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Eye Exams in Mesa, Arizona

Uveitis - Mesa, Arizona.

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480-981-6111

Inflammation inside the eye is a medical emergency. Uveitis is estimated to be responsible for approximately 10% of the blindness in the United States. Uveitis requires an urgent and thorough examination by an ophthalmologist, along with urgent treatment to control the inflammation.

uveitis arizona specialist

Anatomy of Uveitis

Inflammation in any of the parts of the uveal tract is called uveitis. The uvea tract (the areas marked in red above) is the middle layer of the eye, made up of the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid, which covers the eye like a tunic or coat. In common usage, uveitis may refer to any inflammatory process involving the interior of the eye.

Iris: The visible part of the uvea, in the front, is the iris. It is the colored ring of tissue suspended behind the cornea and immediately in front of the lens.

Ciliary body: The structure behind the iris responsible for making aqueous humor, the fluid in the front chamber of the eye that nourishes the lens and cornea.

Choroid (KOR-oyd): The choroid is a soft, thin, brown, extremely vascular middle layer of tissue that lies between the retina and sclera. It is composed of layers of blood vessels that nourish the back of the eye.

Types of Uveitis.

Uveitis is usually categorized into anterior, intermediate, posterior and panuveitic forms.

  • Anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of uveitis cases are anterior in location (anterior uveitis), frequently termed iritis - or inflammation of the iris and anterior chamber. This condition can occur as a single episode and subside with proper treatment or may take on a recurrent or chronic nature. Symptoms include red eye, injected conjunctiva, pain and decreased vision.
  • Intermediate uveitis consists of vitritis - inflammatory cells in the vitreous cavity, sometimes with snowbanking, or deposition of inflammatory material on the pars plana.
  • Posterior uveitis is the inflammation of the retina and choroid.
  • Pan-uveitis is the inflammation of all the layers of the uvea.

Causes of Uveitis.

A myriad of conditions can lead to the development of uveitis, including systemic diseases as well as syndromes confined to the eye. Causes of uveitis can be infectious or noninfectious, traumatic, drug-induced, or malignant. Uveitis occurs throughout the world. Both women and men of any race, ethnicity, or age may develop uveitis.

Symptoms of Uveitis.

Uveitis can affect any part of the eye or its surrounding structures. The symptoms of uveitis for the most part depend on the area in the eye of the inflammation. Most common signs and symptoms of uveitis are:
  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dark, floating spots along the visual field
  • Eye pain

Eye pain, severe light sensitivity, and any change in vision are considered emergency signs and need immediate attention by an ophthalmologist.

Treatment of Uveitis.

The prognosis is generally good for those who receive prompt diagnosis and treatment, but serious complication (including cataracts, glaucoma, band keratopathy, retinal edema and permanent vision loss) may result if left untreated. The type of uveitis, as well as its severity, duration, and responsiveness to treatment or any associated illnesses, all factor in to the outlook.

Usually, when eye inflammation is suspected, your urgent duty is to contact your ophthalmologist. He or she will perform a thorough eye exam, including:

  • Tests of visual acuity, to determine if vision has decreased. This can be as simple as reading an eye chart.
  • A funduscopic exam, in which the pupil is dilated (widened) so that the ophthalmologist can look into the eye and see structures in the back of the eye.
  • Measures of the pressure inside the eye to make sure it has not reached levels that might be dangerous. This painless test can be done on the slit lamp by a tonometer or without a slit lamp with a tonopen or a pneumotonometer. These measure the pressure inside the eye by lightly pressing on the surface of the eye.
  • A slit lamp exam, in which a narrow beam of light is shone into the eye so that a magnifying lens can closely examine the highlighted portion of the eye.
  • Your doctor will use eye drops to dilate the pupil of the eye. A drop of fluorescein dye may also be placed in the eye. This dye temporarily stains the surface of the eye and can help to determine which layers of the eye are inflamed
  • In addition, your physician will ask you about your medical history, and will examine you. Depending on the results, he or she may order further tests or refer you to an ocular specialist. Because uveitis often is associated with a viral infection or an autoimmune disease, other conditions need to be discovered and treated as well.

Uveitis in the front and middle part of the eye (iritis or cyclitis) is commonly more sudden in onset, generally lasting six to eight weeks, and in the early stages can usually be controlled by the frequent use of drops. Often, this type of uveitis cannot be given a specific cause. Uveitis in the back part of the eye (choroiditis) is commonly slower in onset and may last longer, and is often more difficult to treat.

The eye specialists of East Valley Ophthalmology perform advanced technology diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as taking the time necessary to provide each patient with information needed to fully understand their condition and to achieve their best possible visual outcome.

If you would like further information, please call our office at:

480-981-6111

East Valley Ophthalmology

Eye Doctors - Mesa, Arizona

If you or a family member or friend have not had a recent routine eye examination, have a specific eye condition that needs addressing, or are looking for an eye specialist or professional eye consultant please take a moment to Request an Appointment.

 


East Valley Ophthalmology
5620 East Broadway Road
Mesa, Arizona 85206

Tel: +1-480-981-6111
FAX: +1-480-985-2426

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