Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, which is the middle area of the eye that is located between the retina and the sclera. The uvea contains many blood vessels that carry blood to and from the eye.
Symptoms include pain, light sensitivity, redness of the eye, floaters, and blurred vision. The most common causes for this condition include viruses such as herpes, shingles, eye trauma, fungal or parasitic infections, and autoimmune diseases. In a majority of cases, the cause is never completely known. The diagnosis is made by careful eye examination and a series of blood tests, skin tests, or x-rays.
There are 3 different types of Uveitis:
- Iritis – the inflammation is limited to the iris.
- Cyclitis – the inflammation involves 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.
If left untreated, Uveitis can cause permanent damage to the eye. Uveitis is a serious condition which should be assessed as soon as possible. Treatment includes pupil dilators, tropical steroids, and other anti-inflammatory agents. For more severe inflammation, oral medications, such as steroids and chemotherapeutic drugs, and local steroid injections may be considered.