Definition

Uveitis is inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. This middle layer of the eye is called the uvea. Uveitis is a potentially serious condition. It requires care from your doctor to prevent vision loss.

Normal Anatomy of the Eye

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Causes

Most often the cause of uveitis is not clear.

Some uveitis may be caused by a trauma to the eye or an infection, such as:

    
  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Herpes viruses
  • West Nile virus
  • Mumps
  • Risk Factors

    Uveitis may be more likely to occur in people with other health problems and immune system diseases, such as

        
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • HIV infection
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Symptoms

    Uveitis may cause:

        
  • Red, sore, and watering eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pupil that is small or irregular in shape
  • Symptoms of Uveitis—Red, Sore, Watering Eyes

    Eye Inflammation

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    Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. An eye exam will also be done. An eye specialist will do a more extensive exam of the inside of your eye.

    Blood tests may be done to look for other diseases or illnesses associated with uveitis.

    Treatment

    Most often treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms of uveitis until it goes away. It is important to follow treatment recommendations to prevent complications or recurrence.

    If an underlying condition is causing the uveitis, treatment will focus on the condition causing the problem.

    Medications

    Medication can help to:

        
  • Reduce sensitivity to light and other complications
  • Reduce inflammation
  • To treat bacterial infection
  • To treat viral infection
  • Reduce pain and discomfort
  • Procedures

    In some cases, surgery or a special eye implant may be needed.

    It is important to follow up with your doctor and watch for signs of recurrence.

    Prevention

    Since the cause is often unknown, it is impossible to prevent a first episode of uveitis.