Health Information – 10

10. Uveitis

Definition
Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, the vascular layer of the eye sandwiched between the retina and the white of the eye (sclera). The uvea extends toward the front of the eye and consists of the iris, choroid layer and ciliary body. The most common type of uveitis is an inflammation of the iris called iritis (anterior uveitis).
Infections, injury and autoimmune disorders may be associated with the development of uveitis, though the exact cause is often unknown.
Uveitis can be serious, leading to permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent the complications of uveitis.

Symptoms :
The signs, symptoms and characteristics of uveitis include:
• Eye redness
• Eye pain
• Light sensitivity
• Blurred vision
• Dark, floating spots in your field of vision (floaters)
• Decreased vision
• Whitish area (hypopyon) inside the lower part of the colored area of the eye (iris) The site of uveitis varies and is described by where in the eye it occurs.
• Anterior uveitis affects the front of your eye (also called iritis).
• Posterior uveitis affects the back of your eye.
• Intermediary uveitis occurs in the jelly-like material in the center of your eye (vitreous).
• Panuveitis occurs when all layers of the uvea are inflamed.
Symptoms may occur suddenly and worsen rapidly, though in some cases, symptoms develop gradually. Symptoms may be noticeable in one or both eyes .

Cause:
The specific cause of uveitis often can’t be determined. However, in some people, uveitis is associated with:
• Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis
• Inflammatory disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
• Infections such as cat-scratch disease, herpes, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis or West Nile virus
• Eye injury
• Certain cancers, such as lymphoma, that have an indirect effect on the eye

Complications:
Left untreated, uveitis can cause the following complications:
• Abnormally high pressure inside the eye (glaucoma)
• Damage to the optic nerve
• Clouding of the lens (cataract) or cornea
• Retinal problems, such as fluid within the retina or retinal detachment
• Vision loss

Tests and diagnosis
When you visit an eye specialist (ophthalmologist), your doctor will likely conduct a complete eye exam and gather a thorough health history.
If the ophthalmologist suspects an underlying condition to be the cause of your uveitis, you may be referred to another doctor for a general medical examination and laboratory tests. Often, it’s difficult to find a specific cause for uveitis. However, an effort will be made to determine whether your uveitis has an infectious cause or results from some other disease.

Treatments and drugs in Ayurveda
After the diagnosis, the doctor sets out to treat the patient in a very systematic manner. This would include a set of appropriate Panchakarma treatments and Rasayana therapies .
The Panchakarma Treatments are meant to flush out the toxins, They are classified as pre-purification, main purification and post purification phases and include various types of therapies like oil massages, fermented liquid massages, medicinal enemas, herbal purification methods.
After body purification rasayana therapies along with Netra Kriya-kalpa’s were started such as:
1.Sekam :- An eye wash using medicated kashayam.
2.Anjanam :- An application of medicine in the form of paste to he eye.
3.Aschotanam :- An adminestration of eye drops to the eye.
4.Tharpanam :-  Keeping medicated ghee over the eye for a stipulated period, making concentric boundary around the orbit.
5.Puttapakam :- Keeping medicaments prepared out of plant extracts,Fats & certain minerals  over the eye for a stipulated period, making concentric boundary around the orbit.

*In all the above kriya-kalpa different types of drugs are selected by your doctor according to the doshas involved.

Oral medication :
The oral medicine used for treating the disease will be extracts of pure medicinal herbs, leaves, spices etc. These are prepared specifically to restore the lost balance and to provide the needed inputs to improve the condition of patient. kashayams and Arishtam – herbal decoctions and fermentations lehyams – semi solid formulation are commonly prescribed.

Diet :
Brinjal, Lady finger, Jackfruit, Curd, Pickles, Lemon, Oily-Spicy food  should be avoided .

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