Uveitis treatment takes place only after an ophthalmologist or eye specialist has diagnosed one or other type of uveitis. He or she will ask about signs, symptoms, and your medical history. A careful eye examination will seek to establish if the uveitis is caused by an infectious, or an underlying, disease.
If there appears to be an underlying cause your ophthalmologist may refer you for specialist treatment elsewhere.
Using a special slit lamp, the ophthalmologist can see whether parts of your eye are clear or foggy. When light hits the iris the pupil contracts and in patients with uveitis this may cause pain.
Another sign that you may have uveitis is if white blood cells and protein are present in the eye fluid. This can be determined by analysis using a microscope. Blood tests and X-rays may also help establish the most accurate diagnosis.
While the exact cause of uveitis is often unclear, some factors may predispose people to having the condition.
If you have had autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, you may be more prone to uveitis. This is also the case if you have had juvenile arthritis or psoriasis. Inflammatory disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can be serious risk factors.
Diseases such as HIV/AIDS which affect the immune system also heighten your risk of uveitis. Other diseases in this category include brucellosis, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, syphilis and tuberculosis.
As with many conditions, it’s a good idea to quit smoking and drinking alcohol and adhere to a healthy diet.
Interestingly, recent research suggests that people with black ink tattoos may be more at risk of uveitis. The tattooing may trigger an immune response that affects some people’s eyes.
You should be aware that uveitis may also be a normal immune response to fight an eye infection. That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor.