Is it Pink Eye or Uveitis?
If your eyes are red, itchy, and tearing excessively, you might just assume that you have pink eye, which is very common and highly transmittable. However, these symptoms can actually indicate something else, something you might not have heard of until just now: uveitis.
Pink eye and uveitis share a number of symptoms, so the two conditions can strongly resemble one another. Pink eye is relatively well known, but most people won’t be familiar with uveitis unless they’ve had it and have been diagnosed. However, even if you’re sure it’s pink eye, you should consider seeing an ophthalmologist to make sure it’s not uveitis. In some cases, uveitis can actually lead to permanent blindness if left untreated, so it’s best to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Here’s what you as a patient should know about pink eye and uveitis.
Let’s Talk About Pink Eye
Also referred to as conjunctivitis, pink eye is when the outer area of the eyeball and inner area of the eyelid becomes inflamed. Pink eye can be caused due to allergies or bacterial infection. Symptoms of pink eye are redness, moderate to severe itching, tearing, discharge/crust around the eye area, and swelling.
If caused by allergies, pink eye can be treated with antihistamines, but if due to bacteria, antibiotic eye drops will likely be required. Pink eye is common and sometimes goes away on its own, but because it involves the eye area and impacts a person’s quality of life, medical care is still advised in order to determine a proper diagnosis and any prescriptions if needed.
Let’s Talk About Uveitis
Uveitis is when there is inflammation found in the middle area of the eye, also called the uvea. There are many forms of uveitis that can occur in different parts of the uvea. There are also many things that can cause uveitis, including bacterial infections, exposure to toxins, and underlying conditions. Symptoms can vary but sometimes include redness, light sensitivity, blurry vision, and dark floaters appearing in your field of vision.
Similar to pink eye, treatment for uveitis will be determined due to its cause. If the issue stems from an infection, then antibiotic eye drops will likely be called for. If there is no infection present, anti-inflammation eye drops can be provided to alleviate symptoms.
The main difference between the two conditions to keep in mind is the location of the inflammation within the eye. Both conditions can stem from a type of infection or not, and both are treated (in most cases) with eye drops prescribed by a doctor. Long-term vision loss should not be a threat unless the issue is left without treatment. Given the impact on a person’s quality of life, professional medical care is very much recommended.
If you have been diagnosed with or suspect that you have uveitis and are in need of care in New York, contact Vitreoretinal Consultants of NY today.