What is Iritis?

Iritis (i-RIE-tis) is inflammation that affects your eye’s iris, the colored ring surrounding your pupil. The iris is a part of the middle layer of the eye (uvea), so iritis is a type of uveitis, sometimes called anterior uveitis. The cause of iritis is often unknown. Sometimes iritis results from an underlying systemic condition or genetic factor.

Iritis is a serious condition that, if left untreated, could lead to glaucoma or vision loss.

Symptoms

  • Signs and symptoms of iritis may include:
  • Eye redness
  • Discomfort or achiness in the affected eye
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Floating specks or spots in your vision

Iritis that develops suddenly, over hours or days, is known as as acute iritis. Symptoms that develop gradually or last longer than six weeks indicate chronic iritis.

Treatment Options

Iritis treatment targets preserving vision and relieving pain and inflammation in conjunction with an ophthalmologist. If your iritis is associated with an underlying condition, treating that condition also is necessary.

Most often, treatment for iritis involves:

  • Steroid eyedrops. Glucocorticoid medications, given as eyedrops, reduce inflammation.
  • Dilating eyedrops. Eyedrops used to dilate your pupil can reduce pain associated with iritis. Dilating eyedrops also protect you from developing complications that interfere with your pupil’s function.
  • Rarely Iritis may require immunosuppressants.