What is Uveitis?

Uveitis specifically refers to inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, termed the "uvea" but in common usage may refer to any inflammatory process involving the interior of the eye.

Uveitis is estimated to be responsible for approximately 10% of the blindness in the United States. Uveitis requires an urgent referral and thorough examination by an orthoptist, optometrist or ophthalmologist along with urgent treatment to control the inflammation.

Uveitis may be classified anatomically into ''anterior'', ''intermediate'', ''posterior'' and ''panuveitic'' forms, based on which part of the eye is primarily affected by the inflammation.

  • Anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of uveitis cases are anterior in location (anterior uveitis), frequently termed ''iritis'' - or inflammation of the iris and anterior chamber. This condition can occur as a single episode and subside with proper treatment or may take on a recurrent or chronic nature. Symptoms include red eye, injected conjunctiva, pain and decreased vision. Signs include dilated ciliary vessels, presence of cells and flare in the anterior chamber, and keratic precipitates ("KP") on the posterior surface of the cornea.
  • Intermediate uveitis (pars planitis) consists of vitritis - inflammatory cells in the vitreous cavity, sometimes with ''snowbanking'', or deposition of inflammatory material on the pars plana.
  • Posterior uveitis is the inflammation of the retina and choroid.
  • Pan-uveitis is the inflammation of all the layers of the uvea.

In 2004, a group of international uveitis specialists convened in Baltimore, MD, to standardize the method of reporting data in uveitis clinical trials, including anatomical classification. The results of this meeting were published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology in 2005.

Symptoms of Uveitis include:

  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dark, floating spots along the visual field
  • Eye pain

Further Reading


This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article on "Uveitis" All material adapted used from Wikipedia is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Wikipedia® itself is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Last Updated: Oct 8, 2014

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