Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye, which contains the iris, ciliary body and the choroid. The uvea is located between the retina and sclera, the white of the eye. The uvea provides most of the blood to various parts of the eye with its numerous veins and arteries.
Types of Uveitis
There are four different types of uveitis, classified by the area of the uvea that is affected:
Anterior uveitis - Known as iritis, anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the iris. Anterior uveitis is the most common form of uveitis.
Intermediary uveitis - Known as cyclitis, intermediary uveitis is an inflammation of the ciliary body.
Posterior uveitis - Known as choroiditis, posterior uveitis is an inflammation of the choroid.
Pars planitis - Pars planitis is an inflammation of the area between the iris and the choroid.
Causes of Uveitis
Uveitis can present as either a viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infection. Causes of uveitis may include the following:
- An autoimmune disorder
- Trauma to the eye
Symptoms of Uveitis
Uveitis can affect either one eye or both eyes. The symptoms of uveitis may include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Floaters in the eye
- Eye pain
- Redness of the eye
- A sensitivity to light
Diagnosis of Uveitis
After a thorough medical examination of the eye, the physician may perform the following diagnostic tests to confirm diagnosis:
- Blood tests
Treatment of Uveitis
Most cases of uveitis are treated with steroids in the form of eye drops, pills or injections to reduce inflammation in the eye. Dark glasses, to shield the eyes from light, may also be recommended. If the uveitis is caused by an infection that is throughout the body, treatment may include antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases of uveitis, vitrectomy surgery may be performed.
The type of uveitis and cause of the condition will be used to determine the best treatment plan for each patient.
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine