Uveitis is a condition that affects the uvea, causing it to become swollen and inflamed. Without correct treatment, uveitis can cause permanent damage, leading to vision loss.
There are 3 types of uveitis, which are classified based on which portion of the uvea is affected.
- Anterior uveitis causes the uvea near the front of the eye to begin to swell. It begins suddenly, and symptoms can last many weeks. This condition can either persist or fade and return, depending on the form.
- Intermediate uveitis affects the middle of the eye, and symptoms can persist for between a few weeks to a few years. This form of uveitis typically flares up and then temporarily recedes before returning again in full force.
- Posterior uveitis refers to swelling of the uvea towards the back of the eye. This form of uveitis typically develops gradually, and symptoms last for many years.
In extremely severe cases of uveitis, all 3 sections of the uvea could be affected.
Anterior uveitis can cause the iris to stick to the eye’s lens, causing it to become disfigured and affecting vision. Depending on the root cause of the uveitis (such as those forms caused by viruses), the iris may thin, and the eye muscles may become weak, making it difficult for the eye to regulate how much light is allowed to enter through the pupil, which can lead to problems with glare.
Depending on the root cause of your uveitis, your eye care professional may suggest long term monitoring, topical or systemic therapy and specific blood testing.