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What Is Uveitis?


Uveitis is a condition where there is swelling or inflammation in the middle coloured layer of the eye called the Uvea. It affects people in different ways depending on which part of the Uvea is affected, typically affecting people aged between 20 and 59 but it can occur at any age.

There are a wide range of potential causes of uveitis, many cases are thought to be related to our body’s immune system - called autoimmune disorder (where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue).

Symptoms you may notice

  • Pain in one or both eyes

  • Redness of the eye

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Eyeball feels tender

  • Vision may be slightly blurred

  • Floaters

Types of Uveitis

The Uvea is made up of:

  • The Iris (coloured part of the eye)

  • Ciliary body (Ring of muscle around the iris)

  • Choroid (layer of tissue that supports the retina)

  • Uveitis occurs when the Uvea becomes inflamed.

Anterior - This is the most common form. Inflammation of the iris, sometimes called ‘iritis’.

Intermediate - Affecting the area around the ciliary body.

Posterior uveitis - Affecting the area at the back of the eye, the choroid and the retina.




For most people and depending upon the level of inflammation, a course of steroid eye drops is all the treatment needed to clear up the inflammation. Several different types of steroid medication may be used depending upon the type of uveitis you have.


Eye drops are often used for uveitis at the front of the eye whilst injections and tablets are more commonly used to treat the back and middle of the eye.

Temporary relief of your symptoms

  • If your eyes become sensitive to light, you may like to wear dark glasses.

  • If your eye is sore, place a warm flannel over the eye to soothe it.

  • It is advisable to see your GP or Ophthalmologist if you suspect you may have uveitis


The sooner uveitis is treated, the better it responds to treatment.


For more detailed information on uveitis , please visit: or telephone the rnib helpline 0303 123 9999. Mon-Fri 8.45 to 5.30pm. Uveitis information group email:

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