Anterior Uveitis

Anterior uveitis is a condition that causes inflammation and redness of the iris, ciliary body and choroid. The inflamed tissue can lead to scarring, which can cause problems with vision.Anterior uveitis affects 1 in 10,000 people each year. It's more common in women than men and tends to affect young adults aged 15-35 years old. Uveitis is a nonspecific term that refers to inflammation of the uvea.

What causes anterior uveitis?

Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. This middle layer includes the iris (colored part of the eye) and adjacent tissue, known as the ciliary body. Anterior uveitis may be caused by a number of diseases and disorders, including:

  1. Allergic reactions
  2. Infections
  3. Immune disorders

Risk factors for anterior uveitis include:

  1. A personal or family history of iritis.
  2. Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and sarcoidosis.
  3. Eye injuries to the eye (such as a blow to the head that causes bleeding in the eye).
  4. Eye surgery to treat cataracts or other conditions.

The symptoms of anterior uveitis may include:

  1. Redness in the eye. This can look like a pink or purple ring around the white of your eye, and it might grow larger as time goes on.
  2. Pain in your eyes when you look at bright lights (photophobia).Your eyes may also be sensitive to light without any other symptoms(asymptomatic photophobia).
  3. Eye discharge that looks like pus or mucus coming from underneath the upper eyelid, although this is not always present.
  4. Blurred vision in one or both eyes caused by inflammation of the cornea and retina.


Diagnosis of anterior uveitis is based on your symptoms, physical examination and imaging tests.

An optometrist will examine your eyes with a special light source (retinoscopy). This helps track how well the retina is functioning and helps determine if there are any areas of inflammation or damage to the retina. If you have pain in one or both eyes, an injection of numbing medicine may be given before this test so that it does not hurt as much.

Blood tests can be done to rule out other causes for the symptoms (such as allergies) and to check for signs of infection in your body that can cause anterior uveitis.

Imaging tests such as MRI scans or CT scans can help determine if there are any changes in structures deep within your eye that could be causing symptoms like increased pressure inside the eye or swelling around blood vessels leading into tissues where disease develops within them known collectively as "uveitis" but specifically designated by location such as iritis which only affects iris tissue itself versus pan-retinal photocoagulation therapy which affects all layers including outermost retinal layer called RPE layer where photoreceptors reside


When to see a doctor

If you have a sudden, severe eye pain or vision changes.

If you have a family history of uveitis, autoimmune disease or eye injury.

If you have had any eye surgery in the past.

If you are experiencing new eye infections (especially if they are accompanied by redness).

Anterior uveitis can be painful and cause vision problems. Early treatment is important to avoid permanent

Anterior uveitis is an inflammation of the middle layer of your eye. It can cause pain and blurry vision, as well as being a sign of serious health problems.

Early treatment is important to avoid permanent vision loss.


Anterior uveitis is a serious condition. It can cause vision problems, and untreated inflammation can lead to permanent vision loss. If you experience symptoms of uveitis such as eye pain, redness or light sensitivity, see your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend treatment with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It's important that you follow his or her instructions carefully so that the treatment works properly without any harmful side effects.