Uveitis

  • Medical Author:
    Patricia S. Bainter, MD

    Dr. Bainter is a board-certified ophthalmologist. She received her BA from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and her MD from the University of Colorado in Denver, CO. She completed an internal medicine internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO, followed by an ophthalmology residency and a cornea and external disease fellowship, both at the University of Colorado. She became board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1998 and recertified in 2008. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Bainter practices general ophthalmology including cataract surgery and management of corneal and anterior segment diseases. She has volunteered in eye clinics in the Dominican Republic and Bosnia. She currently practices at One to One Eye Care in San Diego, CA.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What are the signs of uveitis?

The eyes are often red and typically a deeper red than that seen in pinkeye (conjunctivitis).

Aside from the redness of the eye(s), the only other visible signs of uveitis are microscopic and can be seen by an ophthalmologist or optometrist using a slit lamp microscope. Inflammatory white blood cells can be visualized in and around the uvea.

What are the different types of uveitis?

The different types of uveitis are classified based on which parts of the uvea are affected: iritis (iris), cyclitis or intermediate uveitis (ciliary body), choroiditis (choroid), or panuveitis (all three parts of the uvea).

Different types are then further classified by cause: autoimmune (when associated with an autoimmune disease in the body), infectious (when caused by a bacteria, virus, fungus, or parasite), traumatic (after trauma to either eye), or idiopathic (no identifiable cause).

What other medical conditions are associated with uveitis?

Several autoimmune diseases can be associated with uveitis: sarcoidosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few. Several infections in the body can also be associated: tuberculosis, Lyme disease, syphilis, herpes zoster (shingles), and others.

What specialties treat uveitis?

If an associated medical disease is suspected, your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) may ask you to see other doctors, as well. A primary-care doctor or pediatrician will likely be involved in the work-up, and additional specialists such as a rheumatologist or infectious-disease doctor may be consulted.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/20/2016

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