If uveitis is caused by an underlying condition, treatment will focus on that specific condition. The goal of treatment is to reduce the inflammation in your eye.
Treatment of uveitis may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, such as a corticosteroid, to treat your uveitis. This medication may be given as eyedrops. Or, you may be given corticosteroid pills or an injection into the eye. For people with difficult-to-treat posterior uveitis, a device that's implanted in your eye may be an option. This device slowly releases corticosteroid medication into your eye for about 2 1/2 years.
- Antibiotic or antiviral medication. If uveitis is caused by an infection, antibiotics, antiviral medications or other medicines may be given with or without corticosteroids to bring the infection under control.
- Immunosuppressive or cell-destroying (cytotoxic) medication. Immunosuppressive or cytotoxic agents may be necessary if your uveitis doesn't respond well to corticosteroids or becomes severe enough to threaten your vision.
- Surgery. Vitrectomy — surgery to remove some of the jelly-like material in your eye (vitreous) — may be necessary both for diagnosis and management of your uveitis. A small sample of the vitreous can help identify a specific cause of eye inflammation, such as a virus, bacterium or lymphoma. The procedure may also be used to remove developing scar tissue in the vitreous.
The part of your eye affected by uveitis — either the front (anterior) or back (posterior) of the uvea — may determine how quickly your eye heals. Uveitis affecting the back of your eye tends to heal more slowly than uveitis in the front of the eye. Severe inflammation takes longer to clear up than mild inflammation does.
Uveitis can come back. Make an appointment with your doctor if any of your symptoms reappear after successful treatment.
May. 09, 2012
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- De Smet MD, et al. Understanding uveitis: The impact of research on visual outcomes. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 2011;30:452.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 30, 2012.