What is uveitis?

Uveitis, an internal inflammation of the eye, is a condition that involves the middle layers of the eye, also called the uvea or uveal tract. The uvea includes the iris (the colored part of the eye), choroid (thin membrane containing many blood vessels), and the ciliary body (the part of the eye that joins these together). The many veins and arteries of the uvea transport blood to the parts of the eye that are critical for vision.

What are the symptoms of uveitis?

  • Redness and irritation of the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain in the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dark, floating spots before the eyes

Uveitis may develop suddenly and get worse quickly; therefore, it is very important to see your eye doctor if you develop any of these symptoms. Uveitis may permanently damage your vision if left untreated.

What causes uveitis?

Uveitis has many potential causes which include the following:

  • Eye injury or surgery
  • Fungus, bacteria, or parasite
  • Infection with a virus
  • Inflammatory disease affecting other parts of the body

How is uveitis diagnosed?

If you have any uveitis symptoms, it is very important that you see an eye specialist right away, as uveitis can permanently damage your vision. The eye specialist will perform an examination of your eyes and possibly order blood work and x-rays in order to determine the possible cause.

How is uveitis treated?

Early diagnosis and treatment by an eye specialist is critical. Because uveitis is an inflammatory condition, treatment may include steroids in the form of eye drops, injections, or orally (by mouth), depending on the extent and severity of the inflammation.