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UVEITIS

Uveitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the uvea. The uvea is the vascular layer of the eye which is positioned snugly between the retina and the white of the eye (sclera). The uvea extends toward the front of the eye and is made up of the iris, choroid layer and ciliary body. Anterior uveitis which, is an inflammation of the iris is the most common type of uveitis.

Uveitis can be quite serious and may lead to permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis and treatment are important.

People between the ages of 20 to 50 most commonly have uveitis. Signs and symptoms of the condition include:

- Eye redness

- Eye pain

- Light sensitivity

- Blurred vision

- Dark, floating spots in the field of vision (floaters)

- Decreased vision

With uveitis, one or both eyes can be affected & the signs and symptoms may appear suddenly and may worsen very quickly.

Uveitis inflammation, which affects the front of the eye is known as anterior uveitis or iritis. Uveitis, which involves inflammation in the back of the eye is known as posterior uveitis. When all three layers of the uvea are affected, the condition is called panuveitis.

Many times, experts cannot determine the cause of uveitis. However, in some people, the condition is associated with:

- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis

- Inflammatory disorders, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis

- Infections such as syphilis, toxoplasmosis or tuberculosis

- Injury to the eye

- Certain cancers, such as lymphoma, that masquerade as uveitis

Uveitis can have a sudden onset and immediate attention from a professional health care practitioner is recommended. Early treatment is essential in preventing permanent eye damage.

Conventional medicine involves the use of corticosteroids to reduce swelling and pain caused by Uveitis.

The following natural supplements may be beneficial in treating uveitis:

Vitamin C (2,000 - 14,000 mg daily in divided doses) and Vitamin E (1,000 IU daily) - Antioxidants that help keep the eye healthy while it recovers from uveitis.

Vitamin A plus carotenoid complex (25,000 IU daily. If pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU on a daily basis) - Essential for eye health and beneficial for all eye disorders.

Bilberry (take as directed on label) - Reduces inflammation.

Lutein (take as directed on label) - Effective in protecting the eyes.

Quercetin (200 - 400 mg three times daily) - A powerful flavonoid that reduces inflammation.

Grape Seed Extract (take as directed on label) - A potent antioxidant that guards against free radical damage.

Acupuncture - Although more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for uveitis, acupuncture is an effective treatment for other eye diseases.

 

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