Uveitis in Children
Uveitis means “inflammation of the uvea,” an inner layer of the eye, that can result in severe and permanent vision loss. In addition, uveitis can lead to other ocular complications including glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal damage all of which can severely damage the eyes. Early detection and treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.
A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology examines cases of the condition in children. The study found that the younger a child is when he develops the disease, the more likely he is to have complications. Complications include the development of secondary glaucoma, cataracts, and vitreous hemorrhage. Children who developed uveitis when they were younger were also less likely to experience remission. Researchers recommend that kids who show signs of uveitis at a young age (perhaps before age 7) receive more intensive monitoring. Source: British Journal of Ophthalmology (2011;95:646-651)
As part of our Vision Wellness Protocol to prevent all eye diseases, we always recommend that you stop smoking. Here’s another reason to quit: people who smoke are more than two times as likely to develop uveitis than non-smokers.
Uveitis can be a result of trauma to the eye, but often it is not possible to trace its cause. But, as this study suggests, we may be able to add smoking to the list. According to study author Nisha Acharya, MD, “Cigarette smoke includes compounds that stimulate inflammation within the blood vessels, and this may contribute to immune system disruption and uveitis.”
Steroid Treatment for Uveitis: Problems
A recent study of patients undergoing long term topical steroid treatment (eg. eyedrops) shows that the medication increases the likelihood of developing sub-conjunctival hemorrhage.
The study, published in the medical journal Eye found that those taking steroid eyedrops for uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye) ran a “substantial” risk of developing spontaneous hemorrhaging in the eyes. Source: http://www.nature.com/