Uveitis is inflammation of the eye’s uvea, an area that consists of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid.
- The iris is the colored part of the eye that forms the pupil.
- The ciliary body is located behind the iris and produces the fluid that fills the anterior part of the eye.
- The choroid is the layer of blood vessels in the back of the eye that nourishes the retina.
Many cases of uveitis are chronic, and they can produce numerous possible complications that can result in vision loss, including cataracts, macular edema, glaucoma and retinal detachment.
Uveitis signs and symptoms
These signs and symptoms may occur suddenly and worsen quickly.
- Red eyes
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Dark spots moving across your field of vision
If you experience any of these potential warning signs of uveitis, see your eye doctor immediately.
What causes uveitis?
The cause of uveitis is often unknown. However, in some cases, it has been associated with:
- Eye injuries
- Inflammatory disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Viral infections, such as herpes simplex or herpes zoster
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis
- Other infections, including toxoplasmosis and histoplasmosis
To treat uveitis, your eye doctor may prescribe a steroid to reduce the inflammation in your eye. Whether the steroid is in eye drop, pill or injection form depends on the type of uveitis you have. Because most cases of uveitis affect the front of the eye, it’s most commonly treated with eye drops.
Episodes of uveitis can recur. See your eye doctor immediately if signs and symptoms of uveitis reappear after successful treatment.