Iritis

General Illness Information

Medical Term:
IRITIS

Common Name:
None Specified

Description: Inflammation of the iris and the ciliary muscle ( the ring of colored tissue surrounding the pupil of the eye). This is also referred to as Anterior uveitis

Causes:

Infection that spreads to the eye from other body parts.

Common causes include:

  • Toxoplasmosis;
  • Tuberculosis;
  • Histoplasmosis;
  • Syphilis;
  • Sarcoidosis;
  • Viruses (herpes simplex or zoster);
  • Injury to the eye;
  • Autoimmune reaction;
  • Unknown in many cases.

Prevention:

Cannot be prevented at present.

Signs & Symptoms

Acute iritis of sudden onset:

  • Severe eye pain;
  • Sensitivity to light;
  • Eye redness;
  • Smaller pupil in the affected eye (sometimes);
  • Increased tearing.

Frequently unilateral (95% of HLA-B27 associated cases):

  • Blurred vision

Iritis of gradual onset:

  • Eye pain;
  • Less intense sensitivity to light;
  • Floating spots in the field of vision;
  • Blurred vision.

Risk Factors

  • Collagen disorders;
  • Ulcerative colitis;
  • Viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection;
  • Other eye diseases.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and examination. Special eye exam will confirm the diagnosis ( by ophthalmologist). There is no specific test for the diagnosis of uveitis. Tests for etiologic factors or associated conditions should be based on history and physical examination. Blood tests may in the diagnosis of any underlying cause.

General Measures:

  • Wear dark glasses even indoors until treatment is complete;
  • Treatment for any underlying condition.

Medications:

Eye drops (mydriatics e.g. Homatropine hydrobromide (Isopto) 2% ophthalmic solution) that dilate the pupil and prevent scarring. You may need to use eye drops for a long time.
Oral cortisone drugs or cortisone eye drops to reduce inflammation.

Activity:

Rest in bed until symptoms subside. Allow 1 to 2 weeks.

Diet:

No special diet.

Possible Complications:

  • Glaucoma;
  • Cataracts;
  • Permanent or partial vision loss.

Prognosis

Vision can usually be preserved with prompt treatment. Usually dependent on the underlying condition.

Other

Nothing Specified.

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