Iritis (inflammation of the eye)

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Iritis (inflammation of the eye) (Disease)


Iritis is a form of anterior uveitis and refers to the inflammation of the iris of the eye. There are two main types of iritis: acute and chronic. They differ in numerous ways. Acute iritis is a type of iritis that can heal independently within a few weeks. If treatment is provided, acute iritis improves quickly. Chronic iritis can exist for months or years before recovery occurs. Chronic iritis does not respond to treatment as well as acute iritis does. Chronic iritis is also accompanied by a higher risk of serious visual impairment.

The iris is the circular, colored portion of the front of the eye with the dark pupil in the center.

The iris is made up of muscular fibers that control the amount of light entering the pupil so that we can see clearly. The iris accomplishes this task by making the pupil smaller in bright light and larger in dim light. The iris is the front part of the uveal tract of the eye (the iris in the front and the ciliary body and uveal tract behind it). In some people, the iris can become inflamed. This is termed iritis.

Inflammation of the front part of the eye is referred to as anterior uveitis or iritis, whereas inflammation behind this is known as posterior uveitis.

Iritis usually develops quickly and generally affects only one eye. Signs and symptoms may include any or all of the following: pain in the eye or brow region; worsened eye pain when exposed to bright light; reddened eye, especially adjacent to the iris; small or irregularly shaped pupil; blurred vision; headache; increased tear production in the eye; or iritis may result in glaucoma and/or cataracts, leading to a marked decrease of vision.

Causes and Risk factors

Iritis may be a consequence of trauma (traumatic iritis) or nontraumatic causes. In a significant number of cases, no cause for the iritis is found. Blunt trauma to the eye can cause traumatic inflammation of the iris.

Nontraumatic iritis is frequently associated with certain systemic diseases (diseases that affects multiple locations throughout the body), such as ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter syndrome, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. Noteworthy of special attention is iritis associated with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Infectious causes may include Lyme disease, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, and herpes simplex and herpes zoster viruses.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment seek to reduce the symptoms and determine the cause of the disorder and it may include steroid eye drops and pain medications. ...