Seen mainly in young people. Occasionally associated with systemic conditions such as ankylosing
spondylitis and sarcoidosis.


  • Painful red eye
  • Photophobia with reduced vision
  • May have been treated for resistant conjunctivitis
  • Examination: 
  • Visual acuity is reduced to varying degree
  • Redness mainly around the cornea (ciliary injection)
  • Pupil is usually constricted or irregular reacting

  • poorly to light.
  • In severe cases, clumps of white cells (keratitic precipitates may be seen behind the cornea)
  • Management:
  • Refer the patient within 24 hours.
  • Slit-lamp examination by ophthalmologists to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Treatment is with intensive topical steroid to reduce inflammation and mydriatic to dilate the

  • pupil so that the iris does not stick to the cornea causing problem with glaucoma.
    Figure 1
    This is the picture of a patient who presented with a painful photophobic 
    red eye. Note the ciliary injection around the cornea (limbus) typical of 

    Figure 2
    This is another patient with iritis. Note the presence of opacities 
    behind the cornea. This is caused by deposition of clumps of white
    cells (keratic precipitates).

    Return to red eyes