Diagnosis & features

Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) account for up to 80% of childhood anterior uveitis cases.

If the JIA has already been diagnosed, they should automatically be under the care of an ophthalmologist. The specialist will check your child’s eyes every 3-6 months to ensure signs of uveitis are caught early and treated quickly.

However, for the 10-15% of uveitic children who do not have a pre-diagnosed auto-immune disease, the uveitis can be chronic by the time it is discovered. Younger children have no way of communicating to their carer their worsening eyesight, and quite often the younger the age, the more likely they are to adapt to having lost the ability to see colours and 3D. In many cases children will lose all vision in one eye and not know, because to them it will be ‘normal’.

Most children do not have any symptoms of uveitis, such as sensitivity to light, or a sore red eye. Without these symptoms it is more likely that complications will be present by the time the uveitis is diagnosed. At the point of diagnosis, it is essential that your child be referred to a uveitis expert immediately.

Complications can include: