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Question:
I have recurring uveitis. It comes back once or twice a year. I have been checked for any of the diseases and causes that seem to be linked to the problem and have none of them. What causes this and how can I make it quit coming back? I live check to check and when it occurs it usually means less food in the house or putting a utility on hold. I'm afraid I will go blind.

Answer:
If you have not been seen by a uveitis specialist, you might benefit from seeking one out. You can locate one by clicking on the link to "Find an Eye MD". Consider contacting a university teaching hospital or county hospital where there may be programs in place to help you financially. Sometimes community clinics have connections and can get you referred to a specialist that you may not otherwise have access to. Social workers at local hospital and ERs may also provide guidance related to programs for the uninsured.

While some patients with uveitis do not test positive for a specific type when first evaluated, repeating some testing every few years may yield results over time. A positive test may help narrow your treatment choices.

Causes of uveitis include - infections, inflammatory/rhumatological disorders, trauma and tumors. Some patients do have a seasonality to their disease flares. Seasonal immune challenges (allergies and infections) rev up your immune system resulting in increased immune system activity and a flare-up. If you have frequent, or severe flare-ups, you might benefit from suppressive medications. Unfortunately, these can be costly. Many pharmaceutical companies offer steeply discounted or free medications for those who cannot afford to pay for them, so it does pay to contact drug manufacturers once you nail-down a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Answered by: Aaron Weingeist, MD Dr. Aaron Weingeist

Categories: Eye Conditions, General Eye Health

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Answered: May 25, 2011

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