Iritis is a condition where the iris, the colored ring surrounding the pupil, becomes inflamed. Iritis is considered to be a form of uveitis because the iris is a component of the middle layer of the eye called the uvea. When iritis is left untreated, it can lead to loss of vision or glaucoma. In addition, iritis can cause cataracts to develop, and it can result in cystoid macular edema or retinal swelling. Band keratopathy or calcium deposits in the cornea and an irregular pupil are also complications of iritis. Iritis symptoms include sensitivity to light, eye redness, decreased vision, eye discomfort, and eye achiness. Iritis can develop quickly as an acute condition, or it can last for several weeks as a chronic condition. Treatment for iritis focuses on relieving inflammation and pain while preserving vision. The mechanism used to treat iritis depends on its underlying cause.
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Behcet’s disease is a disorder where the blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. This disorder affects many parts of the body including the mouth, skin, genitals, joints, blood vessels, digestive system, brain, and eyes. Behcet’s disease is considered an autoimmune disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of the blood vessels. Most cases of Behcet’s disease are caused by specific gene mutations. Many blood vessels are a part of the eye and contribute to the healthy functioning of the eye. Inflammation of these blood vessels in and around the eye can cause blurry vision, pain, and redness in one or both eyes. Iritis can be intermittent in individuals who develop it as a result of Behcet’s disease. Often times, symptoms of Behcet’s disease will occur simultaneously throughout the body and include symptoms of uveitis. Because of its wide range of symptoms, Behcet’s disease can be difficult to pinpoint as the underlying cause of iritis.
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