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Uveitis, Non-Infectious  

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Drawing of eyeball to illustrate uveitis. Courtesy National Eye Institute

Drawing of Eye to Illustrate Uvea Tract. Courtesy
National Eye Institute

What Is Non-Infectious Uveitis?

Non-infectious uveitis, as opposed to that which is caused by an infection, is an inflammatory eye disorder characterized mainly by swelling of the uveal tract structures in the anterior (front) of the eye.  

Inflammation can also affect the lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous, producing reduced vision or blindness if left untreated. 

Q: What are structures of the uveal tract?

A: Structures of the uveal tract are composed of the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid: 

  • The iris is the colored circle at the front of the eye. It defines eye color, secretes nutrients to keep the lens healthy, and controls the amount of light that enters the eye by adjusting the size of the pupil (opening).
  • The ciliary body is located between the iris and the choroid. It helps the eye focus by controlling the shape of the lens and it provides nutrients to keep the lens healthy.
  • The choroid is a thin, spongy network of blood vessels, which primarily provides nutrients to the retina in the back of the eye.1

Uveitis may be caused by problems or diseases occurring in the eye itself or it can be part of an inflammatory disease affecting other parts of the body. The uveal tract has a rich supply of blood vessels that contain immune cells to fight microbial invasion. These immune cells are lymphocytes, phagocytes, and plasma cells.

The uvea can be attacked by autoimmune antibodies produced in autoimmune diseases that affect similar tissues in other parts of the body such as psoriasis, Behcet’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis, Vogt Koyanagi Harada’s disease, and celiac disease.

Uveitis can last for a short (acute) or a long (chronic) time. The severest forms of uveitis reoccur many times.

What Is Non-Infectious Uveitis In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/uveitis/uveitis.asp []