Uveitis (u-vee-i-tis) is inflammation of the uvea, the area of the eye that includes the iris, choroid, and the ciliary body in the eye. It can also affect nearby parts of the eye, like the retina, vitreous, and optic nerve. (See eye diagram below.)
Sometimes uveitis is caused by bacteria or a virus in the eye. This is called infectious uveitis. When uveitis is caused by something other than infection, it’s considered non-infectious uveitis.
Non-infectious uveitis can be acute, lasting for a short period of time, or chronic, lasting for a long period of time. The most severe types of non-infectious uveitis recur many times.
There are several types of non-infectious uveitis. Each type is named for the area of the eye that’s affected.
Also known as chronic cyclitis, vitritis, or pars planitis, this type of uveitis affects the middle of the eye, the ciliary body, the front of the retina, and the vitreous.
This is a type of uveitis that affects the back of the eye, including the choroid, retina, and optic nerve.
This type of uveitis is inflammation of all parts of the eye.
Non-infectious uveitis can be a chronic inflammatory condition. With non-infectious uveitis, there are several symptoms you may experience in one or both eyes.
A sudden appearance or worsening of symptoms is called a flare. Flares can recur over time. Symptoms can include:
Adjust your computer screen setting so the background is dark and the words are light. By adjusting the color so there’s greater contrast between the background and text, words may become more legible. For assistance adjusting your settings, try a web search on how to adjust the background on your particular device.
If you have pain, redness, or any changes in your vision, you should have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.
Your ophthalmologist will ask about your medical history, conduct lab work, as well as do a thorough examination, which may include:
It’s important to share your complete medical history, including any conditions you are currently being treated for. If you are diagnosed with non-infectious uveitis, your doctor may work with a rheumatologist to co-manage your condition.
Non-infectious uveitis is caused by inflammation, which can be very damaging; therefore, your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications.
Corticosteroids (also called steroids), such as prednisone, are medications that may be in the form of eye drops, pills, injections in or around your eye, intravenous infusions, or implants.
Your doctor may prescribe other medications, such as an immunosuppressive agent. Or your doctor may recommend treating non-infectious uveitis with a biologic.
Biologics are medicines that work to control inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions in the body.
It’s important to keep in mind that all medications have side effects. Make sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your health care provider.
*HUMIRA (adalimumab) is approved for the treatment of non-infectious intermediate, posterior, and panuveitis in adults and children 2 years of age and older.