Posterior uveitis is inflammation of the back segment of the uvea. The uvea is the middle layer of the eye. Posterior uveitis affects the retina and choroid, which are layers found in the back of the eye. The retina has the rods and cones that allow you to see.
Posterior uveitis is a potentially serious condition. Posterior uveitis requires care from your doctor to prevent vision loss.
Normal Anatomy of the Eye
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Posterior uveitis may be caused by infection or by autoimmune disorders. It may also appear as a result of an infection in the past.
Factors that may increase your chance of posterior uveitis include:
Posterior uveitis may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
To prepare for a complete eye exam, drops may be put in your eyes to numb them and to dilate your pupils. The slit lamp, a special microscope to examine the eye, will focus a high-powered beam of light into your eye to examine the cornea and other eye structures. The doctor may measure the pressure in your eyes.
Your bodily fluids may be tested to determine a possible cause. This can be done with blood tests.
Most often treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms of posterior uveitis until it goes away. It is important to follow treatment recommendations to prevent complications or recurrence.
Focus may be on treating the underlying cause.
Posterior uveitis may be treated with:
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Bou G, Figueroa MS, et al. Value of PCR for detection of Toxoplasma gondii in aqueous humor and blood samples from immunocompetent patients with ocular toxoplasmosis. J Clin Microbiol. 1999;37(11):3465-3468.
Facts about uveitis. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/uveitis/uveitis. Updated August 2011. Accessed November 4, 2015.
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Posterior uveitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T326288/Posterior-uveitis. Updated September 18, 2016. Accessed September 26, 2016.
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1/28/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T326288/Posterior-uveitis: Berrébi A, Assouline C, Bessieres MH, et al. Long-term outcome of children with congenital toxoplasmosis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;203(6):552.e1-e6.
Last reviewed November 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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