Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. The uvea lies between the retina in the back of the eye and the white of the eye, known as the sclera.
The uvea contains many blood vessels that nourish the eye; therefore this inflammation can be detrimental to proper vision.
Causes of Uveitis
While the exact cause of uveitis may remain elusive, it is often associated with an infection in the body — such as a virus, fungus, or parasite.
Uveitis is also more common in patients with the following conditions:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- crohn’s disease
- ulcerative colitis
Injury to the eye and smoking have also been shown to increase one’s chance of developing uveitis.
Symptoms of Uveitis
Symptoms of uveitis may include any combination of the following:
- eye redness
- blurry vision
- light sensitivity
- decreased vision
Sometimes patients also develop a whitish area in the eye called a hypopyon.
How an Eye M.D. diagnoses Uveitis
An eye M.D. can diagnose uveitis by examining the inside of the eye. Blood tests, skin tests, or x-rays may also be ordered.
Treatment of Uveitis
Uveitis can lead to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Ophthalmologists treat uveitis with eye drops, oral medications or injections. The treatment type depends on the degree of inflammation.
If you have any symptoms of uveitis or simply a “red eye” that does not clear up quickly, you should seek medical attention promptly.
Image credit: www.allaboutvision.com