitivity.

Complications of uveitis may include glaucoma , cataracts , abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eyes that interfere with vision, fluid within the retina, and vision loss. Early diagnosis and treatment by your ophthalmologist is critical.

Therefore we now can take a more knowledgeable eye on our eye inflammation after reading through the details of eye inflammation. So let us follow the guidelines of Dr. Narsingh Rao and keep away the eye problems.


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