The signs, symptoms and characteristics of uveitis include:
- Eye redness
- Eye pain
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Dark, floating spots in your field of vision (floaters)
- Decreased vision
Symptoms may occur suddenly and get worse quickly, though in some cases, they develop gradually. They may affect one or both eyes.
The uvea is the middle layer of tissue in the wall of the eye. It consists of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. The choroid is sandwiched between the retina and the sclera. The retina is located at the inside wall of the eye and the sclera is the outer white part of the eye wall. The uvea provides blood flow to the deep layers of the retina. The type of uveitis you have depends on which part or parts of the eye are inflamed:
- Iritis (anterior uveitis) affects the front of your eye and is the most common type.
- Cyclitis (intermediate uveitis) affects the ciliary body.
- Choroiditis and retinitis (posterior uveitis) affect the back of your eye.
- Diffuse uveitis (panuveitis) occurs when all layers of the uvea are inflamed.
In any of these conditions, the jelly-like material in the center of your eye (vitreous) can become inflamed and infiltrated with inflammatory cells.
When to seek medical advice
Contact your doctor if you think you have the warning signs of uveitis. He or she may refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist). If you're having significant eye pain and unexpected vision problems, seek immediate medical attention.
April 23, 2015
- Parekh A, et al. Risk factors associated with intraocular pressure increase in patients with uveitis treated with the fluocinolone acetonide implant. JAMA Ophthalmology. In press. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- Cunningham ET. Overview of uveitis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec09/ch105/ch105a.html. Accessed March 30, 2015.
- Riordan-Eva P, et al. Uveitis. In: Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=387§ionid=40229324&jumpsectionID=40231264&Resultclick=2. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Uveitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Rosenbaum JT. Uveitis: Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- Rosenbaum JT. Uveitis: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2015.
- Uveitis. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed March 12, 2015.
- Yuen BG, et al. Association between smoking and uveitis: Results from the Pacific Ocular Inflammation Study. Ophthalmology. In Press. Accessed April 4, 2015.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.