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Patient Information Sheet 
Iritis

This is an inflammatory condition affecting the iris, (the coloured part of your eye).  It can be associated with other inflammatory conditions of the body, for example arthritis, but in most cases the cause remains unknown.

It is a common condition which tends to recur, and although it usually only affects one eye at any one time, it is important to realise that iritis can affect either eye.

Signs and symptoms

Aching, painful red eye with small pupil, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

Treatment

It is important that this condition is treated at an ophthalmic casualty department, as it can be difficult to diagnose without certain equipment, which is usually not available at your doctor's surgery.

The doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory drops which may be used frequently at first, then gradually tailed off.  You must not suddenly stop using the drops, or the iritis may recur.  You may also need to use an anti-inflammatory ointment last thing at night.

You will be given drops to dilate your pupil.  This will cause blurring of vision and difficulty in focusing, and may also increase your sensitivity to light, but it is a vital part of the treatment for iritis.  If the pupil is not dilated, the inflamed iris will stick to the lens, which can lead to complications.  You may require intensive pupil dilating drops in casualty to ensure your pupil is dilated before you go home.

Should you have a future attack of iritis, it is essential that you seek early treatment at an ophthalmic casualty department to prevent complications.

The sooner treatment is commenced, the easier iritis is to treat, and the quicker the inflammation subsides.

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