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Uveitis is inflammation of the eye that can affect the iris, ciliary body, or choroid. Other structures such as the retina and cornea can also be involved. It is the third leading cause of blindness in the United States. Uveitis affects women and men, all age groups, and all races.

There are approximately sixty different causes of uveitis. Approximately 50% of patients with uveitis may have an underlying infectious disease or systemic autoimmune condition associated with inflammation in their eye. Infections such as tuberculosis, syphilis, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and Herpes viruses can cause uveitis. Patients with systemic diseases such as sarcoidosis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are also at risk of developing uveitis. Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are particularly susceptible to uveitis. In rare instances, uveitis may be due to cancer.

Symptoms of Uveitis

The symptoms of uveitis vary, depending on the location of the inflammation in the eye. Symptoms may be:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Floaters
  • Photopsias (flashes of light) 
  • Loss of vision


The treatment for uveitis depends on the individual patient and the underlying cause of their inflammation. It can range from antibiotic therapy to local steroid injections or implants to systemic immunosuppressive therapy (chemotherapy). 

Uveitis Chronic and Serious

Jeremiah Tao

Find a Provider

Whether you need a routine eye exam or care for complex vision problems, the internationally respected ophthalmologists at the UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute will provide you with the highest quality of care to treat your vision problems. 

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Find a Location

The UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute has locations in Orange at the UCI Medical Center, and also in Irvine on the UCI Campus.