What is ocular inflammation?
Ocular inflammation, or chronic uveitis, refers to inflammatory diseases that affect the eye in general and the uvea in particular. The uvea consists of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. In some cases, the diseases can affect areas of the eye that are not inside the uvea.
Eye inflammation can be caused by infection or disease, as well as trauma.
There are a number of types of ocular inflammation, including:
- Anterior uveitis (inflammation in the front of the eye)
- Intermediate uveitis (inflammation in the middle part of the eye)
- Posterior uveitis (inflammation behind the eye)
Some common symptoms include blurred vision, redness, pain and sensitivity to light. Uveitis can result in serious complications including glaucoma, cataracts and the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which in turn lead to severe inflammation. If you experience any symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible so that the condition can be treated and managed correctly.
How is ocular inflammation diagnosed?
If you experience any symptoms of inflammation, your doctor will perform a thorough eye examination by conducting blood tests, skin tests and x-rays. Ocular inflammation is often associated with diseases in other parts of the body, so you may need to let your ophthalmologist know about your overall health.
How can it be treated?
Ocular inflammation can often be treated with steroids and antibiotics in drop or injection form.
In some cases, surgery may be required, particularly if there are cataracts present, in which case cataract surgery will be performed. The gel centre of the eye may be removed by means of a vitrectomy procedure for the purposes of a biopsy, as well as to remove abnormal cells and improve vision. Laser therapy and steroid implants can also be helpful in treating ocular inflammation.