Uveitis is inflammation in your eye. If your eye doctor says you have it, you may wonder how you got it.

Sometimes, it’s because of another disease.

When you see your eye doctor, they’ll probably ask about your medical history and other symptoms you have. They’ll do this to try and find out if another condition is causing your eye issue.

If so, they can refer you to a specialist to see if one of the conditions below may be causing your uveitis.

Autoimmune Diseases

These happen when your immune system attacks your organs and tissues. It can affect your eyes, too. Most cases of uveitis are caused by an immune system problem.

Ones that can lead to it include:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Behcet's disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Ulcerative colitis


Some common ones can lead to uveitis. You may not even notice you have them. In some cases, uveitis can come long after you get the infection.

Some that can trigger uveitis include:

  • Herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores
  • Varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles
  • Tuberculosis (TB), caused by bacteria you can breathe in
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common virus that often has no symptoms. It can cause uveitis in people with weak immune systems.
  • Mumps
  • West Nile virus
  • Lyme disease
  • Cat-scratch disease
  • AIDS
  • Syphilis

It’s rare, but you can also get uveitis after fungal or parasite infections like histoplasmosis or toxoplasmosis.

Eye Injury

You may get uveitis because you’ve hurt your eye. A trauma or bruise there can cause it. Eye surgery can also lead to uveitis.


Lymphoma, a blood cancer, is one rare but possible cause.

WebMD Medical Reference


WebMD Voices

Kat C., 36
Broomfield, CO
Skip the ER or urgent care and go straight to an ophthalmologist whenever you have concerns. Get comfortable with your doctor, get used to eye exams with the SLIT scope, IOP [intraocular pressure] tests, and learn how to properly use eye drops so they don’t drip down your nasal passages and wreak havoc.
Ashley L., 41
Memphis, TN
Things will get more manageable over time -- you’ll start to recognize your symptoms prior to the flares. That makes it easier to manage your flares in a quick and timely manner, so they don’t last as long.
Amanda L., 38
I have had many flare-ups over the years. I have taken oral steroids, topical steroid eye drops, dilation drops, and injections in my eye. The best advice I can give is to find a great ophthalmologist that will work with you.

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