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Uveitis

(Information is referenced from www.nhs.uk)

What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye called the uvea or uveal tract. The uvea is made up of the iris (coloured part of the eye), ciliary body (ring of muscle behind the iris) and the choroid (layer of tissue that supports the retina). The type of uveitis depends on which part of the eye is affected:

Anterior uveitis: inflammation of the iris (iritis) or inflammation of the iris and the ciliary body (iridocyclitis). This is the most common type of uveitis accounting for about 3 out of 4 cases.

Intermediate uveitis: inflammation of the area between the ciliary body and retina.

Posterior uveitis: inflammation of the back of the eye, choroid and retina.

Panuveitis: inflammation of the front and back of the eye

Eye Diagram

Who can get uveitis?

Uveitis is uncommon and it is estimated that 2 to 5 in every 10,000 people will be affected by uveitis in UK every year. Uveitis usually affects people aged 20 to 59 but can also occur in children. Men and women are affected equally.


How do I know if I may have uveitis?

You may have uveitis if you experience the following sign and symptoms:

  1. Pain in one or both eyes
  2. Redness of the eye
  3. Blurred vision
  4. Sensitivity to light
  5. Floaters
  6. Flashing light
  7. Loss of peripheral vision

 


What treatment is available for uveitis?

The main treatment of uveitis is steroid medication which can reduce inflammation inside the eye.

Several different types of steroid medication may be used, depending on the type of uveitis you have.

Intensive eye drops are often used for uveitis affecting the front of the eye, whereas injections, tablets and capsules are more often used to treat uveitis affecting the middle and back of the eye.

In some cases, other treatments may also be needed in addition to corticosteroids. These include eye drops to relieve pain, a type of medication called an immunosuppressant, and even surgery.


The Leicester uveitis service

The Uveitis service is based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and is led by Mr Kumar (Consultant Ophthalmologist). In addition to uveitis clinics, other specialist services include the combined rheumatology-uveitis clinic, which is currently held every 3 months.

 

Frequently asked questions 

Why does it happen?

Many cases are thought to be the result of a problem with the immune system (the body's defence against illness and infection), although a specific cause is not always identified.

Less common causes of uveitis include an infection or injury to the eye.

Will I go blind?

Most cases of uveitis respond quickly to treatment and cause no further problems. However there is a risk of complications (which is higher if the uveitis affects the middle (intermediate uveitis) and back of the eye (posterior uveitis) or who have repeated episodes of uveitis. It is estimated that the more serious type of uveitis are responsible for 1 in every 10 cases of visual impairment in UK.

Can it be cured?

Yes in most uveitis, if the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly. However, uveitis can recur and may require repeat or long-term treatment if not responding to the initial treatment.

Do I need life-long treatment?

This depends on individual cases but most cases only need treatment when there is active uveitis. For individuals needing life-long treatment with corticosteroids, there is a risk of developing glaucoma (raised eye pressure) and cataract (cloudy patches on the eye natural lens) which require another form of treatment.

Can I still drive if I have uveitis?

Most patients with uveitis are able to continue driving. However, you have a duty to inform the DVLA if your vision drops below the legal limit of driving due to uveitis. The DVLA have the final say in whether it is safe and legal for you to continue driving. You may also want to inform your insurance company.

Is there anything else I can do to prevent uveitis?

At present there is no proven treatment to prevent uveitis. However with immediate diagnosis and treatment, uveitis can be successfully treated.

Where can I get more information?

Your hospital eye specialist will be happy to help with any specific queries. More information about uveitis can be obtained from:

NHS Choices - http://www.nhs.uk/


Royal National Institute of Blind People, 105 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NE

Tel: 0845 766 9999

Email:helpline@rnib.org.uk

http://www.rnib.org.uk/  

 

 

Combined Rheumatology and Uveitis service

Mr Periyasamy Kumar

Consultant Ophthalmologist

 

Dr Armugam Moorthy

Consultant Rheumatologist

 

Uveitis Nurse specialist

Fellows

Registrars

 

Team to contact

Mr Periyasamy Kumar

Consultant ophthalmologist

 

Mrs Carol Betteridge

Uveitis nurse

 

Miss Hilda Mears

Secretary