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Uveitis – Another …itis?

The white spots on the back are common in Uveitis - they are called keratic precipitates

A medical term ending in “itis” means that we are dealing with an inflammation, in this case an inflammation of the eye, and to be more specific the iris and connected tissue called the uvea.

The iris is the part of the eye that surrounds the cornea and gives us the colour that makes our eyes different from one another, and contains the pupil at its centre, regulating the amount of light coming in.

Uveitis is a general term for inflammation in the middle layer of the eye which extends from the front at the iris to the retina at the back.  There are three distinct categories of uveitis, depending on its position within the eye:

•    Anterior Uveitis

Anterior meaning “at the front” this category of inflammation is right at the iris itself, and makes up the most common of the three, up to 90% of the total, so much that it’s given its own name – Iritis.

The renaming of the most common Uveitis as Iritis has led the medical fraternity to interchange the term frequently when diagnosing and treating, since they are of essentially the same thing.

Anterior Uveitis can be further sub-divided into two groups according to the period of treatment required – a few weeks or a few months, a chronic condition.

•    Intermediate Uveitis

Intermediate meaning “in

About the Author

Dr Jim Kokkinakis (Optometrist) graduated in 1983 from the Optometry School University of NSW. He is currently a Senior Lecturer there and regular speaker to both Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in Australia and Internationally. He has a specialist clinical practice in the Sydney CBD with interests in Eye Strain, Computer Vision problems, Treatment of Eye Diseases and complex Contact lens Fittings.

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