What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is the inflammation of the Uvea which comprises of Iris, Ciliary body and Choroid.

What are the signs and symptoms of uveitis?
Signs and symptoms vary greatly depending on the type of uveitis. Anterior Uveitis is associated with eye pain, redness, blurring of vision and light sensitivity. Intermediate and Posterior forms of uveitis may more typically be associated with floaters, flashes of light and blurred vision.

What causes Uveitis?

The majority of cases of uveitis occur without a specific identifiable cause. In some cases however, an underlying health condition may be present.

Underlying causes of uveitis may be broadly categorized as autoimmune disorders, infections, trauma, malignancy or other causes.

Classification of uveitis
Depending upon the anatomic location of the inflammation within the eye, uveitis can be classified as:

  • Anterior uveitis (front compartment)
  • Intermediate uveitis (middle compartment)
  • Posterior uveitis (rear compartment)
  • Pan uveitis (multiple compartment)

The disease is also classified by its time course as:
  • Acute uveitis (discrete, time-limited episode)
  • Recurrent uveitis (multiple acute episodes with resolution of inflammation in between episodes)
  • Chronic uveitis ( ongoing long-term inflammation with incomplete resolution)
How is uveitis diagnosed?

Thorough eye examination is needed. Abattery of tests may also be needed to identify the underlying cause like Auto immune disorders, infections and trauma, like blood-tests, X-rays, scans, etc.

How is uveitis treated?
Treatment is aimed at controlling the inflammation and relieving the eye of pain and other symptoms. Topical drugs are prescribed with/without oral corticosteroids, depending on the type of uveitis.

The treatment is always aimed to treat the underlying cause where identifiable.

What are the complications of Uveitis?
Cataract, glaucoma and macular edema (retinal swelling) are common complications of uveitis. Other complications include calcific deposits on the cornea (band shaped keratopathy) and shrinkage of the globe with loss of vision.

What is the prognosis?
Most patients with acute uveitis do not lose vision and treatment is aimed at controlling the inflammation to prevent any visual loss. The main causes of visual loss in patients with chronic uveitis are cataract, glaucoma or damage to the back of the eye from high pressure inside the eye, and macular edema or 'waterlogging' of the retina due to the chronic inflammation. All these conditions are treatable.