583509 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Uveitis

    (Anterior Uveitis; Iritis; Iridocyclitis)


    Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea. The uvea is the middle layer of the eye (iris and surrounding tissue). It is between the retina and the white of the eye. Uveitis can be chronic (long-lasting) or acute (occurs suddenly). This is a potentially serious condition. It requires care from your doctor to prevent vision loss.
    Normal Anatomy of the Eye
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Uveitis can be caused by a trauma to the eye. It can also be caused by an infection, such as:
    The underlying cause is usually not known.

    Risk Factors

    Uveitis may occur in people with other health problems and immune system diseases, such as
    Uveitis can occur in children and adults. People who develop uveitis and ankylosing spondylitis often have a specific gene, HLA-B27.


    If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to uveitis. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
    • Red, sore, and watering eyes
    • Blurred vision
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Pupil that is small or irregular in shape
    Symptoms of Uveitis—Red, Sore, Watering Eyes
    Eye Inflammation
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. An eye exam will also be done. You may be referred to an eye specialist. This doctor will do a more extensive exam of the inside of your eye. Special equipment with bright light and magnification will be used.
    Tests may include the following:
    • Blood tests to look for other diseases or illnesses that may be associated with the uveitis
    • Eye procedure to remove fluid and further diagnose the condition


    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment will depend on your age, the cause, severity, and other factors. Treatment options include the following:


    Medicines will be used to reduce inflammation and prevent damage. Medicine may be in the form of eye drops, pills, or injections into the eye, such as:
    • Drugs that help reduce sensitivity to light and other complications
    • Topical corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation—such as prednisolone acetate, fluorometholone acetate, dexamethasone , fluorometholone , prednisolone sodium phosphate, rimexolone (Vexol), or loteprednol (Lotemax)
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) to help reduce inflammation
    • Antibiotics to treat bacterial infection
    • Antivirals to treat viral infection
    • Dilating drops (cycloplegics) to reduce pain and discomfort


    In some cases, surgery or a special eye implant may be needed.
    It is important to follow up with your doctor and watch for signs of recurrence.


    Since the cause is often unknown, it is impossible to prevent a first episode of uveitis. To help reduce your chance of complications from uveitis or a recurrence, take the following steps:
    • See your eye doctor right away if you have symptoms.
    • Follow all treatment instructions.
    • Wash hands regularly to prevent the spread of infection to the eye.
    • To avoid infections, practice safe sex.


    American Academy of Ophthalmology http://www.aao.org/

    American Uveitis Society http://www.uveitissociety.org/


    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/

    Uveitis Support Canada http://www.uveitis.ca/


    American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.aao.org/ . Accessed March 17, 2010.

    American Uveitis Society website. Available at: http://www.uveitissociety.org/ . Accessed March 17, 2010.

    Anterior uveitis. American Optometric Association website. Available at: http://www.aoa.org/anterior-uveitis.xml . Accessed March 18, 2010.

    Anterior uveitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated December 4, 2009. Accessed March 17, 2010.

    Canadian Uveitis Society website. Available at: http://canadianuveitissociety.com/ . Accessed March 18, 2010.

    Uveitis. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uveitis/DS00677 . Accessed March 17, 2010.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.