Iridocyclitis is an inflammatory eye disease. It is an inflammation of the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the ciliary body; the uvea (the muscles and tissues that are involved in focusing the eyes).
Iridocyclitis may occur due to an infection, injury or health condition like arthritis or trauma. It can also be due to no apparent reason.
Iridocyclitis is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Red and inflamed eyes
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Painful eyes
- Blurred vision
- Watery eyes
- Decreased vision
- Discomfort or achiness in the eyes
Iridocyclitis is closely related to conjunctivitis which is the swelling of the mucous membranes around the eye.
Causes of Iridocyclitis
The causes of Iridocyclitis is most times unknown. Certain factors like genetic factor or certain diseases can give rise to this condition.
The causes may include;
- Injury to the eyes; penetrating injury and burn from chemicals (i.e. through a direct eye contact with the liquid or vapour) or fire. An exposure to chemical that irritates the eyes such as lachrymators can cause iridocyclitis or aggravate an existing case
- Infection; bacterial infection like gonorrhea, syphilis and tuberculosis may cause Iridocyclitis. Also, viral infections like pox, mumps etc.
- Malignant tumour; intraocular malignant tumour (where by abnormal or malignant cells form in the tissues of the eyes) can occur in the choroid (the vascular layer of the eye, containing connective tissues), ciliary body and iris.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain medications
A person having a red and painful eyes and light sensitivity (photophobia) is advised to see a doctor. The doctor examines the eyes and also get details about the person’s health history.
A vision test may also be conducted. This is to be done by a specialist/ optician. Iridocyclitis can be classified into three;
- Acute iridocyclitis: This occur within a duration of 3weeks or even persist for about 6 weeks.
- Chronic iridocyclitis: Here, the inflammation is persistent, and may last for more than 3 months
- Recurrent iridocyclitis: the condition recurs frequently.
Although iridocyclitis maybe acute or chronic, most cases are mild and temporary. Most cases clear up within a few days without administering any medications. Iridocyclitis caused by an infection or disease is treated by treating the underlying health condition.
An early treatment would minimize the risk of vision damage that may arise. Hence, it is advised to seek help and treatment immediately from a doctor.
Corticosteroids may be used in the treatment of iridocyclitis and these may be administered via oral, intravenous, topical, periocular or intraocular. Also, antibiotics or antiviral eye drops can be used.