What does Uveitis look like at the slit lamp ?

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What does Uveitis look like at the slit lamp ?

Anterior Uveitis imaging at the slit lamp

The below video shows what we, as ophthalmologists, see when looking at uveitis through the slit lamp. By angling the slit lamp beam, we can actually can see fine particulates in the anterior chamber. Look carefully for these tiny dots floating around (it can be a subtle finding for those not familiar with these images). The particulates are actually individual white inflammatory cells leaked by the blood stream into the eye. For my physical chemistry colleagues (yes- Dr. “Harv” did a PhD in a physical chemistry lab at Stanford before becoming an Ophthalmologist), this optical phenomenon is called the Tyndall effect, or Tyndall scattering after the 19th century physicist, John Tyndall.

Uveitis is an inflammatory condition of the eye and can be caused by a whole host of diseases from infectious causes (like Herpes) to autoimmune conditions such as HLA-B27 positive diseases. As an ophthalmologist, Dr. Fishman often can make important connections between uveitis and systemic disease including Lyme disease, Ulcerative colitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Psoriatic arthropathy just to name a few. Check out the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) webpage for more information!

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