Uveitis is a rather general term used to describe the inflammation of the uvea, or the middle layer of the eye that consists of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. The eye is made up of three layers surrounding the gel-filled vitreous. The innermost layer is the retina, the outermost layer is the sclera, and the layer in between is the uvea. Uveitis simply refers to the inflammatory processes that take place inside the eye.
Inflammation is our bodies’ response to tissue damage, infections, or toxins. When it comes to the actual cause, uveitis has several potential culprits. These include auto-immune diseases, recent eye surgery, or infections caused by bacteria, virus, fungus, or trauma to the eye. Typically, uveitis is classified by the area of the eye that the infection occurs. Anterior uveitis occurs in the front of the eye, intermediate uveitis occurs in the anterior vitreous, posterior uveitis occurs in the back of the eye, and pan-uveitis occurs across all three major areas of the eye.
Uveitis causes symptoms such as eye redness, eye swelling, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and floaters. This condition can develop rapidly, or can be slowly progressive. Treatment options vary between the specific types and severity of uveitis, and include eye drops or injections, immunosuppressive agents, or other anti-inflammatory medications.