Uveitis is a medical condition in which the middle layer of the eye becomes inflamed. It is essential to treat this condition promptly, because failure to do so may result in permanent vision loss. The best uveitis treatment will focus on reducing the inflammation and addressing any possible underlying causes, such as autoimmune disorders. Medicines like antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or immunosuppressants may help. In some cases, a type of surgery called a vitrectomy may be necessary to either confirm the diagnosis or to treat the condition if it fails to respond to medications.
This eye condition may respond to either antibiotics or anti-viral drugs if it is caused by an underlying infection. Before taking medications, inform your doctor of any other drugs or supplements you take, as well as any other medical conditions you have. Follow all dosing instructions carefully and finish the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms abate.
Antibiotics or anti-viral drugs may sometimes be given along with anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. Typically, these are administered topically as eye drops. Some patients may receive their dosages in the form of a pill. The doctor may also decide to use injections of the drug directly into the affected eye. If the patient is stricken with this condition more than once, the best uveitis treatment may be to implant a device in the eye that releases corticosteroid medication slowly over the next two years.
Immunosuppressants may be a necessary uveitis treatment for some patients if their condition does not respond to antibiotics or corticosteroids. These drugs, which include methotrexate and mycophenolate mofetil, can cause serious, life-threatening complications. Always tell your doctor about your other medical conditions and other medications before using an immunosuppressive drug. Despite the risk of serious side effects, these medications may help prevent permanent vision loss if other uveitis treatment drugs have failed.
Sometimes, a vitrectomy may be a necessary component of your uveitis treatment. This surgical procedure may be useful for diagnostic purposes, such as determining whether the condition is caused by an underlying infection. It may also be used for treatment if drugs have failed, or if the inflammation has cleared up, but the eye has developed scar tissue.
A vitrectomy for uveitis treatment will be performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Once the eye is numbed, the surgeon will remove part or all of the vitreous, which is a substance in the eye that has a gel-like consistency. Your eyes can still function without the vitreous; however, the surgeon will replace it with a clear fluid. Typically, recovery time is no longer than a few days to two weeks. Patients should expect several follow-up visits during this time.