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Uveitis is a, inflammatory condition of the middle layer of the eye, the uvea, which provides most of the blood supply to the retina. Similar to arthritis of the joints, Uveitis is not an infection, but rather an inflammation.
While, in most cases, the cause is idiopathic, Uveitis can be associated with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, infection, exposure to toxins, bowel and abdominal inflammation, and even trauma. The whole body is connected and sometimes an injury to a completely unrelated area of your body, like your back, can trigger Uveitis.
Signs and Symptoms
Uveitis symptoms may develop rapidly, affecting one or both eyes, and can include:
• Blurred vision
• Dark, floating spots in the vision
• Eye pain
• Redness of the eye
• Sensitivity to light
Forms of Uveitis
Uveitis is the third-leading cause of blindness in developed countries, behind Cataracts (#1) Glaucoma (#2).
The most common form of Uveitis is Anterior Uveitis, also called Iritis, which involves inflammation in the front part of the eye. The disorder may affect one eye or both eyes and is most common in young and middle-aged people.
Posterior Uveitis, also referred to as Choroiditis, affects the back part of the uvea and primarily involves the chorid, which is a layer of blood vessels under the retina. If the retina is involved, it is called Chorioretinitis.
The final form of Uveitis is Pars Planitis, which is an inflammation affecting the area just behind the iris. This particular type of Uveitis occurs primarily in young men.
Treatment for Uveitis involves the use of steroid eye drops, though additional treatments may be helpful, including: wearing dark glasses, using eye drops that dilate and relax the pupil to relieve pain, using oral steroids, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin.
With proper treatment, most cases of Uveitis are resolved in a few days or, more commonly, a few weeks. However, relapses are common.
Call your eye doctor immediately if you are suffering from blurry vision or any of the other previously mentioned symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to an eye specialist.
Eye pain and reduced vision are serious symptoms that require prompt medical attention from you optometrist or ophthalmologist.
If you have any questions about what you have just read, please contact Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010
Uveitis PubMed Health
Uveitis Mayo Clinic
You find your eyes have become slightly pink and rather itchy. You think nothing of it and simply ignore the situation, blaming your allergies. But what if there was more to your itchy eyes? Your pink or red eyes may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, more commonly referred to as “pink eye.”
There are several types of pink eye, ranging from the contagious viral or bacterial infection mentioned above, to a common irritation of the conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the white part of the eye and interior lining of the eyelids.
Your Symptoms can help determine the type of pink eye you have. These symptoms include:
• Allergic conjunctivitis causes itching, redness and excessive tearing in both eyes.
• Bacterial conjunctivitis often spreads to both eyes and causes a heavy discharge, sometimes yellow or greenish. Crusting may appear on eyelids.
• Viral conjunctivitis usually affects only one eye, which has excessive watering and a light discharge. Crusting on eyelids can occur.
• Dry eye causes redness, excessive tearing and a dry sandy feeling.
• Blepharitis is an ocular disease that causes redness, itching and irritation.
Of course, the only way to truly diagnose your condition is to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at your earliest convenience. Your eye doctor will examine your eyes with a specialized microscope and collect a sample for analysis.
Most types of pink eye are not considered serious and treatment is dependent on the variety of pink eye you have. Antibiotic eye ointments or drops may help bacterial forms of conjunctivitis, while viral conjunctivitis will usually clear up by itself within a week. You should wait until you talk to your eye doctor before trying to self-medicate with any over-the-counter eye drops.
To prevent future outbreaks of pink eye, you should…
• …avoid sharing personal items, including towels, make-up, pillowcases.
• …use tissues and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
• …avoid eye rubbing and touching.
• …wash your hands often.
• …wear protective goggles when swimming.
• …dust and vacuum to cut down on allergens.
• …follow all cleaning and handling instructions for your contacts.
• …see your doctor regularly.
In the end, everyone is at risk of pink eye, but you can minimize that risk by following the above advice. Despite all these precautions, you may still develop pink eye. If you do, as with any eye problem, always consult your eye doctor for treatment and care.
If you have any questions about what you have just read, contact Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here today!
The term Glaucoma actually refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to intraocular pressure (IOP) and damage the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. This pressure comes from a buildup of normal fluid called the aqueous humor, which is naturally and continuously produced in the front of your eye.
