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Is Inflammation of the Eye Serious? 

October 15 2022
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Everyone wants to make sure their eyes are healthy, but caring for your eyes may not always be as high a priority as you would like. So when inflammation develops, it can be tempting to just wait for it to subside. However, inflammation of the eye is serious.

Read on as a Lake Stevens, WA optometrist discusses eye inflammation, its effects, and available treatment options.

What Is Inflammation of the Eye?

Inflammation of the eye, also known as uveitis, is a condition that affects the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye. It’s also called “iritis.”

Uveitis occurs when there’s inflammation in the uvea, which can be caused by a number of things:

  • Bacterial, viral or fungal infections
  • An autoimmune disease
  • Inflammation from another part of the body (like arthritis) moving to the eye
  • Trauma to the eye or retina (the back part of your eyeball) 

Symptoms of Eye Inflammation

Uveitis symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and the part of the eye that’s most affected.

The uvea is made up of three layers: the inner layer called the retina; the middle layer, called the choroid; and the outer layer, called the sclera (which is white). In effect, inflammation can affect one or all three layers of the uvea (in the most severe cases) so there are different types of uveitis.

Here are some common types of uveitis:

  • Iritis: inflammation of the iris
  • Choroiditis: inflammation of the choroid layer
  • Scleritis: inflammation of the sclera •    Endophthalmitis: inflammation inside the eye
  • Panuveitis: inflammation of all three layers of the uvea 

Uveitis Effects

When you have uveitis, your immune system attacks this area, causing redness and pain in the eye.

Uveitis can affect both eyes. If only one eye is affected, then it’s called unilateral uveitis; if both eyes are affected, then it’s called bilateral uveitis. In most cases, people with unilateral uveitis will develop bilateral uveitis later on.

Ultimately, inflammation of the eye is a serious condition that can cause blindness, so it’s important to get treated as soon as possible if you think you have it.

Treatment Options

Uveitis is serious, but it’s also one of the most treatable eye conditions.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of uveitis, talk to your eye doctor about whether treatment is appropriate for you. Treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Topical corticosteroids (eye drops)
  • A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen 
  • Corticosteroid injections into the eye 
  • Steroid eye drops for a longer period of time -Oral corticosteroids 

If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, please don’t hesitate to call our Lake Stevens, WA optometry office today!

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


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Saturday:  9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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