Uveitis

Uveitis is an inflammation, or swelling and tenderness, of the middle layer of the eye. This area includes the colored part of the eye (iris), muscles, and blood vessels.

Uveitis may develop in people who have:

  • Other diseases that cause chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • A herpes infection that affects the eye.
  • Advanced-stage cataracts that leak fluid into the front (anterior) chamber of the eye. However, most cataracts are treated before uveitis develops.

Iritis and iridocyclitis are other terms that refer to inflammation of the middle layer of the eye.

Treatment for uveitis depends on its cause.

Last Updated: June 25, 2008

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology

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