Uveitis Symptoms and Causes

Dr Foster Uveitis Eye Exam
Uveitis (u-vee-I-tis) of the eye is inflammation inside the eye, specifically affecting one or more of the three parts of the eye that make up the uvea.

The uvea consists of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. The choroid is sandwiched between the retina and the sclera. The retina is located at the inside wall of the eye and the sclera is the outer white part of the eye wall. The uvea provides blood flow to the deep layers of the retina.

The type of uveitis you have depends on which part or parts of the eye are inflamed:

  • Iritis (anterior uveitis) affects the front of your eye.
  • Cyclitis (intermediate uveitis) affects the ciliary body.
  • Choroiditis and retinitis (posterior uveitis) affect the back of your eye.
  • Diffuse uveitis (panuveitis) occurs when all layers of the uvea are inflamed.

Problems associated with uveitis are relatively under-appreciated by the general population and ophthalmologists alike. Few people realize, for example, that it the third leading cause of blindness in this country.

Uveitis warning signs often come on suddenly. Patients experience eye redness, pain and blurred vision. Symptoms often get worse very fast. It can affect one or both eyes and is most prevalent in people ages 20 to 50. It can also teenagers and children.

Although about sixty different things can cause uveitis, frequent causes are infection, injury, or an autoimmune or inflammatory disease. The causes are often hard to find. Uncovering the cause for a particular patient may be extremely tedious and costly. This discovery work is much more like the diagnostic work involved in internal medicine than like the typical work involved in the practice of ophthalmology. So patients may want to seek help at one of the several centers around the United States specializing in the care with patients with this potential blinding problem.

Signs, symptoms and characteristics include:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark, floating spots in your field of vision (floaters)
  • Decreased vision

In any of these conditions, the jelly-like material in the center of your eye (vitreous) can become inflamed and infiltrated with inflammatory cells.

Uveitis vs Normal Eye

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