What Is Uveitis?
Uveitis occurs when the middle layer of the eyeball gets red and swollen. This layer, called the uvea, has many blood vessels that keep the eye nourished. The uvea has three layers. Anterior uveitis affects the forepart layer of the uvea, which is closest to the white of the eye and the iris, anterior uveitis can damage the blood vessels in the uvea, causing vision loss. Anterior uveitis is also known as iritis.
What Are Symptoms Of Anterior Uveitis?
Anterior uveitis can develop suddenly. Symptoms can include:
- red eye with/without pain
- being very sensitive to bright light
- having blurry vision
Anterior uveitis usually starts suddenly and symptoms can last up to eight weeks. Some forms of anterior uveitis are ongoing, while others check-in and out. Contact your ophthalmologist right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
- a specific gene in your body (called the HLA-B27 gene) taken certain medications shingles and other herpes viruses a sexually transmitted disease called syphilis, an infection of the lungs called tuberculosis a systemic inflammatory disease such as sarcoidosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), or psoriasis.
- an eye injury
What Causes Anterior Uveitis?
Doctors do not always know what causes anterior uveitis. But you are more likely to get it if you have or have had:
Smoking (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) may also increase your risk of getting anterior uveitis. In 50 percent (half) of anterior uveitis cases, no cause is found.
How Is Anterior Uveitis Diagnosed?
An ophthalmologist will examine your eye. Since anterior uveitis is often tied to other diseases or conditions, some tests may be needed. This may include a physical exam, blood or skin tests, examination of eye fluids, and imaging tests like x-rays. An ophthalmologist may ask about other diseases or health problems you have had in your history.