What is Iritis?

Iritis is the most common form of ocular inflammmation.  It sometimes called iridocyclitis or anterior uveitis as the inflammation is typically confined to the iris and ciliary body in the anterior part of the eye.  Inflammation in the anterior chamber leads to leakage of inflammatory cells and debris into the anterior chamber which can be seen by your doctor as “cell and flare”.

What are the symptoms of Iritis?

Typical symptoms may include an acutely painful red eye, with associated photophobia (eye pain exacerbated in bright light), blurry vision, and possible floaters.

Are their different types of Iritis?

Their are two broad categories of iritis granulomatous and nongranulomatous iritis.  The possible causes for both are somewhat different.

What are the causes of Iritis?

Their are many possible causes for episodic or recurrent iritis.  As a  result, a careful history and an extensive diagnostic workup are sometimes needed to come to the correct diagnosis.  General categories include infectious, whether bacterial or viral, autoimmune, idiopathic, postoperative, or a masquerade syndrome.

How do you treat Iritis?

The acute treatment entails getting the inflammation under control with steroids and treating the pain and preventing iris scarring with a topical cycloplegic and dilating drop.  If the inflammation is deemed to be from an infectious agent a short course of antibiotics or antivirals may be in order.  If the inflammation is due to an autoimmune process the patient may benefit from persistent oral anti-inflammatory therapy with an oral NSAID or a steroid sparing immunosuppressive agent.

Are their any possible complications from chronic recurrent iritis?

Complications from chronic recurrent anterior iritis include but are not limited to the development of glaucoma, cataracts, scar formation around the iris, and loss of iris pigmentation.

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