Uveitis testing: What's needed?

After a diagnosis of uveitis, a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of eye tissue (uvea), your eye specialist (ophthalmologist) will try to determine the cause. While the cause is often unknown, the condition can be caused by problems in your eye or by diseases in other parts of your body that affect your eye. Your doctor will ask you about your eye symptoms and health history and do an eye exam.

If you are healthy, middle-aged or younger and this is your first episode of uveitis affecting the front of the eye (anterior uveitis), you might not need testing. Instead, an initial treatment will be prescribed and your condition will be monitored until you recover. Likewise, if you have mild uveitis with a history of eye trauma or a disease that causes uveitis, you might not need additional testing.

However, you might need testing if your uveitis:

  • Affects the ciliary body (intermediate uveitis)
  • Affects the retina or choroid in the back of your eye (posterior uveitis)
  • Inflames all layers of the uvea (panuveitis)
  • Is recurrent
  • Is severe
  • Occurs in both eyes
  • Has signs of inflammation on the cornea called keratic precipitates
  • Doesn't quickly respond to treatment

Uveitis testing when the cause is unknown

If your doctor can't identify a potential cause of your uveitis, he or she might recommend a:

  • Chest computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test, which creates cross-sectional images of the body, can identify evidence of an inflammatory disease called sarcoidosis or an infection associated with uveitis, such as tuberculosis. Your doctor will talk to you about the risk of radiation exposure.
  • Blood test for syphilis. You could have this sexually transmitted infection, which is associated with uveitis. Syphilis can be present without causing symptoms.
Nov. 08, 2016 See more In-depth