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Uveitis

uveitisUveitis is a term that generally refers to inflammation or swelling of the eye structure that is responsible for its blood supply. Uveitis is classified by the structures it affects, the underlying cause, and whether it is chronic (lasting more than six weeks) or acute in nature.

Symptoms

There are four main categories of uveitis, and the symptoms depend on which type it is:

  1. Anterior uveitis or iritis involves the iris and ciliary body and is the most common type. Symptoms include:
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness around the iris
  • Pain that may range from aching or soreness to intense discomfort
  • Small pupil
  • Tearing
  • Elevated intraocular pressure
  1. Intermediate uveitis affects the ciliary body, vitreous, and retina. It often affects both eyes. Symptoms include floaters and blurred vision.
  2. Posterior uveitis involves the retina, choroid, and optic nerve. Symptoms include blurred vision and pain.
  3. Diffuse uveitis affects structures both in the front and back of the eye. This usually results in a combination of symptoms from anterior, intermediate, and posterior uveitis.

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 other tests are required to rule out underlying systemic disease or infection.

Treatment

The treatment depends 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.