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Iritis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Iritis

is inflammation of your iris. The iris is the colored part of your eye. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are common causes of iritis. An eye injury or certain medicines may cause inflammation. You may develop iritis if you have an autoimmune disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease or psoriatic arthritis.

Eye Anatomy

Common signs and symptoms:

  • Pain that may be deep in your eye or on the surface
  • Red or watery eye
  • Blurred vision, or vision problems
  • Sensitivity to light

Call your doctor or ophthalmologist if:

  • You have severe eye pain and a headache.
  • Your vision suddenly gets worse.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • Your pain gets worse, even after treatment.
  • You see halos or rainbows around lights.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment

May not be needed. Iritis may go away on its own. If it continues, you may need any of the following:

  • Cycloplegic eyedrops dilate your pupil and relax your eye muscles. This helps decrease pain and light sensitivity.
  • Steroid eyedrops help decrease pain and inflammation. These are only used for a short time to relieve the inflammation. You may be given steroid medicine as pills if the cause of your iritis is not an infection.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.

Manage iritis:

  • Apply a warm compress to your eye. Wet a washcloth in warm water and wring it out. Place it gently over your eye for 20 minutes 3 to 4 times each day. This will help soothe your eye and decrease inflammation.
  • Wear dark sunglasses. This will help prevent pain and light sensitivity. Make sure the sunglasses have UVA and UVB protection. This will protect your eyes when you go outside.
  • Use eyedrops safely. If your treatment plan includes eyedrops, it is important to use them as directed. Your provider may give you detailed instructions to follow. The eyedrops may also come with safety instructions. Follow all instructions to help prevent an infection. Do not touch the tip of the bottle to your eye. Germs from your eye can spread to the medicine bottle.
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Follow up with your doctor or ophthalmologist within 24 hours:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Iritis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptom checker

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.