Uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. The uvea provides most of the blood supply to the retina.
What are the symptoms of uveitis?
Symptoms include light sensitivity, eye pain, blurred vision, and floaters. These may develop rapidly.
What are the causes of uveitis?
Uveitis has many potential causes, including infections (viral, fungal, bacterial, parasitic), eye trauma, systemic inflammatory conditions (e.g. Behcet’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease) or idiopathic. There are four types of uveitis and tests target specific diagnoses: Iritis is the most common form of uveitis. It affects the iris and is often associated with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Iritis may develop suddenly and may last up to eight weeks, regardless of treatment. Cyclitis is an inflammation of the middle portion of the eye and may affect the muscle responsible for focusing the lens. Cyclitis may develop suddenly and last for several months. Retinitis affects the back of the eye. It can progress rapidly, making it difficult to treat. Viruses, such as shingles or herpes, may cause retinitis. It can also be caused by bacterial infections, such as syphilis or toxoplasmosis. Choroiditis is marked by inflammation of the tissue layer, beneath the retina. It may also be caused by an infection such as tuberculosis or an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. In a large number of cases, the cause of uveitis is not known.
What are treatments for uveitis?
Treatment varies based on the etiology, location, and severity of the uveitis and it includes topical drops, peri- or intraocular injection of medicine, and systemic treatment. Frequent monitoring of patient’s response and for potential uveitis complications is required.