Iritis is a condition where the iris becomes inflamed. Generally, only one side is affected and the pupil on that side is sometimes smaller. Typically, the eye is not sticky, crusty or producing a discharge. Iritis is a potentially serious condition requiring medical attention by an ophthalmologist. Fortunately, it rarely causes blindness but it can affect vision while the inflammation is present.


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Iritis

Symptoms - Head - Eyes/Ocular  

Unilateral/bilateral eye pain

Although it is more common for just one eye to be affected during an attack of iritis, both eyes may be affected at the same time. There are several symptoms of iritis which are fairly specific to it, one being ‘contralateral photosensitivity’. This means that the eye with iritis will feel pain even if light is shined into the OTHER eye only.


Vision disturbances


(High) sensitivity to bright light


Moist eyes


Bloodshot eyes

Risk factors for Iritis


Ankylosing Spondylitis

The eye is the most common organ affected by ankylosing spondylitis. Iritis occurs from time to time in one-fourth of those with the condition.


Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link



Inflammation of one or more vertebrae.

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