Anterior Uveitis (also called iritis) is an inflammatory condition affecting the iris, the coloured part of your eye. It causes pain – usually a sharp ache in or around your eye, which may be worse on focusing or in bright light.
Attacks can develop suddenly or gradually and can affect one or both eyes. Anterior Uveitis should be treated promptly as leaving inflammation inside the eye can cause secondary problems such as cataract and glaucoma.
What are the causes?
In over 75% of our patients no cause can be found. In others it can be associated with other inflammatory conditions in the body such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or an infection.
What are the symptoms?
Anterior uveitis is most common acute and painful, presenting with a red eye and sensitivity to light, however a minority of patients will develop chronic anterior uveitis, which can be painless but still lead to secondary structural problems within the eye.
Treatment and recovery
If you have just had one episode of Anterior Uveitis, it’s unlikely that you’ll need blood tests or X-rays. We tend to investigate patients who have recurrent episodes or those who also have other problems going on in their body.
Anterior uveitis is treated with eye drops, and you are usually given three types that work together:
- Steroid eye drops to reduce the inflammation
- Dilating eye drops to relieve pain and help the eye to rest
- Drops to reduce your eye pressure, which may have gone up because of the inflammation or the use of steroid eye drops
Long-term use of the steroid drops causes particular eye concerns, so your clinical team will be keen to take you off them at the earliest possible opportunity.
Attacks can last for varying lengths of time, but treatment tends to be for 6-8 weeks. Your symptoms should clear up within a few days but you will need to keep taking the treatment for longer while the inflammation subsides. If symptoms persist, you should go to see an eye specialist immediately.
Moorfields Private Eye Hospital and Covid-19: Keeping our patients and staff safe
We know some patients are feeling anxious about coming in for their appointments at the moment, but we want to reassure you with the measures we have put in place to help protect you. Moorfields Private is in a unique position as Moorfields Eye Hospital has been open for emergencies and sight saving eye care throughout the entire covid-19 pandemic. This experience has given Moorfields Private a wealth of knowledge around how best to protect patients and staff in these challenging times, while continuing to deliver world-leading eye care.
Further information about our safety measures can be found here.
For further information about Moorfields Private Eye Hospital’s services contact our New Patient Team on:
Freephone: 0800 3283 421