How is uveitis treated?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Several treatment options are available for uveitis. These include surgery, antibiotics or antiviral medication, immunosuppressive or cytotoxic agents, and anti-inflammatory medication. Very often, corticosteroids are administered as eye drops. Drugs such as scopolamine and homatropine are also used as drops to dilate the pupil. Surgery entails removal of the jelly-like material in the eye (vitrectomy) and might be necessary to diagnose and manage uveitis. Cytotoxic agents are used if uveitis responds poorly to corticosteroids.
How is uveitis treated?  Uveitis (commonly called "iritis" when it involves the front of the eye) is inflammation of a specific group of tissues inside the eye (including one or more of the following: iris, ciliary body, and choroid). Treatment may include medications delivered by drops, ointments, pills, infusions, injections around or in the eye, or special implants. Delay in diagnosis can make episodes more difficult to treat. See your eye doctor immediately if you believe that you have uveitis or iritis.

Uveitis is a serious eye condition that may scar the eye. It needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Eyedrops, especially corticosteroids and pupil dilators, can reduce inflammation and pain. For more severe inflammation, oral medication or injections may be necessary.

Uveitis can be associated with these complications:

  • Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
  • Cataract (clouding of the eye’s natural lens)
  • Neovascularization (growth of new, abnormal blood vessels)
  • Damage to the retina, including retinal detachment. 
These complications may also need treatment with eyedrops, conventional surgery or laser surgery.

If you have a “red eye” that does not clear up quickly, contact your ophthalmologist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.