Uveitis are conditions that cause inflammation inside the eye, in a part called the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye.
Uveitis refers to a group of disorders that involve inflammation of the eye. The location of the area involved helps to categorize the condition as:
- Anterior Uveitis, also known as iritis (inflammation of the iris - the pigmented tissue that gives us our eye color).
- Intermediate Uveitis, when the middle section of the eye becomes inflamed.
- Posterior Uveitis, when the back part of the eye, including the retina and the choroid (the layer beneath the retina which is rich with blood vessels and pigmentation and helps provide support and nutrition to the retina).
The causes for uveitis can be complex, involving infections or auto immune conditions as well as related to other medical conditions. A thorough work up of the retina and uvea, which involves blood work and retinal imaging studies, is indicated in complicated cases.
Treatment is designed to reduce inflammation. Longstanding or severe inflammation can cause a condition called cystoid macular edema (fluid filled "cysts" in the central area of the retina, the macula, and edema, which means swelling or fluid build up). The inflammation causes the blood vessels to leak causing build up. In milder cases, eye drop medications are used to control and reduce swelling. In cases where the eye drops area not effective, the medication will need to be delivered by injecting the medication near the eye (sub tenons injection) or intravitreal injection (inside the fluid cavity of the eye).
There are numerous treatment methods that are effective. The uveitis specialist is experienced in dealing with these complex conditions, and in the diagnosis and treatment of these types of condition.