Anterior Uveitis, also known as iritis, is inflammation within the front cavity of the eye. Symptoms are varied and often include pain, redness, light sensitivity, floaters and blurry vision. One or both eyes may be affected. Inflammatory and infectious disease may trigger the condition, although in over 50% of patients the cause is never determined. Vision loss can occur due to scarring in either the front or back of the eye. Inflammation can cause the retinal vessels to leak. If sufficient fluid leaks into the retina, the retina will swell and the vision will be reduced. This is called macular edema.
The HLA B-27 antigen, a genetic marker which individuals are born with, is the most common detectable cause of uveitis. People who have the HLA B-27 antigen experience inflammation of many organs including the eye, boney joints, intestinal tract and skin.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is also associated with uveitis.
Syphilis, and other infectious disorders, may cause uveitis.
Topical corticosteroid drops are the mainstay of treatment for uveitis. In resistant or severe cases, oral steroids may also be used. In severe, chronic cases non-steroidal systemic agents such as Methotrexate and Cyclosporin may be recommended. Periocular steroid injections may also be used.
Surgical removal of scar tissue may be necessary to restore vision.
Intravitreal injections of steroid or anti VEGF antibody (Avastin) may be beneficial, especially when macular edema is present.
Long acting implants may be surgically placed in the eye in recalcitrant cases.