Uveitis refers to eye-inflammation and eye-tissue damage that may lead to partial or complete loss of vision. A part of eye i.e., uvea is affected most often; hence, the term uveitis is used. However, uveitis is not only confined to uvea but also affects retina, optic nerve, lens and vitreous humour causing reduced vision or blindness.
Eye-disease or an inflammatory disease affecting another body part may cause uveitis. It can affect people of all ages but primarily people aged between 20-60 years. It may be acute (lasting for a short time) or chronic (lasting for a long time). Recurrence may be observed in the severest forms of uveitis. As per the location of inflammation, eye care professionals describe the disease more specifically as following types:
- Anterior uveitis (affecting iris and ciliary body)
- Intermediate uveitis (affecting ciliary body only)
- Posterior uveitis (affecting choroid)
- Panuveitis or diffuse uveitis (affecting all structures of uvea i.e., ciliary body, and choroid)
Anterior uveitis is characterized by eye pain, red eyes, light sensitivity and reduced visual acuity. Eye-pain is not a characteristic of intermediate and posterior uveitis. Blurred vision and floaters, usually in both eyes are the symptoms in these kinds of cases. Symptoms from all kinds of uveitis are seen in panuveitis. Bacterial, viral and fungal infections, immunological systemic disorders and eye trauma can cause uveitis. The cause remains unknown in many cases.
But, in many cases, the cause is unknown. Corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant drugs are prescribed to treat uveitis.