The different types of glaucoma include:
- Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: Affecting around one percent of all Americans (mainly those individuals age 50 or older), it is the most common form of glaucoma. And because this form of glaucoma develops slowly, it rarely ever presents any symptoms and often goes undetected without regular screenings.
- Normal Tension Glaucoma: Also known as Low-Tension Glaucoma, this form is characterized by progressive optic nerve damage and visual field loss with a statistically normal IOP. The lack of blood flow and the decrease in oxygen to the optic nerve is directly related to this form of glaucoma.
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This form of glaucoma is related to narrow angles. And with several subcategories – including Intermittent and chronic Acute Angle-Closure or Narrow Angle-Closure – this form affects nearly 500,000 Americans, but is most common in people of Asian descent or those individuals with farsightedness (hyperopia). Unlike POAG where the IOP increases gradually, Angle-Closure Glaucoma is characterized by a sudden increase in IOP, often in only a matter of hours. This dramatic increase in IOP can cause severe eye pain, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision and headache. An acute attack is an emergency condition. Long-term effects of Angle-Closure Glaucoma include: scarring of the trabecular meshwork, resulting in chronic glaucoma; cataracts; damage to the optic nerve; permanent vision loss.
- Pigmentary Glaucoma: This form is a type of inherited open-angle glaucoma, which develops more frequently in men than in women and is most prevalent in individuals in their twenties and thirties. Pigmentary Glaucoma is associated with near-sightedness (myopia).
- Trauma-Related Glaucoma: A blow to the eye, chemical burn, or penetrating injury may lead to the development of either acute or chronic glaucoma.
- Childhood Glaucoma: Also referred to as Pediatric Glaucoma, the approach to treatment is slightly different than with glaucoma in adults and almost always requires immediate surgery to relieve IOP. Approximately 80-90 percent of babies who receive prompt surgical treatment, long-term care, and monitoring of their visual development will do well, and may have normal or nearly normal vision for their lifetime. However, if the disease is not caught early more permanent vision loss will result.
The most common symptoms of glaucoma include:
- Vision loss (most commonly tunnel vision – the gradual loss of peripheral or side vision)
- Severe eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sudden onset of visual disturbance
- Blurred or blurry vision
- Halos around lights
- Reddening of the eye
If you feel you may be experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. These symptoms are serious and require prompt medical attention from your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
However, many people do not experience any symptoms until they begin to lose their vision. At this point, the damage is irreversible. This is why regular eye exams are so important. While there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and treatment are your best options to slow or even prevent further vision loss brought on by the disease. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.
Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of vision loss in the United States behind only cataracts.
If you have any questions about what you have just read, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Samuel Boles and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
Types of Glaucoma GlaucomaFoundation.org
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), 1 in 4 school children have vision problems. And with the new school year right around the corner, now is the perfect time to have your child’s eyes examined. This is why the Prevent Blindness America Association has named August Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.
Children’s Eye Health Checklist
Because children do not know what normal vision looks like, they are often unable to articulate the problem to their teachers or parents. This is why the American Optometric Association has compiled a list of warning signs to help detect potential eye problems in children. These warning signs include:
- Sitting close to the TV
- Holding reading materials close to the face
- Tilting their head
- Rubbing the eyes frequently
- Turning of an eye in or out
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination
- Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles and other detailed activities
If you notice your child displaying any of the above warning signs of vision problems, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – at your earliest convenience. The early detection and treatment of vision problems is the best way to help preserve your child’s sight. This is why regular checkups with eye doctor are so important.
In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus recommend the following exams:
- Newborn: It is recommended that all newborns undergo a red reflex test, which is a basic indicator that a baby’s eyes are normal.
- Infant: A second vision screening is recommended between six months and one year old.
- Preschooler: It is recommended to have a child’s eye alignment and visual acuity tested between the ages of 3 and 4.
- School age: It is important to have a child’s vision tested upon entering school or whenever a vision problem is suspected.
Eye exams for children are important for normal vision development and academic achievement, as vision is closely linked to the learning process.
To learn more about Children’s Eye Health, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrist Dr. Nathan Frank, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
Vision problems may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.