Uveitis is inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, called the uvea or uveal tract. It can cause eye pain and changes to your vision.
Most cases get better with treatment – usually steroid medicine. But sometimes uveitis can lead to further eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts.
The sooner uveitis is treated, the more successful treatment is likely to be.
Symptoms of uveitis
Symptoms of uveitis include:
eye pain – usually a dull ache in or around your eye, which may be worse when focusing
sensitivity to light (photophobia)
blurred or cloudy vision
small shapes moving across your field of vision (floaters)
loss of the ability to see objects at the side of your field of vision (peripheral vision)
The symptoms can develop suddenly or gradually over a few days. One or both eyes may be affected by uveitis.
When to get medical advice
Contact a GP as soon as possible if you have persistent eye pain or an unusual change in your vision, particularly if you've had previous episodes of uveitis.
The GP may refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) who will examine your eye in more detail.
The specialist may suggest further tests if uveitis is diagnosed, including eye scans, X-rays and blood tests. It's important to establish the cause of uveitis because it will help determine what treatment is needed.
Steroid medicine is the main treatment for uveitis. It can help reduce inflammation inside your eye.
Different types of steroid medicines are recommended, depending on the type of uveitis. For example:
eyedrops are often used for uveitis that affects the front of the eye
injections, tablets and capsules are usually used to treat uveitis that affects the middle and back of the eye
Additional treatment may also be needed. This might be eyedrops to relieve pain or in some cases, surgery.