Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of tissue in the eye wall. Even though it’s common, uveitis can be serious if left untreated. The tricky thing is that eye doctors don’t always know what causes uveitis. The condition is best treated when the underlying cause is known, such as an autoimmune disorder or infection.
If there’s no obvious cause for the eye inflammation, your eye specialist will prescribe a medication that reduces inflammation. Sometimes, you’ll need to stay on these medications for several weeks or months. What happens if you don’t treat uveitis? Will it eventually go away on its own, or will it turn into something worse? Let’s find out.
Is Uveitis Acute or Chronic?
Uveitis can last for a short time (acute) or a long time (chronic). It can be caused by other diseases or problems in the eye, or it can be part of an inflammatory condition that affects the whole body. While uveitis can happen to anyone of any age, it’s most common in people between the ages of 20 and 60.
The most common causes of uveitis are:
- An attack on the body’s own immune system
- Infections or tumors in the eye or other parts of the body
- Bruises to the eye
- Toxins that penetrate the eye
- Infections from viruses or bacteria
- Eye injuries or surgeries
What Happens if I Don’t Treat Uveitis?
Some people try to treat the symptoms of uveitis with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. At first, ibuprofen might make sense because it reduces pain and inflammation. However, because the inflammation is beyond the front of the eye, more intensive treatments are usually needed.
Generally, the medications used to treat uveitis are anti-inflammatory eye drops, eye drops that control spasms in the eye, antivirals, antibiotics or immunosuppressive drugs. Again, if your eye doctor can determine what’s causing the uveitis, they’ll treat the underlying problem.
If you don’t treat uveitis, you can develop serious eye problems. Because this disease causes inflammation, leaving it untreated can lead to permanent scarring and tissue damage that affects your vision. In fact, uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness in developed countries.
Additionally, you can develop other problems such as:
- Swollen retina
- Detached retina
Schedule an Eye Exam with Your Ophthalmologist
If you have an inflammatory condition, or you are prone to eye inflammation, make sure you have an eye specialist you can count on. Uveitis needs to be treated right away to decrease inflammation and related damage. Plus, you’ll feel better with prompt treatment, and you can preserve your vision and prevent cataracts and glaucoma. To speak with a qualified retina specialist in Brooklyn, contact Empire Retina Consultants today.