What is Uveitis? Uveitis refers to inflammation of the uvea, which is responsible for supplying blood to the retina and maintaining the eye's structural integrity. Uveitis can affect one or more parts of the uvea and may be classified based on its location within the eye:

  • Anterior Uveitis (Iritis): Inflammation of the iris and/or anterior chamber, the fluid-filled space between the cornea and the iris.
  • Intermediate Uveitis (Cyclitis): Inflammation of the ciliary body and/or vitreous gel, the clear gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye.
  • Posterior Uveitis (Choroiditis): Inflammation of the choroid, the vascular layer of the eye located between the retina and the sclera (white part of the eye).
  • Panuveitis: Inflammation involving all layers of the uvea.

Causes of Uveitis: Uveitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or ankylosing spondylitis
  • Infections, including viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections
  • Trauma or injury to the eye
  • Certain medications or drugs
  • Systemic inflammatory disorders, such as sarcoidosis or Behçet's disease
  • Idiopathic (unknown) causes in some cases

Symptoms of Uveitis: The symptoms of uveitis can vary depending on the location and severity of inflammation, but may include:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain or discomfort, which may worsen with eye movement
  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Floaters (dark spots or lines) in the field of vision
  • Eye discharge or tearing
  • Redness or irritation of the eye

Diagnosis and Treatment: Diagnosing uveitis typically involves a comprehensive eye examination, including visual acuity testing, slit-lamp biomicroscopy, and dilated fundus examination. Additional tests, such as ocular coherence tomography (OCT), fluorescein angiography, or blood tests, may be performed to assess the extent of inflammation and identify any underlying causes.

Treatment options for uveitis may include:

  • Topical or oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms
  • Immunomodulatory therapy, such as immunosuppressive agents or biologic agents, to control inflammation in cases of severe or recurrent uveitis
  • Antimicrobial therapy to treat underlying infections, if present
  • Local or systemic corticosteroid injections for targeted treatment of inflammation
  • Surgery, such as vitrectomy, in cases of severe complications or vision-threatening complications of uveitis

At Retina Consultants of Delmarva, our experienced retina specialists are dedicated to providing personalized care and innovative treatments for patients with uveitis. If you have been diagnosed with uveitis or are experiencing symptoms of eye inflammation, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team to discuss your treatment options. Together, we can work towards managing your condition and preserving your vision and ocular health.