Uveitis is a broad term for inflammation which affects the middle layer of the eye which we call the uvea. The uvea is made up of the iris, the ciliary body (which sits behind the iris) and the choroid which is a layer of blood vessels at the back of the eye which supplies certain parts of the retina. As the iris sits at the front of the eye if this becomes inflamed it is called anterior uveitis or iritis. If the ciliary body is affected it is termed intermediate uveitis or cyclitis, and if the choroid is involved it is called posterior uveitis or choroiditis. If all areas of the uvea are involved it is called pan- uveitis.
Possible causes of uveitis can be inflammation or infection. It can occur after an eye injury or surgery. The condition is often related to auto-immune or inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, and ulcerative colitis. In a lot of cases the specific cause isn’t always clear. It can occur in one or both eyes.
- Eye redness
- Pain or ache
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Increase in floaters
With any type of uveitis it is important that it is diagnosed and treated quickly as any delay in treatment can lead to serious complications.
The treatment may vary depending on the type of uveitis and the cause, but will often include steroids, either drops and/or tablets. If it’s secondary to infection you will be given antibiotics if bacterial, or if viral you will be given antivirals. Sometimes the steroid is delivered as an injection or as an implantable device.