Uveitis is a broad term referring to inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (uvea) that can lead to swelling and damage. This damage can range from minor to severe and can cause permanent vision loss. Uveitis can affect one or both eyes, depending upon the cause.  Causes range from various eye conditions and diseases to inflammatory conditions that affect other parts of the body as well as the eyes.

Types of uveitis

Uveitis is broken down into several different types. The types are based upon the portion of the uvea that is affected by inflammation. Types of uveitis include posterior, intermediate, anterior, and diffuse.

Posterior uveitis: Posterior uveitis is inflammation of the choroid. This is the least common type of uveitis and it is present in the far back of the eye. This type of uveitis must be treated with strong prescription steroid pills to ensure that the steroid travels to the back of the eyes.

Intermediate uveitis: Intermediate uveitis is inflammation of the ciliary body.

Anterior uveitis: Anterior uveitis is inflammation of the iris and ciliary body, or just inflammation of the iris. This type of uveitis is present in the front portion of the eye and is often treated with steroid eye drops and eye drops to prevent muscle spasms by dilating the pupil of the eye.

Diffuse uveitis: Diffuse uveitis is inflammation of all parts of the uvea.

Uveitis symptoms 

Symptoms of uveitis include:

  • Eye pain
  • Redness of the eye
  • Reduced or blurry vision
  • Floaters
  • Sensitivity to light

Symptoms often come on rapidly and can vary based upon the type of uveitis. For example, diffuse uveitis often presents all symptoms because all parts of the uvea are affected, but posterior and intermediate uveitis are often painless and only present pain-free symptoms such as floaters and reduced or blurry vision.

Uveitis treatment 

Uveitis treatment is most commonly a steroid to reduce inflammation in the eye. Depending upon the type of uveitis, the steroid may be prescribed as eye drops, pills, or injections.

For those with chronic uveitis, there are implant options that provide a steady supply of steroids directly into the eye to manage inflammation in the long term, preventing frequent flare-ups.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from uveitis, contact your eye care provider immediately. Early diagnosis is essential for preventing permanent damage to the eye.