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.
There are four different types of uveitis, classified by the area of the uvea that is affected:
- Anterior uveitis (iritis) is an inflammation of the iris
- Intermediary uveitis (cyclitis) is an inflammation of the ciliary body
- Posterior uveitis (choroiditis) is an inflammation of the choroid
- Pars planitis is an inflammation of the area between the iris and the choroid
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
The following symptoms can point to uveitis:
- Blurry vision
- Floaters in the eye
- Eye pain
- Redness of the eye
- Sensitivity to light
After a thorough medical examination of the eye, the following diagnostic tests may be performed to confirm diagnosis:
- Blood tests
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.