Pars Planitis/ Intermediate Uveitis

Pars planitis is inflammation of a part of the eye called the pars plana. The pars plana is a part (posterior ring) of the ciliary body, the circumferential tissue behind the iris responsible for making the fluid in the eye that nourishes the lens and cornea. . Pars planitis is a form of uveitis, a treatable inflammatory eye disorder which affects the uvea or middle layer of the eye, and can lead to blindness if not treated. Pars planitis is considered a subset of intermediate uveitis (one of the 4 types of uveitis namely anterior uveitis, intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, and panuveitis) and is identified by the presence of white exudates over the pars plana.

The cause of pars planitis has not been clearly determined and therefore it is referred to as an idiopathic disorder. It is believed, however, to be an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the patient’s own body. In some cases,pars planitis is associated with certain disease conditions such as sarcoidosis (inflammation in any organ of the body), multiple sclerosis (chronic disease affecting central nervous system) and Lyme disease (bacterial infection).

Symptoms experienced by patients with the condition include blurred vision and dark floating spots that interfere with clarity of eyesight. Swelling inside the eyes, especially on the peripheral retina, can also cause decreased vision.

Pars planitis can occur in one or both eyes and can affect both children and adults. It is more often seen in males than in females. Untreated conditions of pars planitis is considered serious as it might lead to loss of vision and is very difficult to reverse.

Pars planitis is commonly diagnosed by physical evaluation, medical history and a specialized eye examination.

The use of chronic steroid eye drops no longer serves as the standard of care for pars planitis. Immunosuppression therapy (oral forms or injections) has proven to be very effective in the treatment of pars planitis. If needed, surgery through vitrectomy, endolaser and cryotherapy has significantly halted the progression of the disorder thereby improving the patient’s quality of life.

Please contact NMC Eyecare for more information on pars planitis and its treatment options.