Comprehensive Care for Chronic Eye Inflammation

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Uveitis may be the cause if you experience eye pain, redness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and floaters.  The rare, complex condition can result in chronic inflammation in the front, middle or back of the eye. Uveitis can lead to in vision impairment, glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal swelling. Active inflammation requires immediate care by an experienced ophthalmologist. 

Duke's team of uveitis specialists ensure you get the proper diagnosis and comprehensive care to reduce active uveitis inflammation and preserve your vision. At the same time, we help you manage the complications that are sometimes associated with uveitis treatments.

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Steroid eye drops, eye injections, and oral or intravenous medications are often the first line of treatment for non-infectious uveitis. Sustained doses of steroids may also be delivered directly to the eye through a tiny, biodegradable implant that is injected into the gel of the eye. This provides longer-term control of inflammation. Because long-term use of steroids taken by mouth can have serious side effects, other types of medication may be recommended.

Immunosuppressive Medications

Drugs that suppress an overactive immune system may be recommended if long-term treatment is required to control chronic eye inflammation. These medications require frequent monitoring of blood work for potential side effects. 


Biologics control inflammation by blocking specific proteins in the body. They do not carry the same side effects as steroids, and may sometimes be recommended for longer-term control of chronic inflammation. Adalimumab is the first approved biologic for the treatment of uveitis. It can be administered at home via an injection under the skin, typically every two weeks.

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Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


Blood Tests

These tests look for inflammatory, autoimmune, and infectious causes of uveitis.

Fluid Samples

Fluid samples from the eye can sometimes help identify the cause of uveitis. An aqueous fluid sample may be obtained from the front of the eye during a clinic visit. A vitreous sample may be obtained from the back of the eye during vitrectomy surgery in the operating room. 

Retinal Imaging

Various types of retinal imaging, often combined with a dye injection (angiography), can confirm a diagnosis of uveitis, document lesions and scarring, and monitor the progression of uveitis. 

Chest X-Ray

Looks for signs of sarcoidosis or tuberculosis.

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Why Choose Duke

Advanced Training and Experience
The Duke uveitis clinic is staffed by ophthalmologists with advanced training and experience in managing uveitis, as well as experts in glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal disease. A rheumatologist is also on staff. We coordinate your appointments so you can meet with these and other specialists as needed.

Specialized Treatment
Infectious uveitis often requires specific treatment tailored to the infection. Duke’s uveitis specialists use specially compounded medications that are not readily available to treat different types of eye infections.

Learning to Manage Your Condition
Your care includes education about your condition, and access to our low vision rehabilitation program, which offers tools for living with impaired vision. Our dedicated social worker is also available to help you and your loved ones manage your care and maximize your quality of life.

Over 30 Years of Innovative Research
Duke’s uveitis specialists have been studying effective uveitis treatments for more than 30 years. We were instrumental in the development of a new steroid delivery system and were involved in the clinical trials that led to the 2016 FDA approval of the non-steroidal biologic drug Humira (adalimumab) to treat uveitis. We continue to participate in clinical trials and research to broaden our understanding of uveitis and effective treatments.

Best Eye Hospital in NC
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital’s ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Reviewed: 02/27/2017