Intraocular Inflammation/Uveitis

We specialize in the medical and surgical treatment and management of sight threatening diseases affecting the retina, vitreous and macula.  We have years of experience in treating the following conditions.

Intraocular Inflammation/Uveitis

What is Uveitis?

Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, which forms the middle layer of the eye. This middle layer of the eye is called the uvea and contains blood vessels that provide nutrients and oxygen to the eye. If the uvea becomes damaged, it can lead to permanent loss of the eyesight. The uvea is made up of the iris (the colored part of the eye that you can see), ciliary body, and choroid layer of blood vessels. The inner layer of the eye is the retina. Technically, uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, the middle part of the eye. However, uveitis is used as a general term to describe inflammation occurring in any part of the eye including in the vitreous, optic nerve, and retina.

For more information on the different types of uveitis, read below.

What area the different types of Uveitis?

(1) Anterior Uveitis
This involves inflammation of the front of the eye, involving structures like the iris or the ciliary body. Most commonly these patients complain of sudden pain, redness, swelling, or sensitivity to light.

(2) Intermediate Uveitis
This occurs when the middle of the eye, or the jelly filling the inside of the eye, becomes inflamed. Usually this form of uveitis is painless, and floaters can be a sign that intermediate uveitis is occurring.

(3) Posterior Uveitis
This includes inflammation of the retina and choroid (a layer of tissue carrying blood vessels to the eye). This uveitis is more severe, and vision loss is common.

(4) Pan Uveitis
This affects the entire eye and is typically a very severe form of uveitis.

What causes Uveitis and am I at risk?

We do not always know the cause of uveitis. If you have certain autoimmune diseases, such as, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, you may have a higher risk for uveitis. Also, some types of infections can cause uveitis to form, such as shingles, herpes virus, Lyme disease, and toxoplasmosis. Certain injuries to the eye and smoking can increase the risk of uveitis as well. Depending on where the uveitis occurs and how severe it is, your retina specialist may (or may not) be able to determine its cause.

How is Uveitis diagnosed and treated?

Sometimes, special testing of the eye can help outline possible causes for uveitis. After dilating your eyes and performing an eye exam, your eye doctor may use an OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) scan to assess the swelling. This is a high-resolution picture of certain structures in the back of the eye. Also, fluorescein angiography may be utilized, which involves using a special dye to examine the eye.

Treatment of uveitis needs to begin as quickly as possible to avoid the permanent vision loss that can occur if it goes untreated. The inflammation can travel to other parts of the eye and cause other problems to arise, such as glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) or cataracts. The primary treatment for uveitis often involves using anti-inflammatory eye drops such as steroids. Sometimes steroids may need to be given by mouth or through an injection into the eye. You may be given drops to dilate the eye and relieve pressure or pain. Your eye specialist may refer you to a rheumatologist, a specialist that treats many of the underlying diseases are often the cause of uveitis. In advanced or refractory cases, patients may also need to begin long-term treatment with immunosuppressive medications under the supervision of a rheumatologist.

Highland Retina Associates

  • Highland Retina Associates - 4621 E Margaret Dr., Terre Haute, IN 47803 Phone: (812) 281-2608