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The uvea is the middle area of the eye that is located between the retina (the innermost layer) and the sclera (the outermost layer). The uvea contains many blood vessels that carry blood to and from the eye. Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea.

Symptoms include pain, light sensitivity, redness floaters, and burned vision. The most common causes for this condition include viruses such as herpes, shingles, or mumps; eye trauma; fungal or parasitic infections, and autoimmune diseases. In the majority of cases the cause is never known. The diagnosis is made by careful eye examination and a series of blood tests, skin tests, or x-rays.

There are three different types of uveitis:

  • Iritis- the inflammation is limited to the iris
  • Cyclitis- the inflammation involved the muscle that focuses the lens in the middle part of the eye
  • Choroiditis- the inflammation involves the choroid, which is located in the back of the eye

Uveitis is a serious condition that if left untreated may cause permanent damage to the eye. Treatment includes pupil dilators, topical steroids, and other anti inflammatory agents. For severe inflammation, oral medications (steroids and chemotherapeutic drugs) and local steroid injections may be indicated.


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