Uveitis occurs when the middle layer of the eyeball gets inflamed (red and swollen). This layer, called the uvea, has many blood vessels that nourish the eye. Uveitis can damage vital eye tissue, leading to permanent vision loss.
You are more likely to get uveitis if you have or have had:
- infections such as shingles virus, herpes simplex virus, syphilis, Lyme disease, and parasites such as toxoplasmosis.
- a systemic inflammatory disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- an eye injury
Smoking (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) also increases your risk of getting uveitis.
Uveitis can develop suddenly. Symptoms can include:
- having a red eye with or without pain
- being very sensitive to bright light
- having blurry vision
- seeing “floaters” (specks or moving clouds in your vision) all of a sudden