What Are Some Infectious Causes of Iritis?


Quick Answer

Infectious causes of iritis or inflammation of the iris include Lyme disease, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, herpes simplex and herpes zoster viruses, states WebMD. Additional causes of iritis include blunt force trauma and certain diseases, including ankylosing spondylitis, sarcoidosis, Reiter syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.

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Full Answer

In many cases of iritis, a cause is not found, according to WebMD. Symptoms of iritis include blurred vision, headache, reddening of the eye next to the pupil, pain in the eye and pain that worsens in bright light. The pupil of the eye may also be small or oddly shaped. Typically, iritis develops very suddenly, and only one eye is affected. Individuals with iritis can experience only one symptom or multiple symptoms.

The iris is a round membrane that is pigmented, giving the eyes color, explains WebMD. This area of the eye is constructed of muscle fibers. These fibers are responsible for how much light enters the pupil. This is why the pupil is smaller in bright light and grows larger in dim light. A person with iritis, upon examination, experiences pain in the affected eye when light is directed at the unaffected eye. This occurs because both pupils constrict in response to light, and movement of the inflamed iris is painful.

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