Iritis is an inflammatory disorder of the colored part of the eye (iris). Sometimes iritis is just one symptom of a disease that affects other organ systems, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, other collagen vascular diseases, sarcoidosis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and some very rare infections.
The symptoms of iritis include light sensitivity, pain, eye redness, blurred vision, tearing and sometimes floaters. Frequently, this disorder is a recurrent problem. Patients and primary care doctors sometimes confuse iritis with conjunctivitis.
Therapy consists of corticosteroid eyedrops and in some cases, long-acting pupil-dilating drops. These medicines ease the inflammation and reduce the adhesions that can occur within the eye. Persistent cases may require more intensive treatment, such as corticosteroid injections around the eye, oral corticosteroids, and other oral medications.
In advanced or prolonged cases, complications can arise, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal scarring. Careful observation is needed in the resolving phase to monitor potential problems and to determine the rate of reduction of the medication dosages.