Anterior uveitis

Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. This layer includes the iris (colored part of the eye) and the adjacent tissue, known as the ciliary body. If untreated, it can cause permanent damage and loss of vision from the development of glaucoma, cataract or retinal edema.

Anterior uveitis usually responds well to treatment; however, the condition tends to recur. Treatment usually includes prescription eye drops, which dilate the pupils, in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs. Treatment usually takes several days or, in some cases, several weeks.

Anterior uveitis can result from a trauma to the eye, such as being hit in the eye or having a foreign body in the eye. It can also be associated with general health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, syphilis, tuberculosis, sarcoid, viral (herpes simplex, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus) or idiopathic, which is no obvious underlying cause.

Signs/symptoms may include:

  • Red, sore and inflamed eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Small (or irregular-shaped) pupil

The symptoms of anterior uveitis are similar to those of other eye conditions. Therefore, your doctor of optometry will carefully examine the front and inside of your eye under a microscope, using high magnification to determine if you have this condition. Your doctor may also perform or arrange for other diagnostic tests to help pinpoint the cause.

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