Sympathetic Ophthalmia

This is a rare but dramatic response of the uvea in both eyes to trauma. The significance of the condition rests in the fact that although the trauma has only affected one eye, the inflammatory reaction occurs in both. It can follow perforating injuries, especially when uveal tissue has become adherent to the wound edges. Occasionally it can occur following intraocular surgery. The injured eye, which is referred to as the "exciting eye", remains severely inflamed and, after an interval of between two weeks and several years, the uninjured eye ("sympathising eye") becomes affected. The inflammation in the sympathising eye usually starts in the region of the ciliary body and spreads anteriorly and posteriorly. It is granulomatous. Careful wound toilet and repair of the injured eye can probably prevent many cases, as can also removal of blind, painful and inflamed eyes within the critical two-week period following injury.

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