The uvea is made up of the iris (coloured part of the eye), the ciliary body (ring of muscle behind the iris) and the choroid (layer of tissue that supports the retina).
Inflammation of the uvea usually causes a red eye, sometimes with cloudy vision, and it may be painful (see Symptoms, below, for more information).
Uveitis may be caused by an injury, infection or underlying disease (see Causes). If it is not treated, the eyesight can be seriously damaged.
Who is affected?
Uveitis can affect anyone. It particularly affects people of working age but can also occur in children.
Different types of uveitis
The type of uveitis depends on which part of the eye is affected:
the most common type of uveitis, accounting for 75% of cases.
- Anterior uveitis. This is inflammation of the iris (iritis) or inflammation of the iris and the ciliary body (iridocyclitis). It is
- Intermediate uveitis. This affects the area behind the ciliary body and the retina. It tends to occur in childen, teenagers and young
- Posterior uveitis. This affects the area at the back of the eye, the choroid and the retina.
Acute uveitis lasts for a few weeks and can recur, whereas chronic uveitis lasts for more than three months, with symptoms that can vary from day to day.
If you have uveitis, it may have implications on your fitness to drive. See Useful links, above, to find out how to inform the DVLA about medical conditions.