Iris is a curtain-like outer tissue encircling the pupil, behind the cornea. It is the one which gives the color to the eye which we describe variously as black eye, brown eye etc., Iritis or Iridocyclitis is a serious disease of the eye. Generally it is mistaken for simple conjunctivitis or red eye. As a result patient wastes plenty of time before consulting an Eye-specialist. The problem is if the patient starts treatment in the late phase of the disease, even the best of treatment will not prevent damage to the structure and function of the eye. In the anterior uveitis or iritis, the iris is affected in different grades depending on the severity of the disease. With the result, the pupil which is normally round gets deformed or go out of shape. Sometimes different types of exudates would accumulate in the papillary area or anterior chamber.
The Eye-specialist has to find the cause of iritis. He usually recommends blood and urine tests and, if the cough is severe then the sputum examination also has to be done. In spite of these tests, many a time the cause may not be detected. Then the treatment becomes difficult.
The Eye surgeon has to treat the patient empirically , with the assumption that the infection is somewhere in the body. Sometimes diseases like Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Leprosy and Tuberculosis may be causative factor for the disease. Then the treatment becomes comparatively easy. Some allergic reaction in the body may also cause iritis.
Early diagnosis and treatment has beneficial effects. Steroid and atropine eye drops, systemic steroid ( steroid given in the form of tablets or injections) and systemic antibiotics are given. This requires a prolonged treatment. Some patients do not complete the course of the treatment, with the result the disease recurs. If the treatment is not taken properly or otherwise also due to the severity of the disease, there would be disastrous effects. Iris shrinks in different proportions resulting in what is known as synechia. The clear normal lens of the eye also gets affected resulting in complicated cataract causing complete blindness. If the disease goes beyond this stage, it would make the eyeball small and useless- Pthisis Bulbi. The treatment is not effective in advanced phase of the disease. That is why it is very important to diagnose at the early stage of the disease and institute methodic treatment, which would be helpful.