Uveitis – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by

Uveitis is the name for various conditions that result in the inflammation of the uvea (the middle layer of the eye) and surrounding tissues.

Aside from an inflammation of the uvea, uveitis refers to the inflammation of any part of the inside of the eye. Uveitis isn’t a single disease, and it has different causes.

Uveitis is often caused by an injury to the eye, a bacterial or viral infection, and other underlying diseases. If left untreated, uveitis can cause vision loss. It can also affect one or both eyes.

Uveitis is the fifth leading cause of vision loss in the U.S., and it often affects people aged 20 to 60 years old.

Known side effects of uveitis

The side effects of uveitis, which may appear gradually or rapidly, may include:

  • Changes in the color of the iris
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Floaters (spots in the eye that look like tiny rods or chains of transparent bubbles that float in your field of vision)
  • General vision problems (e.g., blurred or cloudy vision)
  • Headaches
  • Photophobia (abnormal sensitivity to light)
  • A small pupil

The cause of the condition remains unknown, and it often occurs even in otherwise healthy people. Risk factors for uveitis may include:

  • Bruising
  • Exposure to a toxin that penetrates the eye
  • Having an autoimmune disease (e.g., arthritis, Kawasaki disease, or psoriasis)
  • Injury
  • Trauma

Body systems harmed by uveitis

Immediate medical treatment can help prevent complications in patients with uveitis.

However, the condition may still cause the following complications:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular edema
  • Retinal detachment (detached retina)
  • Scar tissue
  • Vision loss

Food items or nutrients that may prevent uveitis

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent uveitis or address its side effects:

  • Antioxidants – An increased intake of antioxidants can help address inflammation in the body and improve eye health. Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that can ease inflammation. Sources of vitamin A include dark-green leafy vegetables and red or yellow fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Meanwhile, vitamin E can be found in whole grains and oils. These foods also contain other antioxidants like the minerals selenium and magnesium, which can also help lower inflammation in the body.
  • Essential fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the creation of inflammatory substances in the body. Omega-3s can also help ease the side effects of dry eye, one of the eye conditions linked to inflammation. Foods that contain omega-3s include fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout, and tuna) and omega-3 supplement tablets. Flaxseed oil can also help improve eye inflammation.
  • Spices – Curcumin, which is found in turmeric and curry powder, is an anti-inflammatory. Other spices with potent anti-inflammatory properties include ginger, oregano, and rosemary.

Treatments, management plans for uveitis

Treatment for uveitis may include:

  • Antibiotics or antiviral medication – These are used to treat an infection.
  • Corticosteroid medications – These may come in the form of eye drops (prednisolone acetate), tablets, or as an injection into the eye.
  • Immunosuppressants – Immunosuppressants may be required if a patient has very severe symptoms, if there is a risk of vision loss, or if the patient doesn’t respond well to other therapies.
  • Mydriatic eye drops (atropine or cyclopentolate) – Mydriatic eye drops will make the pupil dilate and help the eye to heal. The eye drops will also ease the pain in the eye, and they can help stop the pupil from sticking to the lens. However, they may also cause harmful side effects like blurred vision and photophobia.

Where to learn more

Summary

Uveitis is the name for various conditions that result in the inflammation of the uvea (the middle layer of the eye) and surrounding tissues.

The side effects of uveitis, which may appear gradually or rapidly, usually include changes in the color of the iris, eye pain, and redness, or floaters.

Uveitis can cause complications like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular edema.

Antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and spices can help prevent uveitis or address its side effects.

Treatment for uveitis may include antibiotics or antiviral medication, corticosteroid medications, immunosuppressants, and mydriatic eye drops.

Sources include:

MedicalNewsToday.com

Healthline.com

Livestrong.com



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