Uveitis Specialist

Valerius Medical Group & Research Center

Rheumatologists located in Los Alamitos, CA

When your eye’s inflamed, it’s more than just the embarrassment from the redness: It's a pain, blurred vision, and the possibility of blindness that forces you to seek treatment. At Valerius Medical Group & Research Center, Dr. Nathaniel Neal and Dr. Rebekah Neal treat a wide variety of inflammatory conditions, including uveitis. Located in Los Alamitos Long Beach, CA, these rheumatologists reduce your symptoms and prevent uveitis from progressing to blindness. Contact the office today to learn more or book your appointment online.

Uveitis Q & A

What is uveitis?

Uveitis is a rare form of eye inflammation where the middle layer of tissue, the uvea, becomes inflamed. Symptoms include redness, blurred vision, and pain. Uveitis often starts suddenly and worsens quickly. It can happen in one or both eyes and primarily affects adults between the ages of 20-50. It’s a serious condition and if left untreated, can result in blindness.

A variety of things can cause uveitis, including:

  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Cancer

What is the uvea?

The uvea is the middle layer of eye tissue and the area that gets inflamed when you have uveitis. It’s responsible for blood flow to the retina and consists of three parts, the:

  • Iris
  • Ciliary body
  • Choroid

Are there different types of uveitis?

The area of your eye that’s inflamed determines the type of uveitis you have.

  • Iritis affects the front of your eye.
  • Cyclitis affects the ciliary body.
  • Choroiditis affects the back of your eye.
  • Retinitis affects the back of your eye.
  • Panuveitis affects the whole uvea.

How is uveitis diagnosed and treated?

When you see Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah for uveitis, they perform a thorough eye exam and review your medical history. They may require you to have laboratory work completed, including a blood test and an analysis of your eye fluid. Your rheumatologist may also take a photo to capture retinal blood flow and one to measure the thickness of your retinal tissue.

If Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah determine an underlying condition caused uveitis, they work on treating that condition while addressing your eye inflammation. If the cause is unknown, which occurs in about 50% of cases, they work to reduce the inflammation.

To do this, they may prescribe medications, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as a corticosteroid
  • Antibiotics
  • Antivirals
  • Immunosuppressive or cytotoxic drugs

In some cases, you may need a surgical procedure. Your rheumatologist may recommend a vitrectomy or suggest the placement of an eye implant to provide a slow release of medication.

If you think you may have uveitis, don’t wait to seek treatment. When left untreated, uveitis can result in a wide range of complications, including:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Optic nerve damage
  • Retinal detachment
  • Blindness

Contact Valerius Medical Group & Research Center to schedule your appointment. Call or book online today.