Retinal Inflammatory Disease
Retinal inflammatory disease is a condition that can cause swelling and damage to the retina, the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. It can develop at any age, but is most common in those between the ages of 20 and 60. This condition generally produces vision problems and in some cases, it may result in substantial vision loss.
There are a range of possible causes of retinal inflammatory disease, including an autoimmune disorder, infection in the eye, tumor in or near the eye, trauma to the eye and exposure to certain toxins. However, for some patients a cause cannot be determined.
The symptoms of retinal inflammatory disease vary from patient to patient but may include:
- Blurry vision
- Floaters in the eye
- Eye pain
- A sensitivity to light
These symptoms may occur in one or both eyes. It is important to seek medical treatment if you are experiencing these symptoms. If left untreated, severe retinal inflammatory disease can result in blindness.
Diagnosis of Retinal Inflammatory Disease
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will take a medical history and conduct an examination of the eyes, including:
- Screening for visual acuity to measure any decrease in vision
- A funduscopic exam to evaluate the rear portion of the eyes
- Measurement of ocular pressure
- A slit lamp exam to closely inspect the affected areas of the eyes
In some cases, further testing may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cause of the retinal inflammatory disease. This will often involve a blood test and possibly some type of imaging scan.
Treatment of Retinal Inflammatory Disease
Treatment of retinal inflammatory disease may vary depending on both its severity and underlying causes. Corticosteroid eye drops, oral medications or injections in or near the eyes are often successful in relieving swelling and pain. Other patients may require the surgical insertion of a tiny device in the eye that regularly releases anti-inflammatory medication. If an autoimmune disorder is responsible for the retinal inflammatory disease, immunosuppressive drugs may be the most effective form of treatment.