What is Uveitis
The uvea is the middle layer of the eye. It is comprised of three elements – the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. When any part of the uvea becomes inflamed, which may be due to an injury, infection or underlying disease, it is called Uveitis. If left untreated, the eyesight can be seriously damaged.
There are many different types of Uveitis, depending on which part of the uvea is affected. The three main categories of Uveitis are:
Anterior Uveitis – Inflammation of the iris or inflammation of the iris and the ciliary body. This is the most common type of uveitis, accounting for 75% of cases.
Intermediate Uveitis – Affecting the area behind the ciliary body and the retina. It tends to occur in childen, teenagers and young adults.
Posterior Uveitis – Affecting the area at the back of the eye, the choroid and the retina.
The length of time an individual may suffer from this condition is hard to tell. Acute Uveitis lasts for a few weeks and may reoccur, whereas chronic Uveitis lasts for more than three months, with symptoms that can vary from day to day.
How Uveitis affects our vision
Inflammation of the uvea usually causes a red or ‘bloodshot’ eye, which is often experienced in conjunction with blurry or cloudy vision, and it may be painful. Depending on the type of Uveitis, one or both eyes may be affected. Sufferers may also experience increased sensitivity to light, dots moving across their field of vision (floaters) and headaches.
Posterior Uveitis is slower at developing and is longer lasting. It can cause more damage to the eye than other types of Uveitis, and in some cases may cause loss of vision.