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Disease: Iritis Iritis
Category: Eye diseases
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Disease Definition:

When the middle layer of the eye (uvea) is inflamed affecting the eye’s iris, a condition known as iritis occurs. The iris is the colored ring of tissue surrounding the pupil that lies just behind the transparent cornea. Muscles managing the iris change the size of the pupil to adjust to light conditions. Adhesions of the iris can result from prolonged inflammation causing the pupil to become smaller or irregularly shaped and predisposing to glaucoma.

Iriris is usually unable to be linked to a specific cause. But it may occasionally be caused by underlying chronic condition or genetic aspect.
Iritis is a serious condition that is additionally known as anterior uveitis, it could contribute to blindness if it isn’t promptly treated. A doctor should be consulted for evaluation and treatment when experiencing symptoms of iritis.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


The following are signs and symptoms of iritis:



  • Discomfort or achiness in the affected eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye redness, usually seen as a blush pink color in the white of the eye (sclera) around the iris
  • Floating spots in the vision (eye floaters)
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)

Iritis isn’t often related to eye discharge or increased tearing.
When symptoms of iritis abruptly develop over a period of a few hours or days, it is known as acute iritis. Symptoms that develop gradually or last longer than six weeks, indicate chronic iritis.

Consult a doctor as soon as possible when experiencing symptoms of iritis. Prompt treatment helps keeping any serious complications away. The doctor may refer to an ophthalmologist. Urgent medical care may be necessary when one has eye pain and vision problems, along with other signs and symptoms.


It usually isn’t known what exactly causes iritis. Iritis can be classified as acute when symptoms quickly develop, or as chronic when symptoms develop gradually and seem to last over a period of weeks to months.
Known causes of iritis include:

Injury to the eye: Blunt force trauma, a penetrating injury or burn (chemical or thermal) to the eye can result in acute iritis.
Herpes infection: Iritis may result from an infection with herpes zoster — commonly known as shingles — when experiencing a skin eruption on the face, particularly the cheeks or forehead. Other infectious diseases, like histoplasmosis, syphilis, tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis may be related to other kinds of uveitis.
Genetic predisposition: People suffering from HLA-B27, a specific alteration of a gene that’s important to immune system function, are more likely to develop certain autoimmune diseases, like Reiter’s syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Acute iritis may occur in these diseases.
Bechet's disease: An uncommon reason behind the acute iritis’s occurring in western countries, this condition is characterized by joint problems as well such as mouth sores and genital lesions.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: Chronic iritis can develop in children suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Iritis may be one of the first indications when the condition is mild and only a few joints are affected. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis affects girls more commonly. Doctors usually routinely screen for iritis or other kinds of uveitis in kids suffering from rheumatoid arthritis due to the two conditions being commonly related to one another.
Posterior uveitis: A spillover effect on the parts of the uvea at the front of the eye can be received from an inflammation that started in the back part of the eye (posterior uveitis).
The following indicates that there’s a high risk of iritis when one:



  • Lives in certain geographic locations where infectious causes are more prevalent, for example.
  • Carries the HLA-B27 genotype.
  • Have a compromised immune system or autoimmune disorder
  • Develop a sexually transmitted disease (STD), due to infections like syphilis or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) being related to a significantly high risk.



Iritis could contribute to the following complications when left untreated:

Cataracts: A common complication where the lens of the eye is clouded (cataract), particularly when one has a long period of inflammation.
Glaucoma: Recurrent iritis could cause glaucoma, a serious eye condition characterized by increased eye (ocular) pressure and threatened vision loss.
Calcium deposits on the cornea (band keratopathy): This condition causes degeneration of the cornea and could decrease the vision.
Swelling within the retina (cystoids macular edema): Swelling and fluid-filled cysts that develop in the retina at the back of the eye (macular retina) can blur or decrease the central vision.


Treating iritis mainly aims at preserving vision and relieving any pain related to the condition.
Iritis treatment most frequently involves the following:

Steroid eyedrops: Glucocorticoid medications, given as eyedrops, decrease inflammation related to iritis. They work by stabilizing cell membranes in the eye and minimizing the circulation of white blood cells and other byproducts of the inflammatory process.
Dilating eyedrops: Cycloplegics are medicines that dilate the pupil. They are able to decrease pain related to iritis when given as eyedrops. Dilating eyedrops additionally protect a person from developing adhesions underneath the iris that can contribute to possible complications such as glaucoma.

Oral medications including steroids or other anti-inflammatory agents might be prescribed in case the symptoms worsen or hasn’t been cleared up. Yet, taking the medicine orally has the potential to affect not only the eyes, but other parts of the body as well. Preceding prescription of oral medications the doctor will consider the affected person’s overall condition in order to treat iritis.


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