Uveitis

What Is Uveitis?

Uveitis is a form of inflammation located inside the eye, with its name referring to the uvea — the middle layer of tissue in the wall of the eye. Uveitis can worsen rapidly, making it crucial to get treatment quickly in order to avoid lasting damage to the eye.

Symptoms of Uveitis

Uveitis is characterized by several different symptoms, including:

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Clouded or blurred vision
  • Spots in your field of vision that appear to float around as you move your eye (known as “floaters”)
  • Impaired vision

Causes of Uveitis

The cause of uveitis is the topic of much research, primarily due to being an autoimmune reaction, which is when a person’s own immune system begins to react against itself.

Some cases are “idiopathic”, meaning it is not known what triggered the inflammation, and there are no associated systemic or whole-body problems. In other cases, a disease such as sarcoidosis or rheumatoid arthritis may be causing the inflammation. Infections can also cause uveitis.

Treatments for Uveitis

Despite its appearance being similar, uveitis is not your usual case of pink eye and does not respond to antibiotic drops. Anti-inflammatory drops (typically steroid drops) are often effective in controlling the inflammation. If these drops are not effective, other options may be considered. More potent steroids can be given by injection next to or even into the eye itself, or taken by pill.

For some patients, anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive medicines may be recommended. In most cases, the disease can be treated effectively and vision preserved.

Uveitis Care at Dean McGee Eye Institute

The ophthalmologists at the Dean McGee Eye Institute are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of uveitis, including any underlying conditions that may be causing it. If you or a loved one need relief from uveitis, please call us today at 405.271.1095 or 800.787.9017 to make an appointment. We’d love to care for your vision.