If visual acuity persists, accompanied by tears and redness of one or both eyes, an ophthalmologist should be consulted to rule out urticaria. This inflammation of the vascular skin can affect patients regardless of age and should be treated promptly to avoid permanent damage to the eye.

What is a uveitis?

Uveitis is an inflammation of the vascular skin of the eye. The eyeball is a structure lined with three layers of tissue, the middle layer being the vascular skin (Uvea). The inflammation can affect certain areas of the uvea.

This results in a distinction between anterior, intermediate, and posterior uvetits, with anterior uvetitis being the most common form of inflammation of the vascular skin, also referred to as iritis or inflammation of the iris. The disease can be unique or chronic. Age limits do not exist in the affected patients.

The symptoms include numb pain in the eye, which can radiate to the forehead. The eye is red and tears. The visual acuity is usually reduced and there is a sensitivity to light. Chronic uteritis often causes less discomfort. The disease can occur in one eye or both sides.

causes

The cause of ubitus infection can be bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The viruses include herpes or varicella. Even during a tuberculosis or Lyme disease, the inflammation may occur.

It is often a result of another disease that has already been overcome, such as a bacterial Yersinia-induced diarrhea. Various autoimmune diseases also favor uvetitis. These include the chronic intestinal diseases Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis as well as rheumatic diseases such as juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis or certain kidney inflammations.

Often, however, no causes for the occurrence of the disease can be found. It is believed that in these cases it is an immune reaction of the body to certain protein structures of the eye, which are regarded as foreign to the body and thus trigger the urticitis.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

Uveitis can be acute or chronic. In chronic forms of the disease, however, acute relapses with symptom-free intervals are possible. The most important sign is a sudden or slowly developing visual deterioration. Those affected see increasingly blurred. The visual acuity decreases.

In addition, severe pain often occurs. Very rarely, the iris can be colored differently. Depending on where the vascular skin is inflamed, it can also lead to a significant redness of the eye with a strong flow of tears and increased sensitivity to light (irises). This is especially true if the front part of the [eye inflammation | eye is inflamed]].

Basically, a distinction is made between three forms of uveitis. So there is a front, middle and behind uveitis. The posterior uveitis is usually characterized only by a blurred and unclear vision. Pain, redness of the eyes and tears usually do not occur here. Usually a uveitis is very treatable.

In some cases, however, it can become chronic. Then recurrence occurs more often later. Occasionally, adhesions of the iris to the lens or the chamber angle are possible. Visual impairments due to vitreous opacities, cataracts or glaucoma also occur. If retina or choroid is involved, the retina may be destroyed, leading to night blindness or even complete blindness.

Diagnosis & History

The diagnosis of uvetitis is made by the ophthalmologist. About the questioning of the patient, he already receives first evidence of possible vascular inflammation. A thorough examination of the ocular fundus helps to ensure the diagnosis. Blood tests may also be necessary to detect further infections that may underlie vascular inflammation.

A single uvetitis usually heals without further consequences for the patient. However, if the infection recurs and chronic inflammation develops, damage to the eye can be expected to permanently impair visual acuity.

complications

Depending on the type of uveitis, various complications may occur. A typical complication of anterior uveitis is inflammation in the anterior section of the vascular skin, which is associated with visual disturbances and occasionally also scarring and permanent impairment of vision. In addition, the iris and the lens can stick together. As a result of an increase in the intraocular pressure, it comes to the so-called green star.

In case of moderate uveitis fluid may collect on the retina and sometimes lead to tearing of the retina. Even a gray or a green star can occur. In the case of inflammation of the posterior uveitis, the retina is often damaged as well - visual disturbances occur that can be chronic.

Further possible complications include clouding of the eye lens (cataract) and the accumulation of calcium in the cornea. In infants and toddlers, uveitis is often severe and causes permanent damage to the eye. An operation can cause eye injuries. In addition, infections may occur or the eye does not heal properly after the procedure and re-inflames. Laser therapy carries similar risks.

When should you go to the doctor?

