Handling Iritis

Iritis Portland ORIritis is not a well-known condition. Iritis is inflammation that affects the iris, the colored ring around your pupil. The causes of iritis are often a mystery, and the condition can progress at different speeds.

But iritis isn’t to be taken lightly. If left untreated, iritis could lead to glaucoma or vision loss. We diagnose and treat iritis at The Eye Clinic.

What are the symptoms of iritis?

Iritis can occur in one or both eyes. It usually develops suddenly and lasts for 6-8 weeks. This is known as acute iritis. In some cases, the development is very slow. This is known as chronic iritis.

These are the symptoms:

  • Eye redness
  • Discomfort or achiness in the affected eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Decreased vision

What causes iritis?

In many patients, the exact cause can’t be pinpointed. These are possible causes of iritis:

  • Eye injury — Blunt force trauma, a burn, or a penetrating injury can lead to iritis.
  • Infections — Shingles on the face can cause iritis. Other infectious diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, and syphilis, among others, can cause iritis.
  • Genetics — People who develop certain autoimmune diseases because of a gene alteration that affects the immune system can develop acute iritis.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis — This can lead to chronic iritis.
  • Sarcoidosis — Autoimmune disease that involves the growth of collections of granulomas in areas of the body, including the eyes.
  • Certain medications — Some drugs have a side effect of causing iritis.

Diagnosis and treatment

At The Eye Clinic, we check for iritis with an external examination, looking at the pattern of redness and discharge. We test for visual acuity. Then we perform a slit-lamp examination to view the inside of your eye to look for signs of iritis.

Iritis treatment is designed to preserve vision and relieve pain and inflammation. If the iritis is tied to another condition, obviously that condition will also need to be treated to properly address your iritis.

For treatment, we often use steroid eyedrops to reduce inflammation. Dilating eyedrops can reduce the pain and also protect the patient from developing complications that affect the pupil’s function.

If you have any of the symptoms of iritis, please call us at The Eye Clinic immediately, (503) 297-4718 or (503) 228-6681, as this condition demands fast treatment.

Posted in: Iritis

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