Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If uveitis is caused by an underlying condition, treatment will focus on that specific condition. The goal of treatment is to reduce the inflammation in your eye. Several treatment options are available.


  • Drugs that reduce inflammation. Your doctor may first prescribe eyedrops with an anti-inflammatory medication, such as a corticosteroid. If those don't help, a corticosteroid pill or injection may be the next step.
  • Drugs that fight bacteria or viruses. If uveitis is caused by an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications or other medicines, with or without corticosteroids, to bring the infection under control.
  • Drugs that affect the immune system or destroy cells. You may need immunosuppressive or cytotoxic drugs if your uveitis affects both eyes, doesn't respond well to corticosteroids or becomes severe enough to threaten your vision.

Some of these medications can have serious side effects, such as glaucoma and cataracts. You may need to visit your doctor for follow-up examinations and blood tests every 1 to 3 months.

Surgical and other procedures

  • Vitrectomy. Surgery to remove some of the vitreous in your eye (vitrectomy) may be necessary to manage the condition.
  • Surgery that implants a device into the eye to provide a slow and sustained release of a medication. For people with difficult-to-treat posterior uveitis, a device that's implanted in the eye may be an option. This device slowly releases corticosteroid medication into the eye for two to three years. Possible side effects of this treatment include cataracts and glaucoma.

The speed of your recovery depends in part on the type of uveitis you have and the severity of your symptoms. Uveitis that affects the back of your eye (choroiditis) tends to heal more slowly than uveitis in the front of the eye (iritis). Severe inflammation takes longer to clear up than mild inflammation does.

Uveitis can come back. Make an appointment with your doctor if any of your symptoms reappear after successful treatment.

April 23, 2015