Anterior uveitis is inflammation inside of the eye; affecting the anterior uvea (iris and ciliary body). This disease causes redness, cloudiness, and typically squinting and a decrease in functional vision depending on the severity. Sometimes, especially in severe or untreated cases, it can cause glaucoma (increased pressure within the eye) by limiting the fluid that exits from the eye.
There are many different causes of uveitis including an over-zealous immune system, trauma, or secondary to life-threatening illnesses such as certain systemic infections and tumors. Many factors are considered when working up and treating uveitis, such as duration and severity of disease, physical exam findings, travel history and housing arrangements (i.e. indoor or outdoor pet). Our goal is to determine the cause of the inflammation, or at least rule out specific diseases, and to initiate therapy to gain control of the inflammation. Comprehensive blood work may be recommended to aid in identifying an underlying cause. Persistent or untreated anterior uveitis can lead to scarring, glaucoma, and/or a permanent loss of vision, thus prompt evaluation and treatment at the first sign of symptoms is key.