What is anterior uveitis?
Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (the uvea) which consists of the iris and ciliary body. An anterior uveitis can also be referred to as an “iritis” or an “iridocyclitis.”
What are the symptoms of uveitis?
The most common symptoms include redness, pain, watering or tearing, burning sensation, and sensitivity to light. Uveitis may also cause blurred vision.
What causes uveitis?
The most common cause is trauma. There are many systemic causes including inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, syphilis, and sarcoidosis to name a few. Many times, uveitis cases are idiopathic, meaning that they have no known cause. You may be referred to your medical doctor to rule out some of these causes or to treat any underlying health conditions you may have.
How is anterior uveitis treated?
Anterior uveitis is typically treated with topical steroid eye drops and dilating eye drops to calm the inflammation in the eye and decrease pain and ciliary body muscle spasm. Most people are on these drops for several weeks. For more severe cases, oral steroids are prescribed.
What if it is not treated?
If left untreated, uveitis can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal edema. Untreated uveitis may result in permanent loss of vision. The good news is that uveitis usually responds well to treatment with no permanent effects on vision, if treated in a timely matter.
Can it happen to me again?
Unfortunately, the inflammation associated with anterior uveitis can reoccur. Call our office immediately if you experience the symptoms mentioned above.