Welcome. My name is Ariana and I work as a medical assistant at an army base. My main job is to make sure that there are no hidden health risks for our seemingly fit army personnel. One of the biggest issues I uncover is eyesight problems. I have discovered that a lot of people think that there is no need to visit an optometrist unless their eyes are sore or vision is blurry. This myth can be found in the army too. In the course of my work, I have learnt that many eye problems have no symptoms for a long time. I am always encouraging family and friends to go for annual eye checks. I have become so passionate about this issue that I started this blog to explain how optometrists can help you keep the best vision possible. Please scan through my entries. Enjoy.
The middle section of your eye is known as the uvea, and uveitis occurs when the uvea becomes inflamed. This condition can be serious and, if left untreated, can lead to retinal detachment and complete loss of vision. Any of the three parts of the uvea, the iris, choroid and ciliary body, can become inflamed and impair the blood supply to the retina. When light enters your eye, the retina sends signals to your brain to convert the light into what you end up seeing. So, damage to the retina can cause visual disturbances. Here's what you need to know about uveitis.
Certain underlying health conditions that affect the immune system or trigger inflammation can leave you susceptible to developing uveitis. Examples of such conditions include the following:
Uveitis can develop gradually or suddenly and you can experience symptoms in one or both eyes. You may notice the white of your eye becoming red as a result of inflammation damaging proteins in your eye. You may also experience eye pain and sensitivity to both natural and artificial light. When the retina is affected, you may experience blurred vision, reduced night vision and floaters or flashes.
An optometrist can diagnose uveitis during an eye test using a slit lamp to create magnified images of each part of your eye. If the uvea appears inflamed, you should speak to your doctor about possibly having an undiagnosed autoimmune disease. If you already know you have an underlying condition that puts you at increased risk of developing uveitis, ask your specialist to review your medication, as the dosage may need to be adjusted to manage your body's immune response more effectively.
Aside from immunosuppressant drugs, you may be prescribed topical or oral corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation. As the inflammation is brought under control, the retina should start to receive a healthy supply of blood and your symptoms will ease up. Additionally, if you're struggling with eye pain, you may be prescribed eye drops to ease pressure that can build when inflammation is present.
Uveitis is a chronic condition, so you should expect to experience symptoms on and off, but, if you can identify the symptoms early, it can take less time to bring the condition back into remission. Regular eye tests are the best way of staying on top of uveitis, as your optometrist can spot early signs of inflammation around the uvea before you begin to experience symptoms. If you're concerned about the health of your eyes, book an eye test as soon as possible.