Uveitis

Uveitis

Ophthalmology Services

What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea (the pigmented middle of the three concentric layers that make up an eye). Uveitis typically isn’t serious. However, in more severe cases, it can cause vision loss if left untreated early on.

Uveitis warning signs often come on suddenly and get worse rapidly. Among the various symptoms include eye redness, pain and blurred vision. This condition may affect one or both of the patient’s eyes and can occur in people of all ages.

What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea (the pigmented middle of the three concentric layers that make up an eye). Uveitis typically isn’t serious. However, in more severe cases, it can cause vision loss if left untreated early on.

Uveitis warning signs often come on suddenly and get worse rapidly. Among the various symptoms include eye redness, pain and blurred vision. This condition may affect one or both of the patient’s eyes and can occur in people of all ages.

What Causes Uveitis?

While the cause of uveitis is often unknown, it can frequently occur in typically healthy individuals. Uveitis can at times be linked to other illnesses such as autoimmune disorder or an infection from a virus or bacteria.

Autoimmune conditions that may be associated with uveitis include:

  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Infections that may be a cause of Uveitis:

  • West Nile virus
  • Syphilis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Aids
  • Herpes
  • CMV Retinitis
  • Histoplasmosis

Other possible causes of uveitis:

  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Bruising
  • Exposure to a toxin(s) that enters the eye

What are the Types of Uveitis?

There are a few types of uveitis. Each type is classified by the affected area of the eye.

  • Anterior uveitis - occurs in the front of the eye

Anterior uveitis affects the iris (coloured part of the eye near the front) and is often referred to as ‘iritides. Anterior uveitis is the most common type of uveitis and generally occurs in healthy individuals, however it is also linked to some autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

It typically starts suddenly and its symptoms can last for many weeks. Some forms of anterior uveitis are ongoing, while others may go away for a while, but keep recurring.

  • Posterior uveitis - occurs in the back of the eye

Posterior uveitis affects the choroid (the choroid delivers blood to the back of the eye) and may also be referred to as ‘choroiditis’. With this type of uveitis, symptoms may develop gradually and last for many years. Individuals are typically affected due to a virus, parasite, or fungus. It may also occur in individuals with an autoimmune disease.

Uveitis in the back of the eye is usually more serious than in the front of the eye as it may cause scarring in the retina. Out of all the three types of uveitis, this is the least common form of uveitis.

  • Intermediate uveitis – occurs in the middle of the eye

Intermediate uveitis occurs in the vitreous and peripheral retina. Intermediate uveitis can be an isolated incident or may be associated with the development of multiple sclerosis or sarcoidosis. In fact, intermediate uveitis may be the first appearance of a systemic condition. Clinical signs of intermediate uveitis may include redness of the eye, pain, blurring of vision, photophobia and floaters.

  • Pan-uveitis – occurs in all parts of the eye

In severe cases, all three major parts of the eye may be infected, this is called pan-uveitis. It often involves a combination of features and symptoms from all three types of uveitis: anterior, posterior and intermediate.

How is Uveitis Treated?

Uveitis is usually treated with eye drops; however, it also depends on the cause and type of uveitis. If uveitis is caused by an underlying condition, treating that would likely eliminate the uveitis. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the inflammation in the eye.

Here are the possible treatment and management options for each type of uveitis:

  • Anterior uveitis – Wearing dark glasses, using eye drops to dilate the pupil and reduce pain, and steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation or irritation.
  • Posterior uveitis – Treatment may include steroids taken orally, injections around the eye, and visits to additional specialists to treat the infection or autoimmune disease. A body-wide bacterial infection is usually treated with antibiotics.
  • Intermediate uveitis – Treatment commonly includes steroid eye drops and steroids taken by mouth. With severe cases of uveitis, the patient may require drugs that suppress the immune system.

What are the Complications of Uveitis?

If left untreated, uveitis can lead to severe complications. Here are some of the possible outcomes:

  • Retinal swelling (macular edema)
  • Retina scarring
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Optic nerve damage
  • Retinal detachment
  • Permanent vision loss

Early detection of uveitis is vital to reduce the risk of vision loss, which may be irreversible. At Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC), our expert team of highly experienced ophthalmologists deliver state-of-the-art care using first-rate clinical practice and advanced medical diagnostics.

Meet our Specialist

Dr Ronald Arun Das

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo Retinal Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology






Dr V. Ulagantheran Viswanathan

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo Retinal Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology