Answers from Alaina L. Softing Hataye, O.D.
What is the link between uveitis and depression, and what can I do to feel better?
If you have uveitis, a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of tissue (uvea) in your eye, you might be at risk of depression. Uveitis, depending on its location, severity and cause, can result in permanent vision loss. Vision loss in adulthood can have a major impact on your quality of life, affecting even simple things such as how you dress, work and eat.
Research also suggests that depressive moods, stress or life events might trigger relapses of uveitis.
It's natural to experience a sense of grief over vision loss, but you can take steps to cope in a positive way. If you're dealing with uveitis and depression:
- Seek treatment. Medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) are very effective for most people with depression. Because depression tends to occur in the early stages of adapting to vision loss and remains constant over time, consider seeking help earlier rather than later.
- Find a vision rehabilitation program. This kind of program can help you manage vision loss and develop strategies for accomplishing daily tasks.
- Don't isolate yourself. Participate in social activities and get together with family or friends regularly. Lean on loved ones and ask for help when you need it. Also, support groups for people with uveitis or depression can help you connect with others facing similar challenges and share experiences.
- Learn ways to relax and manage your stress. Meditation and progressive muscle relaxation exercises, which involve tensing and relaxing muscle groups, can help.
Nov. 08, 2016
Alaina L. Softing Hataye, O.D.
See more Expert Answers
- SM Maca, et al. Distress, depression and coping in HLA-B27-associated anterior uveitis with focus on gender differences. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2011;95:699.
- Coping with vision loss. American Foundation for the Blind. http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/coping-with-vision-loss/12. Accessed Oct. 19, 2016.
- Senra H, et al. Psychological adjustment to irreversible vision loss in adults: A systematic review. Ophthalmology. 2015;122:851.