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UVEA Service

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UVEA Service

Uveitis is inflammation of any part of the uvea and is classified by the part of uvea  that is inflamed. 

Anterior Uveitis affects the front of the eye. It is often called iritis because it mainly  affects the area around the eye’s iris. Anterior uveitis is the most common kind of  uveitis making up 40-70% of all uveitis. It is usually acute (i.e. comes on suddenly  and lasts for less than six weeks) and is associated with pain, light sensitivity and  redness.

Intermediate Uveitis is inflammation of the ciliary body, the front end of the retina,  and the vitreous. Intermediate uveitis is the least common type of uveitis, making  up only 7-15% of cases. It is also known as cyclitis, pars planitis or vitritis. In most  of the cases, the cause is unknown. Symptoms include floaters and blurred vision.  

Anatomy of UVEA

The Uvea is the middle layer of the eyeball. The eye is made of three layers. The  outermost is the sclera and cornea which keep the contents intact and maintain its  shape. The inner layer is the retina which is highly sophisticated neural tissue and  forms the image that is sent to the brain via the optic nerve. The middle layer is the  uvea and is responsible for the ‘housekeeping’ of the eye. It carries the blood  vessels, nerves, pigment cells and immune cells. It extends from the front to the 

back of the eye and at different parts is called differently. In the front is the Iris and  anterior part of the ciliary body (anterior uvea), in the middle is the posterior part of  the ciliary body (pars plana) (intermediate uvea) and posteriorly it is called the  choroid. 

Symptoms of Uveitis

The symptoms depend on the location of the uveitis. Anterior uveitis usually  presents as a painful, red eye with mild blurring of vision. In intermediate and  posterior uveitis, the eye is not so painful but the patient sees multiple small  floaters (like a dust storm) with or without blurring or severe loss of vision.

Causes of Uveitis

Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea. Inflammation is the body’s response to injury, or  trauma. To treat uveitis, doctors look for the cause of the trauma to the eye  however in the majority of cases a cause (as many as a third or half of all uveitis)  cannot be found. It is then believed that there may be an abnormal triggering of  the body’s immune system causing the uveitis (autoimmune diseases).Many times  the underlying condition may not be symptomatic & eye may be first organ to be  affected. 

Amongst the known causes uveitis can be caused by different kinds of organisms,  including a virus, bacteria , parasites or rarely fungus. Genes can play an  important role in uveitis.

 

In more than a third of all cases of anterior uveitis, the exact cause is unknown. 

Causes may include : 

Ankylosing Spondylitis : It is a type of arthritis that mainly affects the spine. This  can cause recurrent arthritis and prompt referral to orthopedic specialist can  prevent permanent changes. 

Reiter’s Syndrome is an inflammatory arthritis common in young men – often  caused by Chlamydia infection. 

Psoriatic Arthropathy is a form of arthritis that nearly a quarter of people with  psoriasis may develop. It causes pain, swelling and stiffness in joints. Psoriasis is  an immune-related disease of the skin and joints.