Almost all cases of uveitis require treatment. The treatment choice will vary depending on the location of the uveitis ie whether it’s located in the front or the back of the eye. Steroids are the main treatment for non infective uveitis. These can be given either as eye drops, tablets or injections into the eye. Most cases of anterior uveitis require only eye drops to control the disease. This is usually tapered off over 2 months. The common misconception is that drops can be stopped once the patient feels better.Although symptoms may improve dramatically after a week of treatment, abrupt stopping of drops can cause the disease to flare up. If you are using steroid eye drops remember not to use contact lenses as the risk of infection increases.
Eye drops are not enough for posterior uveitis
When the uveitis is located at the back of the eye (posterior uveitis) eye drops alone are insufficient as a treatment. In these cases either steroid tablets or injections may be used. The advantage of tablets are that they work very fast and can treat both eyes at the same time.
Steroid tablets have many side effects
However steroid tablets may have a range of side effects if used for a long time. Side effects include weight gain, diabetes, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Steroid injections into the eye have the advantage of eliminating the side effects of the tablets to the body. However they may cause a rise in eye pressure (glaucoma) and patients need to be regularly checked for this effect. The medicine that is injected into the eye can be seen as a floater. This steroid injection effect is not permanent and may wear off after 4 months. This injection is a simple procedure that is done in the eye clinic and takes less than 5 minutes to perform.