Uveitis is a group of diseases that causes damage to the eye tissue and swelling, resulting in varying degrees of vision loss or blindness.

There are four types of uveitis:

  • Anterior uveitis is the most common type. It occurs in the front of the eye. 
  • Intermediate uveitis occurs in the vitreous fluid in the middle of the eye. 
  • Posterior uveitis is the least common type. It occurs in the back of the eye. 
  • Panuveitis is when all major parts of the eye are affected.

Causes of uveitis

Uveitis is caused by inflammation inside the eye. Inflammation occurs when specific causes trigger an immune reaction.

Causes of uveitis can be:

  • Trauma to the eye 
  • Toxins that penetrate the eye 
  • Infections within the eye or in other areas of the body 
  • Tumors or malignancies within the eye or in other areas of the body 
  • Autoimmune disorders, when the body’s own immune system attacks a body part, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis and many others

Symptoms of uveitis

Symptoms often develop rapidly and can affect one or both eyes. They include:

  • Eye pain 
  • Eye redness 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Flashes of light or floaters in the visual field

Diagnosis of uveitis

Diagnosing uveitis takes a thorough eye examination and an analysis of your medical history. Your doctor may also request laboratory tests to help determine the cause of the inflammation.

Your eye exam will include:

  • Basic exam. At the start of your visit one of our technicians will check your vision with an eye chart to document if your vision is decreased. They'll also check your eye pressure with a tonometer to document the intraocular pressure and document all medications and past medical history.  
  • Dilated eye exam. Your doctor will dilate your pupil and inspect the inside of your eye with specialized equipment. 
  • Imaging. Photographs will likely be taken at your exam, in certain cases a special dye called fluorescein may be used to check for inflammation inside your retina and blood vessels.  
  • Please expect to be at our office for at least 2 – 3 hours.

Treatment of uveitis

Uveitis treatments focus on eliminating inflammation, reducing pain and preventing further tissue damage as well as to restore lost vision.

Your doctor will likely prescribe specific medications for the treatment of uveitis. This medication can be in the form of eye drops, pills, or an injection near or inside your eye.

When the disease is chronic or reoccurring, your doctor may also recommend immunosuppressive medications taken by mouth. These include methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclosporine and others.

Why choose Ohio State for uveitis treatment

Here at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center we utilize and individualized approach to treating uveitis. For those patients with chronic inflammation or rheumatologic conditions we have a multidisciplinary clinic where Ana Suelves Cogollos, MD, PhD, and Beatrice Kenol, MD (an Ohio State Wexner Medical Center rheumatologist) will see patients together to come up with the best treatment plan for your conditions.

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