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Iritis a Painful Inflammation in the Eyes Iris

Updated on August 17, 2017

My Experience With Iritis

This past May I woke up one day with my right eye bothering me.I had no idea that the problem with my eye was something I'd never heard of .... Iritis. It was painful when I would shut it and gently touch the eyelid. I assumed that I must have gotten something in it, and that was irritating it. Looking at the eyeball, it did appear a little red. Over the course of the day I developed a headache not thinking that this was due to my eye at all. I went to bed that night assuming that when I woke up the following day everything would be fine. That was not the case.

The picture here is what my eye basically looked like the following day.

Medical Disclaimer: I am not a health care profession in any capacity. I am writing this article from a personal standpoint of what iritis is, and how it has affected me.

The Eye Book: A Complete Guide to Eye Disorders and Health (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
The Eye Book: A Complete Guide to Eye Disorders and Health (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)

A general guide to adult eye care. Everything is explained in layman terms. which makes it easy to understand.


Eye Care - Don't Take Your Vision For Granted

I've always taken my vision for granted, and not until something went wrong did I realize how important it is to keep up with proper eye care.

Iritis Symptoms and Causes - When the iris becomes inflamed the condition is called iritis.

Chart made on Microsoft Word
Chart made on Microsoft Word

Iritis can also be caused from a genetic factor.

All symptoms and causes can be found on Web MD

Photo Source: Susan Zutautas

Emergency Department of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
Emergency Department of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

Researching Eye Conditions

Off to the Emergency Room

Because my eye was not feeling better, and had become even redder, the next day I started searching on the Internet to see if I could self-diagnose what it might be. I have a bad habit of doing this, but nine times out of ten I can tell my doctor what is wrong with me before even going to see him.

My favorite place to search about any medical ailments or conditions is the Mayo Clinic site. If you've never gone to the site they have a handy symptom checker that works quite well.

After reading about different eye problems I thought maybe it would be best to go to the emergency department at my local hospital.

The doctor that examined me wasn't an ophthalmologist, but he was on the phone with one discussing my eye. After doing a few tests he was convinced that I had Iritis. He gave me two prescriptions for eye drops that had to be used four times a day. I also had a follow-up appointment the next day with Dr. Nixon the on-call ophthalmologist.

Photo Source: Lisa Jarvis [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (],

Testing and Diagnosis

For Iritis

When I saw Dr. Nixon my eye was feeling 50% better but it was very sensitive to light. Several tests were performed.

The first test was to check my visual activity using an eye chart.

Next, Dr. Nixon used a penlight to examine my pupils.

A microscope with a light was then used to look inside my eye.

The final test that he did was to examine my eyes in front of a tonometer. This was to rule out glaucoma.

After all the tests were completed, I was told that I did indeed have Iritis. I also found out that I have a cataract starting in the same eye.

I was given 2 more prescriptions; a salve or ointment, which was to be applied directly into the eye at bedtime, and more eye drops. A follow-up appointment was made to see Dr. Nixon in a month's time.

Photo Source: Jason7825 at en.wikipedia [GFDL) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0]


Recommended for Iritis - Sensitivity to Light

LOCS Dark Sunglasses 6018
LOCS Dark Sunglasses 6018

When you have any sensitivity to light a dark pair of sunglasses will help you immensely.



The prescriptions I had to get were: Vigamox, Voltaren, Maxidex, and Prednisolone. When I first started using these prescriptions two of the eye drops had to be used every two hours, one was every four hours, and the salve was only at bedtime. I had to set up alarms on my iPhone in order to keep track of when and what was to be used. After my first follow-up with my doctor reduced the amount of times for each drops and slowly weaning me off of all 3 drops and the salve.

My Prognosis

After using all the eye drops and having two follow-up appointments the iritis has disappeared. I was told that there's a 30% chance of it reoccurring. If it does then further testing will have to be done to determine if there is an underlying condition. My doctor has no idea why I ended up with iritis but this is usually the case.

My optometrist will keep an eye on (no pun intended) my cataract and will refer me back to Dr. Nixon should the Iritis return.

© 2013 Susan Zutautas

Thanks for visiting and please leave a comment to let me know you were here. - Have a Great Day!

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    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Carole, I've thought several times now that the Iritis has come back but luckily it hasn't been the case. I do hope that yours disappears and stays away for good.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have had Iritis on a regular basis for years now, sometimes once a year sometimes twice .Drs can find no reason for it, no underlying cause .

      I can now tell when it's starting before Drs can see the white cells in my eye ( I have had it in both eyes fortunately not at the same time ) Now when I feel it starting I phone the eye department and go to the hospital immediately .I always have steroid drops in the house and Always take them on holiday in case of a flair up .

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      I have seen this condition before, but never heard it called this. have to show this to my husband.

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Nancy Hardin: I go this month to have my cataract checked on. My eyes are weeping quite a bit lately.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've had cataract surgery on both eyes, but the iritis occurred before the surgery. However my one-year after surgery checkup is coming up in September, and I still have a few problems. We'll have to see what the doctor has to say. My left eye still weeps a lot, but my eyes aren't red.

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Lynda Makara: The eye is fine now, and thank you.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 

      4 years ago from California

      Oh my, that looks awful! Hope everything's back to normal by now.

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Lorelei Cohen: Send some that sunny weather east would you please :) It's been a little rainy and gloomy here, but am hoping the "Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" ....

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Hope you are having a super duper wonderful day with both eyes wide open and enjoying this beautiful day. (Can you tell I just came back from a walk and it is a beautiful sunny day here lol?)

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 

      5 years ago

      I have cataracts. But I injured one eye, and the cataract in it was much worse. About three weeks ago, I started noticing that my vision in that eye was blurry with my driving glasses. Turns out, I don't NEED the driving glasses for that eye anymore. The blurriness of cataracts is almost totally gone. In fact, that eye is so strong, it overrules the weaker eye, and I can totally see fine without my driving glasses. I learned that magnesium stearate causes me eye problems. That's why I cannot take any medication of any kind (because nearly all capsules and tablets have it) and I have to be very careful what supplements I buy, because a lot of them have it as well.

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Hope your kids never ever get this.

    • Fufurinha47 profile image


      5 years ago from Portugal

      Good lens :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well gosh I've never heard of this so I'm glad to have gotten to see the picture too. You never know when the kids will present something new! If I see it again...I'll sure remember this!

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Fufurinha47: Thanks!

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @darkflowers: Thanks so much!

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @ChristyZ: Keeping my fingers and toes crossed :)

    • Susan Zutautas profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @ColettaTeske: Me either, I've had my share of medical problems over the years, but to lose my sight would be devastating.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 

      5 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I'm so happy for you the doctors could fix this! Hopefully it will never return. You shared some great information here, thank you, Susan!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for the great information. My eyes are important. I couldn't imagine being a writer if something happened to my vision. Stay healthy!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm glad that it cleared up with treatment and has not returned!


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