Looking for something?

Find it in our extensive resource library!

Smart Filters

  • Reset
  • Services

  • Who it's for

  • What it’s about

  • Format

View: 638

Download: 7


What is uveitis?

The ‘uve’ in uveitis describes the uveal tract, which includes:

  • the iris (the coloured part of the eye at the front of the eye)
  • the ciliary body (the ring of muscle behind the iris)
  • the choroid (the layer of tissue lining the inside of the eye behind the retina)

Uveitis is the name for inflammation of the uvea. The ending ‘itis’ means inflammation.

A diagram showing the different parts of the eye.

Where in my eye do I have uveitis?

Uveitis can occur in any part of the eye.

If it occurs in the iris and ciliary body (the front of the eye) it is known as anterior uveitis.

If the uveitis is in the ciliary body, then the jelly in the middle of the eye (vitreous) can be affected and become cloudy. This is called intermediate uveitis.

Inflammation in the choroid, which can involve the retina or retinal vessels, is known as posterior uveitis and can also cause clouding of the vitreous jelly.

If the uveitis is present in all parts of the eye it is known as pan uveitis.

What causes uveitis?

There are different causes of uveitis, some of which are:

  • Infection, this could be viral or bacterial and even parasitic.
  • Trauma and injury to the eye can lead to uveitis.
  • Autoimmune disease. An inflammatory response in other parts of the body can also involve eyes. One of the more common conditions associated with uveitis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
  • Idiopathic. Sometimes no cause is ever found, in which case it is called ‘idiopathic’ meaning cause unknown.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms that may be experienced are:

  • redness of the eye
  • pain
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • blurred or cloudy vision
  • loss or reduction of vision
  • loss or reduction of peripheral vision (the ability to see objects at the side of your field of vision)
  • floaters (debris in the vitreous jelly appear as dots in your vision)
  • synechiae (irregular shaped pupil) caused by inflammation in the anterior chamber of the eye.

It is important to note that not everyone will experience symptoms, and not having symptoms does not mean that you no longer have uveitis.

How is uveitis treated?

Uveitis can be treated with eye drops.

The most common eye drops used to treat uveitis are an anti-inflammatory steroid drop. For some people a pupil-enlarging drop (dilating) is necessary as well.

Sometimes drops are not enough to treat the uveitis. If this is the case, you may need stronger medication. This may be taken by mouth or by injection. You will have a lot of support with this from the nurse specialists, who will be more than happy to advise you.

How often will I need to come to appointments?

It is important to remember that the nature of uveitis is that it is often without any symptoms in children. Damage may be occurring to the eye without anyone knowing. This can lead to loss or reduction of vision. This is why it is crucial for the ophthalmologist to be able to examine the back and front of the eye for signs of disease progression on a regular basis.

For this reason, it is really important that you attend all of your appointments. If, for any reason, you are unable to attend your appointment please contact the specialist nurse or the ophthalmology secretaries to make alternative arrangements.

What will happen in the future?

The outlook for people with uveitis varies greatly but, with regular checks and drug management, uveitis can be well managed and controlled with good visual outcomes.

There are however, some children that develop uveitis-related complications such us glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachments, which may require surgery. This is especially the case if treatment is not followed. Attending every appointment and taking all recommended medication is therefore crucial in the overall outcome of your child’s eyesight.

Contact us

Uveitis nurses Gisella Cooper, Eleanor Grant and Samantha Bull on: 0114 271 7786 or email: rheumatology.nurses@nhs.net

Ophthalmology secretaries:
Joanne Wild 0114 271 7713
Sarah Hayes 0114 271 7468
Lavinia Clarke 0114 271 7520

Rheumatology secretary Paula Sharrock on 0114 271 7726.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

Contact us


Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

How useful did you find this resource?*


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.