Iritis; Pars planitis; Choroiditis; Chorioretinitis; Anterior uveitis; Posterior uveitis
Definition of Uveitis
Uveitis is swelling and irritation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye. The uvea provides most of the blood supply to the retina.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Uveitis can be caused by autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, infection, or exposure to toxins. However, in many cases the cause is unknown.
Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may develop rapidly and can include:
Signs and tests
A complete medical history and eye examination should be performed. Laboratory tests may be done to rule out infection or an autoimmune disorder.
Iritis is usually mild. Treatment may involve:
With proper treatment, most attacks of anterior uveitis go away in a few days to weeks. However, relapses are common.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 7/28/2010