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Iritis

Inflammation of the iris of the eye, possibly associated with inflammation of the ciliary body. It is often the consequence of inflammation elsewhere in the body, such as an intestinal infection, inflammation of the roots of the teeth, nephritis, etc. It can also arise from rheumatic disorders, or in rare cases from tuberculosis or sarcoidosis. Iritis causes irritation of the eye, redness, pain, fuzziness of vision and hypersensitivity to light. The pupil reacts more slowly to light, and testing of this reaction is painful. Swelling often makes the iris paler in colour, the eye is red, and the veins stand out because of increased blood supply. Inflamed cells float between the iris and cornea. Possible complications are: adhesion of the iris to the lens, restricting pupillary movement, or glaucoma because less aqueous humour is removed, thus increasing pressure in the eyeball. Treatment is by an ophthalmologist. The pupil is usually dilated with eye drops to prevent adhesion to the lens, and corticosteroids may be prescribed to suppress the inflammation reaction. If eyeball pressure is high, treatment is as for glaucoma.

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