Home Diseases & Conditions Uveitis – Types, Symptoms, Complications & Treatment

Uveitis – Types, Symptoms, Complications & Treatment

Uveitis is a broad word for a collection of inflammatory conditions, that cause swelling, and tissue destruction, in the eyes. These disorders can cause minor vision loss or severe vision loss.

Uveitis frequently affects the uvea and other parts of the eyes such as the iris, lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous body.


Types of Uveitis

Uveitis can be classified into 4 forms

1) Anterior Uveitis: This is the most common form of uveitis. Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. This middle layer includes the iris and the ciliary body.

2) Intermediate Uveitis: This is an intraocular inflammation, mainly focused on the vitreous body, and peripheral retina.

3) Posterior uveitis: This is also known as choroiditis, which refers to inflammation of the choroid, the back part of the uvea. Posterior uveitis can impair the retina and optic nerve, resulting in a visual loss that is permanent.

4) Panuveitis: Panuveitis is the inflammation of all layers of the uvea.

Anterior Uveitis

It is also referred to as iritis or iridocyclitis. Anterior uveitis is one of the important differentials of red-eye. Symptoms may develop over hours or days, which represents the acute form of anterior uveitis.

Symptoms & Signs of Acute Anterior Uveitis

  • Progressive unilateral painful red eye.
  • Photophobia, the fear of light.
  • Pupils may be abnormally shaped or have a different size, to the unaffected eye. Initially. the pupil is small, due to iris spasms. And later becomes irregular, due to adhesion between the iris and lens.
  • Excess tear production.

A characteristic sign of anterior uveitis is the presence of cells, in the aqueous humor, which is seen on slit-lamp. Aqueous humor is normally clear, but in anterior uveitis, it may be seen as cloudy, giving the appearance of a ‘flare’.

Anterior chamber flare is due to inflamed vessels leaking protein. Due to this cloudiness, as the slit-lamp beam of light is shone through the beam disperses, hence causing “flare”.

In chronic anterior uveitis, the patient present with recurrent episodes of acute form but less severe symptoms.

Associated Conditions Related to Anterior Uveitis

  • Ankylosing spondylitis: which is inflammatory arthritis, affecting the spine and large joints.
  • Reactive arthritis: which is joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection, in another part of the body.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): which is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. The two types are Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Sarcoidosis: This is a systemic inflammatory disease, characterized by the formation of non-caseating granulomas in affected organs. most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, skin, and eyes.

Management of Anterior Uveitis

  • Use of prednisolone eye drops to reduce inflammation in the eye.
  • Use of cyclopentolate to prevent adhesions, between lens and iris by keeping the pupil dilated.


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