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What Is Uveitis?

Eye problems often are not serious. But some, like uveitis, can be. Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea. This fragile tissue lies just behind the sclera (the white outer layer of the eye). Uveitis requires prompt treatment by an eye doctor. Without proper care, uveitis can damage vision.

How Is Your Eye Affected?

Uveitis most often inflames the iris (iritis). Since the iris opens and closes the pupil (the hole through which light enters the eye), uveitis can cause pain and sensitivity to light. Often the eye gets red. Vision may become blurred, or you may see spots floating in your eye. Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. Untreated, it can worsen and lead to more severe eye diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts, or even loss of vision.

Cross section side view of eye showing pupil and lens behind pupil. Sclera is white covering of eye. Iris is colored part of eye and controls movement of pupil. Ciliary body is muscle attached to lens of eye. Choroid lies just behind sclera and contains blood vessels to nourish eye. Uvea is made up of iris, ciliary body, and choroid. Inflammation of any one of these is uveitis. Closeup front view of eye showing inflamed blood vessels making eye appear red.

Online Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  http://www.epa.gov/asthma/pets.html
American Lung Association  http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35622

© 2000-2011 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.