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Uveitis

Uveitis is a general term for an inflammatory response in the eye that can be caused by a broad range of diseases or conditions. It is called uveitis because the area that is inflamed is the uvea, although the condition can also affect other areas in the eye such as the lens, the optic nerve, the retina and the vitreous. Uveitis can cause swelling and tissue damage and lead to reduced vision or in more serious cases, even blindness.

What is the Uvea?

The uvea is a layer in the middle of the eye containing three main elements including: the choroid, which is a network of small blood vessels which provides nutrients to the retina; the iris, which is the colored layer around the pupil; and the ciliary body which produces fluid to shape the lens and provide nutrients to keep it healthy.

Types of Uveitis

Uveitis is classified by four different types, depending on the location of the inflammation within the eye. Anterior uveitis, which is the most common form, is when the iris is inflamed, sometimes in combination with the ciliary body. Intermediate uveitis is inflammation of the ciliary body and posterior uveitis is when the choroid is inflamed. When the entire uvea is inflamed, this is called diffuse or pan-uveitis.

Symptoms of Uveitis

Uveitis generally affects individuals between the ages of 20 and 50 and can present a variety of symptoms depending on the cause. The condition can affect one or both eyes and sometimes the symptoms can come on very rapidly. They include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seeing floaters in the field of view

If you experiences these symptoms seek medical attention immediately. Uveitis is usually a chronic disease which can lead to vision loss as well as other eye problems such as glaucoma, retinal detachment and cataracts.

Causes of Uveitis

The cause of uveitis is still somewhat of a mystery. It is often found in connection with eye injuries, viral infections, toxins or tumors in the eye or with systemic autoimmune disorders (such as AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis), or inflammatory disorders (such as Crohn’s disease, colitis or Multiple Sclerosis).

Treatment for Uveitis

Uveitis treatment is designed to reduce and eliminate inflammation and pain and to prevent damage to the tissues within the eye, as well as to restore and prevent vision loss. The inflammation is typically treated with anti-inflammatory steroid eye drops, pills, dissolving capsules or injections, depending on where the condition presents in the eye. Additional medications or treatments may be prescribed depending on the cause of the condition. For example, when the cause is an autoimmune disease, immunosuppressant medications may also be used. If there is a viral infection or elevated intraocular pressure, appropriate medications will be given to treat those issues. Often uveitis is a chronic disease so it’s important to see the eye doctor any time the symptoms appear.

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We appreciate your patience as we adjust our office procedures and schedule to keep everyone as safe as possible. In accordance with the CDC we will continue to practice social distancing and limiting the number of patients in our office. The following guidelines will in place until further notice:

· Office Door will remain locked

· Only scheduled appointments will be permitted into the building. Anyone with you will be asked to wait in their vehicle.

· UPON ARRIVAL, PLEASE CALL 812-476-2020 FROM YOUR VEHICLE AND WE WILL USHER YOU IN FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT.

· If you have glasses or contacts to pick-up, please call 812-476-2020 and we will either ship glasses to you or provide “curb-side” pick-up.

· All staff, doctors, and patients must wear a face mask while in the office. If you do not have one, we will provide one for you.

· Adjustments, Repairs, or eyeglass purchases (without exam) must schedule an appointment. Days and times available will vary.

· MONDAY evenings (after 5:00) and SATURDAY hours are reserved for Doctor services/appointments only. No other services will be available, including eyewear pick-up.

Thank you again for your patience as we work to provide for your eye needs and balance that with patient and staff safety. We will continue monitoring the information from the CDC to make the most informed decisions.