The two of the most common inflammatory eye diseases that need to be treated immediately include scleritis and uveitis.
Uveitis is an inflammatory condition of the eye. It can occur as an autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis, Bechet syndrome, sarcoidosis, Kawasaki disease, Reiter disease, psorisis, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or ankylosing spondylitis) or as a result of injury, infection, or exposure to toxins.
Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, which is known as the uvea. The uvea is composed of three structures: the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. When one of the structures of the Uvea are affected ie the iris, the condition is caller iritis, or anterior uveitis. Intermediate uveitis is also known as iridocyclitis, and posterior uveitis is known as choroiditis or chorioretinitis.
The most common type of uveitis is anterior uveitis, It is characterized by flares which could last only a few days or up to a few weeks. Posterior uveitis is a more serious condition, with inflammation lasting as long as a year. In posterior uveitis permanent vision damage may occur even with treatment.
Symptoms of uveitis include: redness, light sensitivity (photophobia), floaters, blurred vision and sometimes pain.
Scleritis is the inflammation of the white outer wall of the eye (the sclera). Scleritis is typically caused by chemical injuries, infection, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Scleritis presents as significantly dilated sclera vessles, as are the overlying vessels of the episclera and bulbar conjunctiva. The eye can become extremely injected that it actually takes on a deep red, almost purple, hue.
Symptoms of sceritis include: blurred vision, extreme sensitivity to light, severe eye pain, tearing of the eye, and red patches on the white part of the eye.
To treat inflammatory eye diseases such as scleritis and uveitis, the Ophthalmologist usually recommends corticosteroid eye drops to help reduce inflammation, and sometimes, oral corticosteroids. In certain cases, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may also be recommended as well as the wearing of dark glasses. In cases where the inflammation is caused by an underlying disease, this treatment of the disease will most likely stop the eye inflammation.
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