I think most people experience eye problems at one point or another.
Maybe your child came home with “pink eye,” and before long, everyone in the household had itchy, burning eyes. Pink eye is easy to treat, and usually resolves with minimal medical intervention.
Uveitis is different.
The term describes several inflammatory diseases that make the eyes swell and destroy tissues in the eye. The outcome can be minimal, or in some cases, it can lead to severe vision loss. It most commonly affects people between the ages of 20 and 60.
Uveitis doesn’t just affect the uvea, it also affects the lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous. Some people develop uveitis as a complication of other autoimmune diseases, such as:
- ankylosing spondylitis
- Behcet’s syndrome
- herpes zoster infection
- multiple sclerosis
But for some, there is no known cause. Uveitis can last for a short period of time, or it can be a chronic condition that recurs many times throughout the person’s life. It can be infectious or non-infectious.
There is an organization in the United Kingdom called Olivia’s Vision. It contains a treasure trove of information in easy-to-read prose. It also has a number of stories where people with uveitis share their experiences. If you are newly diagnosed, it’s a good idea to learn about how others cope.