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DESCRIPTION: Broadly defined: an inflammation of the uveal tract (one or all three parts); has many causes, but often the cause is unknown; common mainly among young and middle-age groups. Two types are distinguished: non-granulomatous (which occurs mainly in the iris and ciliary body) and granulomatous (which commonly occurs in the posterior, or choroid/retina area). Non-granulomatous uveitis is the more common type and is typified by acute onset, pain, photophobia, blurred vision, a small and irregular pupil, and a marked circumcorneal flush; there is usually no vitreous haze; it is usually unilateral. Recurrence is common, but the prognosis is good. Granulomatous uveitis is characterized by an insidious onset, minimal or no pain, only slight photophobia, blurred vision, a small and irregular pupil, and often a vitreous haze; prognosis is fair to poor. Uveitis is associated with other diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, toxocariasis, pars planitis, sympathetic ophthalmia, sarcoidosis). Anterior uveitis may cause glaucoma or cataract, vitreous degeneration, and retinal detachment. Posterior uveitis nearly always involves both choroid and retina (chorioretinitis), leaving scars and scotomas.

TREATMENT: Treatment for nongranulomatous uveitis includes warm compresses (10 minutes, 3-4 times a day), systemic analgesics for pain, dark glasses for photophobia, and dilation of the pupil with atropine; local steroid drops are also effective. Systemic steroids may be indicated in severe and unresponsive cases.

Granulomatous uveitis is commonly treated with mydriatics and cortlcosteroids.

(see also Chorioretinitis and Toxoplasmosis)

IMPLICATIONS: Because the types, causes, and treatments vary in uveitis, medical diagnosis and treatment is essential. School children's learning environments may require temporary adjustments or long-term adaptations, depending on the type and extent of the uveitis.

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