The uvea is a part of your eye that exists in the middle layer between the sclera and the retina. You’re most familiar with the part of the uvea you see, which is the iris, or colored part of your eye. Uveitis occurs when inflammation begins to impact the uvea, and you might notice symptoms such as pain, blurry vision, or sensitivity to light when it occurs.
Although uveitis is relatively rare, it is, unfortunately, the third leading cause of blindness in the world. Learning about the different types of uveitis helps you to understand what your retina doctor in Brooklyn is talking about during your exam and discussion of your treatment plan.
This type is the most common, accounting for 30 to 90% of all uveitis cases. Anterior uveitis affects the front part of your eye, which is around the iris. It is typically described as acute, which means that the symptoms begin quickly and clear up within six weeks. Due to its acute nature, people with this type tend to have a good prognosis for recovery.
When the inflammation affects the ciliary body of your eye along with the vitreous fluid, it is called intermediate uveitis. This type is the rarest, but it does tend to affect young adults the most. People with this type sometimes find that their symptoms go away and worsen. While they may not have pain, they do tend to describe symptoms such as blurry vision and seeing floaters that impact their daily activities.
The posterior type of uveitis affects the inner part of the eye, which includes the retina and optic nerve. Due to its proximity to the optic nerve, which carries images that you see from the retina to your brain for processing, the symptoms can be quite severe. If you have posterior uveitis, then you need to know that it can become chronic, or you might have recurrent uveitis that comes and goes for years. Since it occurs in the back of your eye, you’ll need a professional eye exam to make an accurate diagnosis.
Rarely, uveitis will affect all of the parts of your eye. When this happens, your risk of permanent vision loss increases. Similar to other types of uveitis, you might have an underlying health condition that affects the severity of the inflammation. If you have bacterial or fungal retinitis, lupus, or sarcoidosis, then you are at a higher risk of having panuveitis. When you have a known condition that can cause inflammation in your eye, then it is important to see your ophthalmologist regularly.
The treatment for uveitis can involve using prescription eye drops or steroid pills to reduce inflammation. Occasionally, injections might be necessary to place the medication in the eye where they can get to work faster. Your treatment plan will depend upon multiple factors that include the type of uveitis that you have along with your other health conditions and age. Working with Brookly, NY eye specialists gives you the best chance of preserving your vision.