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Uveitis and Iritis

There are three different layers of tissue that make up the eye, the protective outer layer (the sclera), the middle layer (the uvea) and the inner layer (the retina). The iris, ciliary body and choroid form the uvea.

Uveitis is caused by an inflammation of any part of the uvea. Uveitis can affect other areas of the eye too, for example the retina, lens or the optic nerve; causes of this can include infections or trauma. Another form of uveitis are presumed to be “autoimmune”, whereby the body’s immune system actually reacts against the body itself. Uveitis can be acute, lasting days or weeks at a time, or can be chronic. Each case of uveitis is different, some cases can seriously affect the long-term health of the eye and a person’s vision, but permanent loss of site is uncommon.

Types of Uveitis

Uveitis comes in several forms, please see different types below:

  • Iritis – this is the most common form. This condition affects the iris primarily, however the ciliary body can also become inflamed
  • Intermediate uveitis – this form affects the area behind the ciliary body, and this can extend to the retina also
  • Posterior uveitis – this condition affects the back of the eye
  • Panuveitis – this is the inflammation of the entire uvea

Uveitis Signs and Symptoms

As there are different forms of uveitis, the symptoms may vary depending on the condition. Please see below for possible symptoms:

  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness of the eye or eyes
  • Increase of tear production
  • Black dots in your field of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A smaller than normal pupil size

If you are concerned that you are experiencing any of the above symptoms contact our surgery today for advice on treatment.

Uveitis Treatment

Uveitis is generally treatable but may not always be curable; if uveitis is associated with another disorder that condition is also treated (except for cases where it has been caused by an infection, such as bacteria or parasite).

Treatment is designed to control the symptoms and prevent any complications, and is usually treated by one medication or a combination of three different medications. Medications used to treat uveitis:

  • Steroids – used to reduce inflammation of the eye
  • Immunosuppressants – used to reduce inflammation by targeting the immune system
  • Mydriatic eye drops and ointment (used with steroids)

Your ophthalmologist will be able to advise the best form of uveitis treatment based on your medical history and the type of uveitis you are suffering from. If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment please get in touch today on (02) 9868 2333.