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.
There are 3 types of uveitis. They are based on which part of the uvea is affected.
Intermediate uveitis is a form of uveitis localized to the vitreous and peripheral retina. Primary sites of inflammation include the vitreous of which other such entities as pars planitis, posterior cyclitis, and hyalitis are encompassed. Intermediate uveitis may either be an isolated eye disease or associated with the development of a systemic disease such as multiple sclerosis or sarcoidosis. As such, intermediate uveitis may be the first expression of a systemic condition. Infectious causes of intermediate uveitis include Epstein-Barr virus infection, Lyme disease, HTLV-1 virus infection, cat scratch disease, and hepatitis C.
Permanent loss of vision is most commonly seen in patients with chronic cystoid macular edema (CME). Every effort must be made to eradicate CME when present. Other less common causes of visual loss include retinal detachment, glaucoma, band keratopathy, cataract, vitreous hemorrhage, epiretinal membrane and choroidal neovascularization.