Uveitis is a form of eye inflammation that affects the middle layer of the eye known as the uvea. The uvea consists of three main structures: the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. This condition primary affects individuals of ages 20 to 50 but it can also affect children. Uveitis can affect one or both eyes and cause symptoms such eye redness, pain and blurred vision. There are different types of uveitis, depending on which part of the eye is affected. These include:

  • Anterior uveitis: Inflammation of the iris/ in front of the eye
  • Intermediate uveitis: Inflammation of the area in the vitreous
  • Posterior uveitis: Inflammation at the back of the eye, typically involving the choroid and the retina

Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to preventing inflammation and further complications such as permanent vision loss.  



Signs and symptoms of uveitis include:

  • Eye pain and irritation
  • Redness of the eye
  • Tenderness/pain to touch
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Leaky eye discharge
  • Seeing dark, floating spots (floaters)
  • Headaches



In a large number of cases, the cause of uveitis is unknown; however there are potential triggers to the condition such an infection with a virus, eye trauma or surgery. Other possible causes of uveitis may be one of the following:  

  • Fungus
  • Bacteria
  • Parasite
  • Eye injury
  • Eye infection
  • Autoimmune disorder (Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus)
  • Inflammatory disorder
  • Lymphoma cancer


Risk Factors 

Uveitis does not appear to run in families or be affected by lifestyle choices or geographical locations; yet there are a few factors that may increase the risk of developing uveitis. These include:

  • Certain gene changes
  • Being a smoker



Possible complications that can arise from the development of uveitis include the following:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataract formation
  • Damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal detachment
  • Repeated episodes of uveitis
  • Blurred vision
  • Permanent vision loss



While uveitis cannot be prevented, there are certain actions that can be taken to reduce the chances of its development. These actions include the following:

  • Wearing protective eyewear when engaging in activities such as lawn mowing and drilling
  • Keeping vaccinations up to date
  • Practicing good hygiene
  • Washing hands thoroughly
  • Avoiding touching or rubbing the eyes
  • Avoiding or quitting smoking
  • Getting regular examinations with an ophthalmologist