Symptoms and Treatments for Ocular Inflammation
Ocular inflammation is when the uvea – or middle layer of the eye – becomes irritated or inflamed. It is caused by a variety of conditions, including infection, inflammatory disorders, eye injury and others. If left untreated, ocular inflammation can lead to deterioration of eyesight and eventually to blindness.
The Uvea of the Eye
The eyeball has three layers surrounding a central gel-filled cavity. The innermost level is the retina. This is where the rods and cones are located that sense light and send messages to the brain, which translates these electrical impulses into images.
The outer layer of the eyeball is the sclera, which is the strong white exterior that’s visible on your face.
Between the retina and the sclera is the uvea, or middle layer of the eye. It contains many thousands of tiny blood vessels, veins and arteries that carry blood to and from the eye and keep it healthy. The uvea nourishes both the retina and the sclera. Inflammation or irritation of the uvea in the form of ocular inflammation can cause damage to your sight.
Symptoms of Ocular Inflammation
Common symptoms of ocular inflammation include:
- Redness or irritation of the eye
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Light sensitivity
- Floating spots before the eyes
Ocular inflammation, which is also known as uveitis, can develop very quickly and without warning. If you experience any of these symptoms – especially eye pain or redness that doesn’t go away – you should see your eye doctor as soon as possible.
Causes of Ocular Inflammation
Many things can cause ocular inflammation, including viral infections, fungus growth, the presence of bacteria, parasites, inflammatory diseases affecting other parts of your body, and injury to the eye.
Uveitis comes in four types:
Iritis – The most common form of uveitis, iritis affects the iris of the eye and typically is associated with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or sarcoidosis.
Cyclitis – An inflammation that affects the muscle that focuses the lens of the eye, cyclitis can develop suddenly and often lasts several months.
Retinitis – This form of uveitis affects the back of the eye. Its development may be progressive over time, making treatment more complicated. Retinitis is often caused by viral infections like shingles or herpes or bacterial infections like syphilis or toxoplasmosis.
Choroiditis – An inflammation of the layer of the eye beneath the retina, chloroiditis is sometimes found in people with tuberculosis or other infectious diseases.
Both retinitis and chloroiditis can result from autoimmune disorders such as lupus. But in many cases, the cause of uveitis is unknown. Some believe it may be related to stress, which can trigger disturbances to the body’s autoimmune processes.
Treatments for Ocular Inflammation
Uveitis is a serious condition that usually requires immediate treatment. If your uveitis is not caused by an infection, your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops that contain steroids to reduce swelling, along with pain-killing drugs.
In infectious uveitis, antibiotics are a standard course of treatment. Patients with light sensitivity are often instructed to wear dark glasses until the uveitis clears up.
Left untreated, uveitis can lead to more serious eye conditions, including glaucoma, cataracts, abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes, blurred vision, fluid build-up within the retina, and even blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important.
How to Avoid Getting Ocular Inflammation
Keeping your eyes free of bacterial and viral infections and fully moisturised at all times is one of the most effective ways of preventing uveitis from developing.
Ethos Bright Eyes is a new type of eye drops that has been scientifically developed for keeping your eyes clean, healthy and moisturised. Just a few drops of Bright Eyes daily is all your eyes need to eliminate the conditions that can put you at risk of developing ocular inflammation — such as eye irritation, dryness, redness and pain.
To avoid the symptoms of ocular inflammation, keep your eyes healthy, clean and moisturised with Bright Eyes brand eye drops.
Author: Professor Steven Charles Gallant