What Causes Iritis?


Quick Answer

Medical professionals do not know all the causes of iritis, or inflammation of the iris, but risk factors include a genetic predisposition toward the condition, eye injury and infections such as shingles, according to Mayo Clinic. Other risk factors include Behcet's disease, sarcoidosis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and medications such as antibiotics and antivirals.

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Behcet's disease is a rare, autoimmune disease that is mostly contracted by young people, according to the American Behcet's Disease Association. It is thought to be triggered by vasculitis, which damages blood vessels all over the body. Sarcoidosis is another inflammatory condition that usually attacks the lungs and the lymphatic system, notes WebMD.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people under the age of 16, explains MedlinePlus. It is an autoimmune disease that results in the body attacking its own cells. One type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, known as pauciarticular JRA, is notable for affecting the patient's eyes.

A person who believes that she has iritis needs to see a doctor as soon as possible, says Mayo Clinic. If the iritis is left untreated, it can lead to loss of vision due to cataracts, glaucoma, swelling of the retina or fluid filled cysts in the macula. Untreated iritis also leads to an irregular eyeball and band keratopathy, or calcium deposits on the cornea.

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