Living with Uveitis
Modern treatments help control uveitis and can often prevent vision loss and blindness if the condition is found and treated early.
You must work with your eye doctor if you have uveitis. Eye doctors know how to treat uveitis, but they have to work with you to find the best way to treat the condition. Stay informed, take your medicines as scheduled, and follow your treatment plan.
What You Do Makes a Difference
- Remember to take notes about how you feel. Write down your questions so you can make the most of your eye doctor visits.
- Explain to your eye doctor how the medicines you are taking affect you.
- Tell all of your other doctors about your eye medicines and all other drugs you’re taking.
- Tell the eye doctor about any changes in your physical condition, any changes in your medicine or any side effects.
- Call your eye doctor if you notice any unusual changes in your eyes, your vision or the way you feel in general.
- Schedule regular checkups and follow through with them.
- Take care of yourself! – your eyes and the rest of you along with them.
Follow Your Treatment Plan!
It’s up to you to follow your treatment plan and have follow-up visits as recommended by your eye doctor. Remember to report anything you believe may be a side effect of the medicine you are taking.
Don’t Skip Doses!
Skipping doses of your medicine may put your vision in danger and mislead your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve missed any doses.
After evaluating your progress, your doctor may try changing your doses, switching medicines or changing other parts of your treatment to find the best results for you.
Questions for Your Eye Doctor
You will have many questions as your doctor diagnoses and treats your uveitis. It’s helpful to keep a list of these questions, especially if they come to mind in between your doctor appointments. Write all your questions down and bring the list with you, then discuss them with your doctor. Here are some questions many people have:
- What do the medicines do?
- How much will they cost? Will my insurance help pay for them? (These may be questions for your insurance company, not your doctor).
- What are the possible side effects of my medicines?
- Can I do anything to lower the chance of side effects or reduce the effects?
- When exactly should I take my medicine? Can you please write down a detailed schedule?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- Do I need to do anything special to take care of my medicines?
Tips for Taking Your Medicine
- Learn about the medicines you are taking and the best way to use them. Find out whether they need special handling, such as storing them in the refrigerator.
- If you take a combination of drops and ointments, always apply the drops first.
- Schedule your doses around your normal routine, such as when you wake up, when you eat meals, and when you go to bed at night.
- Keep your medicines in plain sight. It’s easier to remember to take them.
- Keep medicines in a clean place. For example, if you carry them in your purse, put them in a sealed plastic bag to keep them clean.
- Take your medicines with you when you’re away from home. If you’re checking luggage at the airport, keep your medicines with you in your carry-on or in your purse.
- If you forget a dose, do not automatically double your next dose. Instead, follow your doctor’s instructions on what to do.
- If you can’t remember whether you took your medicines, simply use one dose at your next scheduled time.
You Have to Help Save Your Sight
Find support and encouragement from your family, friends and others. Sometimes it helps to talk to people who have experienced the same thing. It can help you to discuss side effects, share ways to remember your medicines and celebrate getting your uveitis under control.
Unfortunately, there are a few people who will lose vision despite commitment to working with their eye doctor and following their treatment plan. The future holds great promise for uveitis. New medicines and treatments continue to be developed. In the meantime, take heart in knowing that you’re doing everything possible to treat your condition. The doctor/patient team approach, support from others and promising scientific discoveries will help you look forward toward a bright future.