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What are the common treatments for uveitis?

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Quick Answer

If an underlying condition is the cause of uveitis, the treatment plan focuses on curing that particular condition, according to Mayo Clinic. Common treatment options include medication and surgical procedures.

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There are a number of causes of uveitis, including viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections, according to WebMD. There are four types of uveitis, and iritis is the most common. This form of uveitis affects the iris and is most often associated with autoimmune disorders. It may develop very quickly and can last for weeks.

Cyclitis is another form of uveitis, and it affects the lens of the eye, according to WebMD. Other forms of uveitis include retinitis, which affects the back of the eye, and choroiditis, which affects the area beneath the retina of the eye.

The main objectives of uveitis treatments are to reduce inflammation, prevent further damage of tissues, alleviate pain and restore vision, states the National Eye Institute. Treatment options include drugs that reduce inflammation, drugs that fight bacteria and viruses, and drugs that destroy cells or affect the immune system. Surgical treatment options include vitrectomy and implants.

Anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroid eye drops, pills and injections may help reduce inflammation in the eye. Doctors prescribe antibiotics and antiviral medications to treat infectious uveitis. When the condition affects both eyes, the patient may need drugs containing immunosuppressive or cytotoxic agents such as mycophenolate and cyclosporine, explains the National Eye Institute. Doctors also prescribe immunosuppressive drugs if the uveitis does not respond to corticosteroids or if there is risk of vision loss.

A vitrectomy removes some of the vitreous from the eye to manage the uveitis, Mayo Clinic reports. The doctor may also surgically implant a capsule that slowly releases corticosteroid medication into the eye for several months or years.

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