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Treating Uveitis

Uveitis is inflammation of the part of the eye called the uvea. The uvea sits just inside the white outer layer of the eye (the sclera). Uveitis can cause pain and sensitivity to light. Often the eye gets red. Vision may get blurry. You may see spots floating in your eye. Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. You must be treated right away to control the inflammation and to keep your eyesight. Your eye care provider will prescribe medicine to ease pain and other symptoms. If a health condition caused your uveitis, you may also need to be treated for that.

Relieving the symptoms

Woman leaning head back and pulling gently down on lower eyelid. Other hand is holding eyedrops bottle over eye.

With treatment, symptoms often go away in a few days. To help ease your symptoms, your eye care provider:

  • Will use eye drops to enlarge (dilate) your pupil. This helps ease pain. This will make your eyes sensitive to light, so wear sunglasses while taking the dilating drops. When buying sunglasses, look for those that block 100% of UV rays. It’s the UV percentage, not the price tag or designer name, that determines how much protection the sunglasses provide.

  • May prescribe other eye drops, ointment, or medicines by mouth (oral). They can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Use them as directed. Ask about any side effects.

  • May inject medicine around or into your eye

Treating the underlying cause

If the cause is known, your treatment will depend on the underlying condition. But the cause of uveitis is often not known. In this case, your eye care provider will likely treat you with anti-inflammatory eye drops, oral medicine, or shots. Uveitis is often linked with inflammatory problems in other parts of the body. These include some kinds of arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. If needed, you may be referred to another provider. They can check you for any health problems linked to the uveitis. This provider may also oversee treatment with powerful oral medicines.

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