Uveitis and Scleritis

Learning more about Uveitis and Scleritis

Scleritis is caused by inflammation of blood vessels supplying the white part of the eye (sclera). About 50% of the time, scleritis is associated with a systemic autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. Scleritis can be distinguished from conjunctivitis, a much more benign condition, by the extent of eye pain experienced by patients with scleritis. Untreated scleritis can lead to thinning and even perforation of the eye wall. Treatment of scleritis may include oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, oral steroids and/or complex immunosuppressive medications.

A patient with diffuse anterior scleritis

Uveitis is a generic term for inflammation affecting the inside of the eye. Symptoms of uveitis include eye redness, light sensitivity, floaters in the vision, flashing lights and blurry vision. There are 30 or more distinct types of uveitis. Uveitis may be caused by autoimmune conditions or infections which may affect the entire body or which may be isolated to the eye. Appropriate management of uveitis involves laboratory testing to look for systemic infections and autoimmune conditions as well as multimodal ocular imaging to better understand the extent of disease. Uveitis may only need treatment for a few weeks or may require lifelong treatment. Regardless of the cause of uveitis, prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential to preserve vision.

A patient with nodular scleritis

A patient with inflammation in the retina caused by a toxoplasma infection

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