The iris is the colored part of the eye around the pupil. By opening and closing, the iris controls the amount of light that enters the back of the eye. When the eye is injured, the iris can become inflamed. This is called traumatic iritis.
Traumatic iritis can happen when an injury causes bruising of the iris, small tears in the iris, or severe damage to the iris causing it to pull away from the wall of the eye. When the iris is injured, it may no longer be able to open and close properly in response to light, and light may cause pain in the eye.
Symptoms of traumatic iritis include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, examine your eyes, and perform tests. Tests you may have are:
If you are injured, your healthcare provider will examine your eye carefully to look for signs of damage. If you have traumatic iritis, you may be given drops to keep your iris dilated. This will decrease the pain from bright lights. You may also be given steroid eyedrops to decrease the inflammation. If the pressure in your eye is high, you may need to use eyedrops to lower the pressure.
Traumatic iritis usually gets better within 1 to 2 weeks. If your iris has been permanently damaged and is irregularly shaped, you may keep having some glare and sensitivity to light.
Be sure to wear recommended eye protection at work and when playing contact sports.