Treatment will prevent long-term visual problems

Uveitis is inflammation that can affect the front part of the eye (most common), the middle layer and/or the back part of the eye.

Symptoms

Inflammation of the eye causing loss of vision, pain, swelling and redness.

When to see a doctor

If left untreated, uveitis can lead to long-term scarring and visual loss or blindness.

Uveitis is not a disease itself – it can be a manifestation of an underlying disease or condition. There are many different possible causes of uveitis, including health conditions, injury or infections. Common systemic conditions associated with uveitis include:

  • autoimmune diseases
  • infectious diseases
  • masquerade diseases eg malignancy.

If you have uveitis, your ophthalmologist will conduct a series of tests to diagnose the cause and particular type of inflammation.

Uveitis requires urgent treatment to prevent long-term visual problems.

Treatment for uveitis involves addressing the inflammation as well as identifying the underlying cause. It is important to uncover the source of the inflammation so you can be treated appropriately.

Treatments for uveitis can include:

  • injections or other forms of medication – including anti-inflammatories, antibiotics or antivirals
  • referral – to another specialist such as a rheumatologist specialising in autoimmune diseases if warranted
  • eye drops – eg steroids, which can reduce inflammation.

Medication is generally the main treatment, though surgery may be recommended for particularly severe cases, or for eye conditions that can result from uveitis (such and cataract and/or glaucoma).

As part of your ongoing care, your doctor may need to collaborate with other medical specialists in order to effectively treat and manage the cause of your uveitis – especially if it is related to a complex systemic disorder.

  • To identify and manage underlying systemic disorders if any, and to treat associated uveitis early and adequately to prevent long term eye complications.
  • Maintain a healthy immune system and replace vitamin levels (such as vitamin D) if appropriate.
  • No smoking.
  • To identify and treat infective causes of uveitis appropriately and to prevent and manage second eye or systemic involvement.
  • L Grotting et. al. Association of low Vitamin D levels with noninfectious anterior uveitis. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017 Feb 1;135(2):150-153
  • E Darian-Smith et al. The incidence of Ocular Tuberculosis in Australia over the past 10 years (2006-2015). Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2017 Sept; 24(6):1-7.