Uveitis refers to inflammation of the pigmented portions of the eye: the iris, ciliary body and choroid, which is located between the retina and the sclera. When these parts of the eye become inflamed you may experience pain, redness, blurriness, light sensitivity and floaters.

What causes uveitis?

You are more prone to uveitis if you have had infections such as chicken pox, syphilis, the parasite toxoplasmosis, Lyme disease or the herpes simplex virus; have underlying autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease; experienced previous trauma to the eye, or if you smoke.

Sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Uveitis affects all ages but is most common in young and middle aged adults.

Preventing permanent damage

If you experience any of the symptoms of uveitis, see your eye care provider immediately to prevent permanent damage to the eye including elevated eye pressure, scarring of the iris, swelling of the retina and optic nerve, and blindness.

Steroid or dilating eye drops are often used to decrease inflammation and pain. Injections around the eye or oral steroids may be needed if eye drops do not control symptoms.

Continue close monitoring

Close monitoring by your eye care provider is important, as uveitis often recurs and symptoms may worsen quickly.Your eye care provider will help formulate a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific disease process.

For symptoms of uveitis or other eye problems, or for a routine eye exam, contact Vista Eye Care for an appointment at (520) 625-5673.