Anterior Uveitis

(Uveitis; Iritis; Iridocyclitis)

How to Say It: You-vee-eye-tis


Anterior uveitis is inflammation of the middle layer (uvea) of the eye. Care is needed right away to prevent vision loss.

Normal Anatomy of the Eye

AR00032_labeled eye
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In some people, the cause is not known. In others, it may be caused by trauma linked to other health problems, such as:

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in people who are 20 to 40 years of age. People who have a specific faulty gene are also at higher risk.


Problems may be:

  • Red, sore, and watering eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Changes in pupil shape

Symptoms of Uveitis—Red, Sore, Watering Eyes

Eye Inflammation
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The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. An eye exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.


Any underlying causes will be treated. The overall goal of treatment is to ease symptoms until the problem goes away. Options are:


Medicine may be given to:

  • Eye drops to widen the pupils in order to ease pain
  • Corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease inflammation
  • Lower pressure in the eye

Rarely, people who are not helped by these methods may need surgery.


There are no known methods to prevent this health problem.


Iritis Organization
National Eye Institute


Canadian Association of Optometrists
Canadian Ophthalmological Society


Anterior uveitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed August 17, 2021.
Facts about uveitis. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at: Accessed August 17, 2021.
Iritis overview. Iritis Organization website. Available at:
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Accessed August 17, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 8/17/2021

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