Inflammatory Eye Diseases
Ocular immunology is a highly specialized branch of medicine devoted to diagnosing and treating patients with inflammatory eye diseases. These diseases can slightly reduce vision or lead to severe vision loss.
Ophthalmologists use the general term, uveitis, when referring to the range of inflammatory diseases that affect the uvea. In addition, uveitis is used to describe any inflammatory disease that produces swelling and destroys eye tissues, including within the retina. It’s commonly associated with systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Anatomically, uveitis is classified into anterior, intermediate, posterior, and panuveitic forms, depending on which part of the eye is affected. No matter the classification, Sabates Eye Centers can handle it all.
Causes of Uveitis
Many different things can cause uveitis. In some cases the cause is unknown, or in doctor language, ‘idiopathic.’ The body’s immune system may be a cause. Bruising, infections, tumors and toxins can cause eye pain, sensitivity to light, poor vision, and increased floaters.
Patients with the following diseases carry a higher risk of developing uveitis:
- CMV retinitis
- Herpes zoster infection
- Kawasaki disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
Since uveitis is typically caused by any number of underlying diseases or disorders, treating the inflammation depends on the treatment of the disease. Typically, a steroid (pill or drops) will be prescribed to prevent further inflammation or decrease swelling. Your ophthalmologist will work closely with your medical team if a stronger immunosuppressive medication is needed.
The two most common uveitis diseases that we treat at Sabates Eye Centers are toxoplasmosis and birdshot retinochoroidopathy.