What is Iritis?

Iritis (also known as anterior uveitis) is inflammation of the iris, the circular part of the eye that gives the eye color. The iris is the most visible part of the eye and helps regulate the amount of light entering the eye.

Since iritis involves inflammation inside the eye, this condition is potentially sight-threatening and should be promptly addressed by an experienced ophthalmologist. The eye doctors at CVP Physicians Dayton are experienced in diagnosing and treating iritis.

Iritis Symptoms

Iritis symptoms usually present suddenly, develop rapidly over a few hours or days, and most frequently involve one eye at a time. Signs and symptoms may include red eyes (especially around the iris), eye pain, light sensitivity, blurry vision, unusually small or strangely shaped pupils, and floaters. Without the correct treatment, iritis can cause further complications including cataracts, glaucoma, retinal damage and vision loss.1

Iritis Causes

Many times the causes of iritis are not known, but this condition has been linked to trauma to the eye, shingles, autoimmune diseases, infections, rheumatoid arthritis, or reaction to medications. Proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. When symptoms occur, it is important to see an ophthalmologist promptly. If diagnosed in the early stages, iritis can be controlled before further complications and potential vision loss occur.

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Iritis Treatment

Treatment is determined by the severity of the iritis and how well the eye responds to the initial treatment prescribed. Iritis may be treated with prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation, dilating eye drops to relax the iris muscles, steroid pills or injections in the eye, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Serious cases may need to be treated very aggressively with extended use of steroid eye drops and oral steroids to suppress the immune system. There is no cure for iritis, but prompt treatment of individual episodes can control inflammation. Iritis often recurs and can become a chronic condition.

Contact CVP Physicians Dayton

If you think you may be experiencing the symptoms of iritis, the eye care professionals at CVP Physicians Dayton will make arrangements to see you promptly. They can provide a thorough evaluation and prescribe the appropriate treatment. In most cases, treating iritis requires gradual and progressive treatment, and our doctors will also want to develop a plan to monitor you closely for a longer period of time. Our eye doctors are here to help; please contact us today with any questions.

1 Mayo Clinic. Iritis. Available: Accessed June 9, 2020.

The doctors at CVP Physicians Dayton have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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