Refractory Uveitis

What is Refractory Uveitis?

Refractory uveitis is a form of uveitis, or inflammation of the uveal tract, which does not respond adequately to conventional steroid and immunosuppressant therapy. Uveitis is inflammation within the uveal tract, which is the middle layer of the eye, and can affect both the vision and the structure of the eye.

Refractory uveitis can have many causes, such as infections, autoimmune disorders, and trauma. In some cases, the cause may never be identified, but it is important to recognize and treat refractory uveitis since the condition can cause serious vision loss.

Symptoms of Refractory Uveitis

The symptoms of refractory uveitis can vary depending on the cause. Symptoms may include:

  • Eye pain
  • Redness of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Decreased vision
  • Seeing floaters or halos
  • Swollen iris or pupil
  • Blurred vision

Diagnosis of Refractory Uveitis

The diagnosis of refractory uveitis begins with a full medical history and eye exam. Your doctor may also order imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan to determine the extent of the inflammation and to look for signs of damage. Blood tests may be done to look for signs of an autoimmune disorder or infection.

Treatment of Refractory Uveitis

Treatments for refractory uveitis depend on the cause and may include:

  • Steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation
  • Immunosuppressant medications to reduce the immune response
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications if an infection is present
  • Surgery if an infection or tumor is causing the inflammation
  • Laser therapy to reduce inflammation or block the blood supply to an inflamed area

Prevention of Refractory Uveitis

In some cases, it may not be possible to prevent refractory uveitis. However, there are some things that can be done to reduce the risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • Avoiding contact with allergens or irritants that may trigger the inflammation
  • Getting regular eye exams to catch early signs of inflammation
  • Treating infections promptly to reduce the risk of further complications
  • Washing your hands regularly to reduce the risk of infection