Uveitis

Uveitis

Uveitis is inflammation of parts of the eye, including the iris (the coloured bit of the eye) and the muscles and tissues that focus the eye. It does not hurt, and it is hard to tell if there is inflammation just by looking at the eye.

That is why it is important to have regular check-ups with an Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist), who is experienced in looking after children with uveitis. They can pick up inflammation early to allow treatment that prevents damage to the eye and loss of vision.

Most children who develop uveitis have a mild form that does not result in long-term complications.

Treatment for Uveitis 

Eyedrops are the mainstay of treatment in all patients and steroid eye drops are used to gain control of active inflammation. In many children uveitis is mild and lasts up to 5 years and in the eye drops, is all the treatment that is required.

 

If steroid eyedrops do not adequately control the active inflammation or the back of the eye is also inflamed steroids may be given by mouth or by injection into the eye socket underneath the eye ball. This is done under a general anaesthetic. 

In those with, or at risk of, damage long term treatment is required and in general the same drugs are used as for arthritis. Methotrexate is often used first line and other long-term medication includes mycophenolate and the anti-TNF biologic medication.

Long-term treatment also helps to reduce the frequency of eyedrops. Regular use of steroid eyedrops, more than two drops per day, can impose on schooling and family routines plus over time steroids can also cause cataract.