Here you can discover the most important eye diseases and we will help you to recognise their symptoms and tell you how each condition is treated.
What is uveitis?
Uveitis is an inflammation of one or more parts of the uvea (the membrane between the sclera or white of the eye and the retina): the iris (which gives the eye its colour), the ciliary body or the choroid (which lies behind the iris and the retina). The uvea is the tissue with the most blood vessels in the human body, making it highly sensitive to infection and inflammation, which can damage vital eye tissue and potentially lead to permanent vision loss in some cases.
The presence of certain factors can increase the risk of having uveitis:
- Immune-mediated diseases such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis or spondyloarthropathies
- Infectious diseases such as herpes, tuberculosis, syphilis or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Eye injury caused by impact or surgery
- Certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma, leukaemia and melanoma
The symptoms of uveitis vary according to the area affected:
- Anterior uveitis: it can present redness, eye pain, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
- Posterior uveitis: it usually involves less pain, but does lead to loss of vision.
It is important to see an ophthalmologist immediately if any of these symptoms occur, as uveitis cannot be diagnosed until the first external signs appear.
There are different treatments depending on the type and location of uveitis:
- Anterior uveitis is mostly treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops.
- Non-infectious posterior uveitis is treated with corticosteroids administered either orally or locally through infiltrations around the eye. Intraocular injections can also be used.
- Chronic forms of uveitis may require the use of immunomodulatory drugs.
- Cases of uveitis do not usually require surgery, although it can be used to treat complications associated with uveitis, such as glaucoma, cataracts or retinal detachment.