Uveitis is a general term that refers to
inflammation or swelling of the eye's structures responsible for its
blood supply. These structures are collectively known as the uveal
tract, and include the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. Uveitis is
classified by the structures it affects, the underlying cause, and
whether it is chronic (lasting more than 6 weeks), or acute in nature.
There are four main categories of uveitis. Anterior uveitis (also known
as iritis involves the iris and ciliary body and is the most common
type; intermediate uveitis affects the ciliary body, vitreous and
retina; posterior uveitis involves the retina, choroid and optic nerve;
and diffuse uveitis affects structures both in the front and back of the
Common causes of uveitis include infection or underlying
disease, but in some cases the cause is unknown. Uveitis usually affects
people between 20-50 years of age.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
symptoms of uveitis depend on whether it is anterior, intermediate,
posterior or diffuse.
•Redness around the iris
•Pain that may range from aching or soreness
to intense discomfort
•Often affects both eyes
•Pain (if the optic nerve is involved)
•Combination of symptoms from anterior, intermediate, and posterior
DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS
Uveitis is diagnosed with a
thorough examination of the eye with a slit lamp microscope and
ophthalmoscopy. Visual acuity and intraocular pressure are also
evaluated. In some cases, blood work and others tests are required to
rule out underlying systemic disease or infection.
The appropriate treatment for uveitis is dependent on the severity of
the disease and the ocular structures involved. Topical eye drops and/or
oral medications are prescribed to reduce inflammation. In some cases,
medication is required to lower the intraocular pressure.
the inflammation has subsided, secondary conditions such as scar tissue,
cataracts and glaucoma may require treatment.