Ocular Immunology and Uveitis
Ocular immunology is referred to as a specialized branch of medicine devoted to diagnosing inflammatory eye diseases in patients such as uveitis. Uveitis can be a range of inflammatory diseases in which the internal eye structure is affected. An eye exam is necessary to diagnose this eye disease. If you need an ophthalmology office, we assist patients here at The Center for Eye Care and Optical in West Islip, NY, with various eye conditions.
Uveitis causes are not evident in about half of all cases. This disease may be considered an autoimmune disorder since it only affects the eyes. However, it can be caused by any of the following:
- An autoimmune disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, sarcoidosis, or Crohn’s disease
- Side effects of medication
- Eye surgery or injury
- Cat scratch disease, herpes zoster, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, or syphilis
- Cancer such as lymphoma that affects the eye (although rare)
Symptoms may happen rather suddenly or worsen pretty quickly. However, there are other cases where symptoms occur gradually. Symptoms can affect one eye or both eyes. There are other cases where patients may not experience any symptoms in which their condition can only be diagnosed via vision screenings. Symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Decrease in vision
- Redness of the eye
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Floating and dark spots (floaters)
Treatment can only focus on a specific condition if an underlying condition is the leading cause of your uveitis. However, as long as your condition is not infectious, treatment is usually the same no matter the cause. Treatment goals consist of reducing inflammation in the eyes, and if present, in other parts of the body. Some patients may have to continue treatment for months or years, depending on the severity. Treatments may include:
- Medication to reduce inflammation
- Medication to control spasms
- Medication to tackle virus or bacteria
- Medications that destroy cells or affect the immune system
Glaucoma and cataracts are side effects of some medications given to treat uveitis. Follow up exams may be needed every one to three months. Although rare, surgery is only given to patients to remove some of the vitreous in the eye.
Contact Us for an Appointment
To schedule an appointment here at The Center for Eye Care and Optical, please give us a call. Our ophthalmology clinic is located in West Islip, NY. We know that the best way to prevent eye disease is by routine eye exams. Call us today to see how we can help.