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Uveitis Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy The eye is roughly globular in shape. It has three layers of tissue surrounding a central cavity. The outermost layer is the sclera which is, as you can see in a mirror, white. The innermost layer is the retina on which the image you see is formed. The middle layer between the sclera and retina is called the uvea. This comes from the Greek word "uva" meaning grape. When dissected it looks like a peeled grape. When the uvea becomes inflamed, the condition is called uveitis (pronounced U'VE-I-TIS).

The uvea contains many of the blood vessels which nourish the eye. Inflammation of the uvea can affect the cornea, the retina, the sclera, and other vital parts of the eye. Since the uvea borders many important parts of the eye, inflammation can result in loss of vision. It is a far more serious condition than the more common inflammations of the outside layers of the eye.

Uveitis can have a variety of causes. It may result from a virus (such as shingles, mumps, or herpes), a fungus (such as histoplasmosis), or a parasite (such as toxoplasmosis). In most cases, the cause remains unknown. Probably most of these cases are related to autoimmunity. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs. It may also come as a consequence of injury to the eye. Inflammation in one eye can result from a severe injury to the opposite eye (sympathetic uveitis).

Symptoms include sever eye pain, blurred or decreased vision, sensitivity to light (photophobia), inflammation and redness of the eye, smaller pupil in the affected eye, tearing, floaters in the field of vision.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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