Uveitis is inflammation of the middle part of the eye, the uvea, which sits beneath the cornea and the sclera, the white part of the eyes. Uveitis affects this region, which includes the iris. In the U.S., there are over 40,000 newly diagnosed cases annually, with a wide range of causes. However it develops, uveitis is serious and needs immediate attention. Unfortunately, because the condition can be misidentified as other, less serious issues, diagnosis can be challenging and treatment delayed, in some cases.
There are four types of uveitis. Anterior uveitis affects the front part of the eye and comes on suddenly. The anterior uvea is primarily composed of the area around the pupil and part of the ciliary body, which produces the fluid that fills the front of the eye. During an examination, the optometrist may notice the inflamed cells in the anterior chamber, the space with watery fluid. Untreated, anterior uveitis increases the risk of glaucoma and retinal edema.
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