New Uveitis and Vasculitis subspecialty
A new clinical offering and an exciting collaboration
With the additions of uveitis specialists Steven Yeh and Purnima Patel, the Emory Eye Center now offers a dedicated Uveitis and Vasculitis clinical section. Uveitis is a general term describing a group of inflammatory diseases affecting the eyes that can lead to slightly reduced vision or severe vision loss if not properly treated. While uveitis may occur at any age, working-aged individuals between 20 – 50 years old are affected most frequently.
The term "uveitis" is used because the diseases often affect a part of the eye called the uvea (i.e. iris, ciliary body and choroid). Nevertheless, uveitis is not limited to the uvea. These diseases may also affect the retina, optic nerve, lens, and vitreous, leading to reduced vision or blindness if not detected and treated.
Uveitis may be localized just to the eye or may occur as part of a systemic inflammatory disease affecting other parts of the body. Uveitis can last for a short (acute) or a long (chronic) time. The most severe forms of uveitis may recur many times during a patient's lifetime but with proper treatment, recurrences can be limited or eliminated altogether.
Joint Pediatric Rheumatology-Uveitis clinic
In addition to adult uveitis, Emory has also added a Joint Pediatric Rheumatology-Uveitis Clinic in collaboration with the Pediatric Rheumatology service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). Joining Yeh in treating these children is CHOA pediatric rheumatologist Sheila Angeles-Han, who holds research grants to study quality-of-life outcomes in children with uveitis. Yeh also has a Georgia Knights Templar grant to study pediatric uveitis outcomes following immunosuppressive treatment.
"Dr. Angeles-Han and I are collaborating on clinical care of patients with pediatric uveitis and research to assess quality-of-life issues in patients with juvenile idiopathic (unknown origin) arthritis-associated uveitis," says Yeh. "We will correlate these quality of life measures with patient outcomes and hope to improve patient care through improved understanding of these pediatric eye conditions."