Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Uveitis Facts and Treatment

Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea. It affects the eye and treatment is given to reduce pain, redness and blurred vision.

Facts about Uveitis

What is Uveitis?
Uveitis is the enlargement or inflammation of the uvea which is part of the eye. The uvea is a term used to represent the parts of the eye like the iris, the choroids and the ciliary body. The uvea is a vascular layer which is situated between the sclera {outermost layer] and the retina {innermost layer}. Inflammation of any or all parts of the uvea causes uveitis.

 Causes of uveitis

1. Idiopathic- Most of the uveitis cases are idiopathic in nature. No traceable cause is found although it may be associated with autoimmunity.
2. Other medical conditions – Medical conditions like ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis can be linked with uveitis in some cases.
3. Trauma- Eye injuries or surgeries can sometimes result in uveitis.
4. Infections- Various infections also can cause uveitis.
5. Autoimmune- When the immune system functions in a defective manner, parts of the body are attacked which results in inflammation.

Symptoms of uveitis
1. Eye pain
2. Redness of eye
3. Blurred vision {anterior uveitis and posterior uveitis]
4. Light sensitivity
5. Flashes of light {posterior uveitis}

Various types of uveitis
 1. Anterior uveitis- This form of uveitis occurs in the iris and ciliary body and is commonly referred to as iritis.

2. Intermediate uveitis- This form of uveitis occurs in the middle part of the eye {vitreous] and is commonly referred to as cyclitis or vitritis.
3. Posterior uveitis- This form of uveitis occurs in the back of the eye often including the retina. It is commonly referred to as retinitis or choroiditis.
4. Panuveitis- This form of inflammation affects the front and back parts of the eye. It is commonly termed as diffuse uveitis.


Uveitis can be acute, recurrent or chronic. Acute uveitis can occur when inflammation appears in short intervals. Recurrent uveitis occurs frequently. When inflammation is persistent for a long period of time then it is known as Chronic uveitis.

The pupils are dilated and the doctor examines the eye. Medical conditions like autoimmune disorders, eye surgery or infections are also checked upon to diagnose uveitis through various tests like x-rays, scans and blood tests.


Treatment for uveitis is done by the eye doctor or with the cooperation of other doctors depending on the cause of inflammation.

1. Anterior uveitis
Allergic conditions which cause uveitis are usually treated with the help of steroid eye drops. Medication should never be discontinued unless clearly specified by the doctor. Hot compresses help to relieve the pain. Continuous check up is very necessary.
2. Intermediate uveitis
Injections, tablets or eye drops will be used to treat this form of uveitis. If complications [macula oedema] occur, then it is treated accordingly.
3. Posterior uveitis
Immunosuppressant drugs or steroids like prednisolone are administered in the form of injections to treat posterior uveitis. The drugs are prescribed if the level of steroid usage cannot be reduced.
Patients with uveitis can develop other eye problems like cataract, secondary glaucoma, macula oedema or posterior synechiae. These conditions can be caused due to side effects of medication or the uveitis itself. Complications should be taken note of immediately. Steroid usage can result in rise of eye pressure. Risk of losing eye sight is high due to long term steroid use. Doctors should be consulted regarding medication and the course. Treatment aims mainly at relieving pain, preventing vision loss and reducing inflammations