For persistent or increasing complaints in the eyes, a doctor should be consulted. Bleeding eyes, redness and irritation indicate discrepancies that need to be controlled and treated. If there is impairment of vision, pain or increased risk of accident, a doctor is needed to clarify the cause. If the person suffering from a sensitivity to light, see a blurred or dizziness, a doctor's visit is advisable. If a night blindness is noticed or headaches set in regularly, a cause investigation should be operated.

Sudden changes in familiar vision are considered worrying. They should be examined as soon as possible by a doctor. Disorders of the tear duct, swelling in the area of ​​the eyes or an itching are also to be presented to a doctor. Since untreated can lead to complete blindness, a doctor's visit should be made at the first irregularities. In addition, a check-up with a doctor is generally recommended if a difference in vision is perceived in everyday life in direct comparison to people from the social environment.

Gait uncertainties, behavioral abnormalities or mood swings indicate health issues that should be discussed with a physician. Frequently, psychiatric irregularities occur in parallel due to the dysfunction of the eye, since the emotional burden on the person affected is very strong.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of uvetitis depends on the cause of the disease. The ophthalmologist selects medications to relieve inflammation and prevent long-term eye damage. In the case of a bacterial cause, antibiotics are prescribed, in the case of a causative fungal attack a drug against fungi. Usually, a cortisone ointment is prescribed for the inhibition of inflammation.

It is also important to avoid sticking to the iris. For this purpose, the pupil must be dilated with appropriate eye drops (cycloplegics or mydriatics). In disorders of the immune system, the immune response with cortisone is attenuated. Depending on the type of inflammation, the drugs are administered as eye drops, in tablet form or as a syringe.

In most patients, the administration of cortisone can cure uterine disease. If the inflammation does not recede sufficiently, there are other medicines available that can interfere with the process of inflammation of the vascular inflammation and thus achieve their healing. Only in particularly severe cases in case of uterine surgery on the vitreous body of the eye is necessary.

prevention

There is no effective prevention against uvetitis, as this inflammatory reaction can have many causes. However, it is necessary to consult an ophthalmologist immediately if you have eye problems that are associated with a reduction in visual acuity so that uvetitis can be quickly detected and treated. This is especially important for patients with chronic underlying diseases.

aftercare

In order to prevent the development of secondary diseases, the treatment of uveitis should be followed by a comprehensive follow-up treatment. This consists of regular follow-up examinations at the ophthalmologist. This measures the visual acuity, examines the fundus, as well as the ocular skin, choroid, rays and iris and controls the intraocular pressure and takes in case of a resulting disease or re-uveitis timely countermeasures.

If visual acuity is permanently impaired as a result of uveitis, glasses or contact lenses may be necessary. If, as a result of uveitis, there is a clouding of the lens, it must also be treated. If the intraocular pressure has increased as a result of uveitis or its treatment, it must be lowered by medication. For this purpose, special water tablets (Glaupax, Azemid) are used, which lower the intraocular pressure.

If an infection with viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites was the trigger for uveitis, attention should also be paid to increased body hygiene. Especially the rubbing of the eyes with uncleaned or not disinfected hands should be avoided. If there is an autoimmune disease that has caused uveitis, it must be treated separately to prevent the recurrence of uveitis and the development of secondary eye diseases.

You can do that yourself

To relieve itching and redness of the affected eye and home remedies are well suited. Cold or warm compresses are proven as an immediate measure. For this a clean cloth should be soaked with cold or lukewarm water. Subsequently, this compress should be carefully placed on the closed eye. The compress helps to relax the affected eye.

But the infection can not be combated with it. Eye washes can help better. In this way pus can be washed out of the eye. One method of eye irrigation is rinsing with a non-cannulated syringe that has been teased with lukewarm water. In this case, the water should slowly be dripped into the eye with only slight pressure, so that no damage to the cornea occurs.

Chamomile tea pads are also a proven remedy for symptom relief in uveitis. This should be boiled water and pull with chamomile tea for five to ten minutes. But it is important that it is not chamomile tea from the supermarket, but pure chamomile from the pharmacy or a health food store. A clean cloth should be soaked with the lukewarm or even cold chamomile brew. This moist pad should then be placed on the affected eye. This way, the camomile compress can develop its healing and soothing effects.

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