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.

Uveitis is treatable, but sometimes to treat it takes some sleuthing.

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

If so, he can refer you to a specialist to see if one of the suspects below may be leading to your uveitis.

Autoimmune Diseases

These happen when your immune system breaks down. That disruption causes inflammation that 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

Infections

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
  • HIV/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.

Cancer

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

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