By Yolanda Smith, BPharm
Uveitis is a common condition involving inflammation of the uvea in the eye, which can present alone as an isolated illness or as a symptom secondary to a number of underlying health conditions.
These conditions can be divided into two main groups of autoimmune disease and inflammatory disorders.
Autoimmunity refers to when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. The immune reaction results in inflammation and, if localized to the eye area, may also cause symptoms of uveitis.
These autoimmune conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Behcet’s syndrome
- Reactive arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
- Kawasaki disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
There are several types of infections that may reside within the eye area and cause symptoms of uveitis. This includes several viral, bacterial, parastitic and fungal infections.
Infections that may cause uveitis are:
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) AIDS
- Viral herpes zoster infection
- Viral CMV retinis infection of the eye
- Bacterial syphilis infection
- Parasitic toxoplasmosis infection
- Bacterial tuberculosis infection
- Fungal histoplasmosis infection
- West Nile viral infection
Other Related Conditions
In addition to autoimmune diseases and infections that are associated with uveitis, there are some other conditions that may cause uveitis that do not fit into either of these categories.
The other related conditions include:
- Exposure of a toxin to the eye
- Physical trauma or injury to the eye
- Medications such as rifabutin and moxifloxacin
Some health conditions may have symptoms that are mistakenly diagnosed as uveitis but are not, in fact, due to inflammation of the uvea.
Unrelated health conditions include:
- retinis pigmentosa
- foreign body inside the eye
- juvenile Xanthogranuloma
- detachment of the retina
- retinoblastoma neoplasia
- lymphoma neoplasia
- malignant melanoma
- reticulum cell sarcoma
These conditions are not thought to be related to uveitis, although they may cause disturbance to the eye area that is not due to an inflammatory response.
Last Updated: Jun 28, 2015