Uveitis specifically refers to inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, termed the "uvea" but in common usage may refer to any inflammatory process involving the interior of the eye. Uveitis is estimated to be responsible for approximately 10% of the blindness in the United States. Uveitis requires a thorough examination by an ophthalmologist.
Uveitis is usually categorized anatomically into anterior, intermediate, posterior and panuveitic forms.
- Anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of uveitis cases are anterior in location (anterior uveitis), frequently termed iritis - or inflammation of the iris and anterior chamber. This condition can occur as a single episode and subside with proper treatment or may take on a recurrent or chronic nature. Symptoms include red eye, injected conjunctiva, pain and decreased vision. Signs include dilated ciliary vessels, presence of cells and flare in the anterior chamber, and keratic precipitates ("KP") on the posterior surface of the cornea.
- Intermediate uveitis consists of vitritis - inflammatory cells in the vitreous cavity, sometimes with snowbanking, or deposition of inflammatory material on the pars plana.
- Posterior uveitis is the inflammation of the retina and choroid.
- Pan-uveitis is the inflammation of all the layers of the uvea.
Anterior uveitis resulting in a red painful eye, corneal haze, and layering of inflammatory cells
Posterior uveitis with vitreous haze, inflammation of the retina and blood vessels
Depending on which part of the eye is inflammed in uveitis different combinations of these symptoms may be present.
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
These symptoms may come on suddenly, and you may not experience any pain. The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have uveitis. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor for a complete exam.
Treatment may include steroid eyedrops, injections, or pills, as
well as eyedrops to dilate the pupil and reduce pain. More severe cases
of uveitis may even require treatment with chemotherapeutic agents to
suppress the immune system.
For further information, http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/uveitis.cfm