Uveitis refers to approximately 25 different diseases all characterized by the presence of intraocular inflammation. The uveitides are a relatively uncommon group of diseases, with an estimated incidence in the United States of 17–54/100,000/year and prevalence of 115–204/100,000 population. Nevertheless, because uveitis affects all ages, and in many cases is a lifelong disease, it has a disproportionate effect on years of potential vision lost and is the fifth or sixth leading cause of blindness in the United States. Because it is relatively uncommon, much of the information on uveitis comes from retrospective case series rather than from prospective epidemiologic studies or randomized clinical trials. Although these case series may provide the best data available, they are subject to several limitations, which must be understood in order to interpret the information properly.
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