What is Posterior Uveitis?
Uveitis is characterized by inflammation of the uvea (a middle layer of the eye which provides blood supply to the retina). Posterior uveitis is one of the four forms of uveitis (anterior uveitis, intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, and panuveitis) that causes inflammation in the back part of the uvea. In cases of autoimmune disease i.e., a condition when the immune system attacks and destroys healthy cells in the body, posterior uveitis primarily affects the choroid (a layer of blood vessels and connective tissues) and/or the retina. The condition is called choroiditis or chorioretinitis respectively.
Posterior uveitis can be classified into two types based on its causes:
- Infectious posterior uveitis (occurring due to fungal, bacterial and viral infections such as Candidiasis, Syphilis, Herpes zoster virus, Herpes simplex virus and Cytomegalovirus)
- Non-infectious posterior uveitis (occurring due to autoimmune diseases such as Lupus erythematosus, White dot syndrome, Wegener granulomatosis and Sarcoidosis).
Posterior uveitis usually affects only one eye and the symptoms develop very late. Posterior uveitis is generally painless and causes blurred vision. The patient may experience redness in the eye, floaters and develop scotoma (a localized area of decreased vision within the visual field). Posterior uveitis is a rare disorder and can cause severe visual loss if untreated.
Posterior uveitis is generally diagnosed by medical history, physical examination and specialized eye tests. Laboratory evaluations like complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate may be necessary to confirm the cause of the disorder.
Treatment for Posterior Uveitis
The treatment of posterior uveitis depends on the cause. Oral steroids are the most common drug of choice for the treatment of posterior uveitis. If the cause is due to infection, then treatment may involve antibiotics, antivirals, along with anti-inflammatory medicines. But, if the cause is autoimmune disorders, then immuno-suppressants and vitamin B12 supplements are recommended.
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