What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye, which brings blood supply to other parts of the eye. It can develop at any age and it is not contagious. Uveitis can affect one or both eyes and symptoms may occur suddenly and develop rapidly.

There are different forms of uveitis:

  • Anterior uveitis: inflammation in the front part of the eye. This is the most common form of uveitis and often called Iritis because it usually only affects the iris, the coloured part of the eye.
  • Posterior uveitis: inflammation at the back of uvea, affecting the choroid layer (a layer of blood vessels and connective tissues in the middle part of the eye).
  • Pars planitis (intermediate uveitis): inflammation at the narrowed area (pars plana) between the iris and the choroid.

What causes it?

The exact cause is often unknown, however it may be associated with autoimmune disorders, systemic inflammatory disorders, infections injuries to the eye.

What are the symptoms?

  • Red eye
  • Painful eye
  • Floaters (dark spots or shadows)
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light

What are the available treatments?

If there is an underlying systemic condition affecting the rest of the body, treatment will focus on treating that condition. Otherwise, the main line of treatment is to reduce inflammation and make the eye comfortable. This includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids, given as eye drops.
  • Antibiotic or antiviral medication given as tablets
  • Immunosuppressive medication given as tablets
  • Eye drops that dilate the pupil to reduce pain
  • Intravitreal injections into the eye of anti-inflammatory medications
  • Periocular injections around the eye of anti-inflammatory medications

Our uveitis specialists will discuss the most appropriate treatment for your case.

With proper treatment, uveitis can resolve within weeks. However, relapses are common and therefore patients should always report promptly if symptoms reappear.