What is Iritis?

Inflammations of the uveal tract may occur. There are many causes, and they may involve one, two or three portions at once.

The most common form is called acute anterior uveitis, or iritis. This usually occurs only on one side, and there is an acute onset of severe pain, blurring of vision, photophobia (dislike of light) and redness. It tends to occur more probably in the young and middle-aged groups. The cause is usually unknown.

The list consists of most important ones and those more likely to be encountered in everyday lives. Some, fortunately, are rare (uveitis). An important part of the eye system is referred to as the uveal tract. These form three parts: the iris, the ciliary and the choroid. The choroid is the middle layer of the coatings of the eye, consisting of a fine network of blood vessels that supply and nourish the eye, mainly the retina.

Iritis Treatment

As with any acute eye disorder, it is essential to see the doctor (preferably an eye specialist) as soon as possible. Warm compresses for ten minutes three to four times a day, and general analgesics give some degree of symptomatic relief.

The doctor will probably prescribe antropine eye drops 2 per cent, two drops being inserted at least twice a day to keep the pupil dilated. Often the local application of steroid drops is excellent, providing anti-inflammatory action, but in unresponsive cases, this medication may have to be given orally. Dark glasses may assist the photophobia.

Treatment is imperative, for besides the acute condition, glaucoma may later occur, and cataracts may develop if it becomes chronic. The condition usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks, and recurrences are relatively common.