Uveitis refers to inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (the uvea), which lies between the outer coat (the sclera) and the innermost light sensitive layer (the retina).
The uvea contains many blood vessels (the veins, arteries, and capillaries) that carry blood to and from the eye. Since the uvea nourishes many important parts of the eye (such as the retina), inflammation of the uvea can affect your vision.
Symptoms of uveitis include:
A “red eye” with pain and blurring of vision may in fact be a serious problem of uveitis, and this needs to be treated by an eye doctor.
Uveitis has many different causes:
In most cases of uveitis, the cause of the disease remains unknown.
A careful eye examination by an ophthalmologist is extremely important when symptoms occur. Inflammation inside the eye can permanently affect vision or even lead to blindness if it is not treated.
Your ophthalmologist will examine the inside of your eye. He or she may order blood tests, skin tests, or x-rays to help make the diagnosis.
Since uveitis can be associated with disease in other parts of the body, your ophthalmologist will want to know about your overall health. He or she may want to consult with your primary care physician or other medical specialists.
There are different types of uveitis, depending on which part of the eye is affected.
Uveitis is often a serious eye condition that may scar the eye. It needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Eyedrops, especially corticosteroids and pupil dilators, can reduce inflammation and pain. For more severe inflammation, oral medication or injections may be necessary.
Uveitis can be associated with these complications:
When these complications occur, they will require treatment with additional eyedrops, laser procedures or surgery.
If you have a “red eye” that does not clear up quickly, especially if it is associated with pain and blurring of vision, uveitis may be possible. Do consult an eye doctor as soon as you can.