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Uveitis is neither a hereditary or degenerative disease and so it is not progressive. It certainly has an impact on patient quality of life, especially in the case of long-term treatments, but in principle it is a disease that can be controlled and patients with uveitis will not go blind.
Not only is diagnosis made increasingly sooner, the disease is also dealt with using a much more multidisciplinary approach. In addition, there are new medicines available for dealing with immune-mediated uveitis that now act more quickly and therefore offer a better visual prognosis.
Characterising episodes of ocular inflammation
It is essential to perform a strict classification of the temporal aspects of each episode of uveitis with regards to when it starts, the duration and clinical course in order to establish a more detailed pattern of the ocular symptoms, which is key to the diagnosis.
For example, the onset may be sudden or insidious. The duration is described as limited, if less than 3 months, or persistent, if longer than this period, despite receiving appropriate treatment. The term acute refers to episodes of uveitis characterised by a sudden onset and of limited duration; whereas recurrent is used for repeat episodes separated by untreated periods of inactivity lasting for less than 3 months.
Chronic uveitis corresponds to cases of insidious onset and persistent duration, in which the inflammation reactivates soon after withdrawing treatment (within less than 3 months). An accurate classification of each case of uveitis in terms of its anatomical location, temporal aspects and the inflammatory activity produces a pattern of the ocular compromise, which is a key factor in the diagnostic process.
The diagnostic process is concluded with the clinical history, which reveals systemic diseases associated with a compatible pattern of uveitis, a complete ophthalmological examination and a request for any relevant additional tests required to confirm or rule out the initial diagnostic hypotheses.
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Substantiated information by:
Alfredo Adán CiveraOphthalmologistOphthalmology Department
Marina Mesquida FebrerOftalmólogaServicio de Oftalmología
Víctor Llorens BellésOphthalmologistOphthalmology Department
Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 3 December 2019
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