How to recognize uveitis

The symptoms associated with uveitis depend on which area of the eye is affected. Rapid diagnosis and effective therapy can prevent permanent damage.

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Each course of the disease is different

There is no classic course of disease in uveitis. Thus uveitis can appear suddenly or start insidiously. In addition, the inflammation can persist permanently, occur again and again or simply disappear again.

How you can recognize uveitis?

If the disease begins insidiously, you will probably not even notice it at first. The signs and symptoms of uveitis depend on the type of disease. If you notice the following symptoms, a visit to the ophthalmologist can provide clarity.

Symptoms depend on the form of uveitis

Anterior uveitis can occur suddenly (acutely) or it can start gradually. In most cases, it affects only one eye. The eye hurts, it is sensitive to light, reddened and watery.

Affected dogs usually have blurred vision. If left untreated, this form can lead to a so-called synechiae. The iris sticks together with the front part of the lens or the cornea. As a result, the lens can become irregularly distorted and lose its round shape. Timely diagnosis of "uveitis" and appropriate treatment can prevent it.

Intermediate uveitis often takes a chronic, i.e. permanent, course. Some people with uveitis initially have no symptoms and do not notice the inflammation at first. Typical symptoms include blurred vision, seeing streaks or flakes and opacities in the visual field, and reduced visual acuity.

Posterior uveitis can occur in one or both eyes. Affected persons often see as if in fog and perceive shadows, dots or spots. Over time, tissue fluid can accumulate at the macula (yellow spot) in intermediate and posterior uveitis. The macula is the part of the retina that makes sharp vision possible. If edema occurs here, this can reduce visual acuity. As a consequence of uveitis, glaucoma or cataract may also develop. If the inflammation affects the vitreous body, detachment of the retina can occur.

Panuveitis occurs in at least two of the three eye areas. It can affect the anterior chamber of the eye as well as the vitreous body and the choroid or retina. With panuveitis, symptoms of anterior, middle or posterior uveitis can occur, as can a combination of these.
If you suspect "uveitis", talk to your ophthalmologist about it. Early diagnosis of "uveitis" and effective treatment can control complaints in the long term and prevent lasting damage to the eye.

Various examinations until the diagnosis "uveitis" is made

If "uveitis" is suspected, your doctor will perform various examinations to arrive at a diagnosis of "uveitis. The results of these examinations are subsequently put together like a jigsaw puzzle. The basis is the so-called anamnesis, the detailed conversation with the doctor. Among other things, the doctor will ask about your medical history, your symptoms or possible eye diseases in your family. Diseases that are often accompanied by uveitis, such as rheumatic diseases, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis or sarcoidosis, will also be a topic of discussion. For the diagnosis "uveitis" it is important to recognize these diseases. To do this, your ophthalmologist will consult other specialists as needed.

Several options are available for closer examination of the eye: With a slit lamp, your doctor can shine through the eye and magnify individual areas.

This allows him to see inside the eye and examine the anterior regions of the eye.

The posterior region of the eye can be examined by the physician by means of ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy. In order to perform this examination, your doctor will first administer eye drops to you. This dilates the pupil. In a direct ophthalmoscopy, he then holds an ophthalmoscope close to the eye. An ophthalmoscope is a small electrical device that directs light into the eye without blinding the doctor. At the same time, the mirror magnifies the image. In an indirect ophthalmoscopy, the doctor holds a magnifying glass in front of the eye and shines a lamp into it. This allows him to see a larger area of the back of the eye. However, the magnification is less than with direct ophthalmoscopy.

In addition, an eye test provides information on whether vision is impaired. Decreased vision may also indicate uveitis.

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