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The middle layer of your eye is called the uvea. It provides most of the blood to your retina. Your retina sits at the back of your eye. It senses light and sends images to your brain.
In uveitis, the uvea swells and is irritated.
There are 3 main types of uveitis:
Anterior uveitis—the inflammation is in the front part of your eye. It is also called iritis because it affects the iris which is the colored part of your eye. This type of uveitis affects normally healthy people. It is most common in people who are young or middle-aged. Iritis is usually mild.
Posterior uveitis is at the uvea’s back part. It is also called choroiditis because it involves the choroid. This is a layer of blood vessels and connective tissue. Posterior uveitis is usually found in people with an infection that affects the whole body or people with an autoimmune disease.
Pars planitis affects the narrow space between your iris and the choiroid. It occurs most often in young men. It may be linked to Crohn’s disease or multiple sclerosis. This inflammation affects the narrow area between the colored part of the eye (iris) and the choroid.
If you are over 25 and have pars planitis, your doctor may order an MRI of your brain and spine to check for multiple sclerosis.
Symptoms can occur in only 1 or both eyes. Symptoms typically come on rapidly. They include:
- Blurred vision
- Dark, floating spots in the vision
- Eye pain
- Redness of the eye
- Sensitivity to light
If you have a body-wide infection causing the uveitis, you will be treated with antibiotics. You may also be given corticosteroids which reduce the inflammation. You will be given steroid eyedrops. If the inflammation is severe, you may also be given a steroid injection to your eye.
Other treatments include wearing dark glasses to block out light. Sometimes eye drops that dilate your pupil can help relieve pain.