Type of disease: Rare conditions

Panuveitis is a serious disease that causes inflammation of the eye. “Uveitis” refers to general inflammation of a portion of the eye, usually just the front of the eye. In panuveitis, however, both the front and the back of the eye are affected. The affected region is known as the uveal tract, which is composed of the iris, the choroid, and the ciliary body. The iris is the colored back of your eye that controls the size of your pupil. The choroid is the inner lining of the eye that contains blood vessels. The ciliary body produces fluid to keep your eye moist. All of these structures are important for vision, and inflammation of these components can cause visual problems.

The cause of panuveitis is generally unknown, but there are some links to other diseases such as syphilis, sarcoidosis, toxoplasmosis, and tuberculosis. Some other possible causes may include infections, tumors, bruises, and toxins in the eyes. The main symptoms of panuveitis are eye pain, blurred vision, vision loss, light sensitivity, redness of the eyes, and seeing spots. Because panuveitis can spread rapidly through the eye, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as any symptoms occur to prevent permanent damage or blindness. Panuveitis is usually diagnosed through an eye exam, and treatment typically includes medications to suppress the inflammation, such as local steroids. Support groups are available for more information and resources.

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