Nawfal’s eyeball

IRITIS: Part Deux

Eyeball with Iritis - by Nawfal Nur of Nawfal’s own eyeball.

IRITIS: Part Deux

Well Folks, I’m going to write this fast because I can’t sit here long at the computer, and soon you will find out why.

I’ve noticed that a number of people come to my Photo-Blog from the Search Engines after they do a search for “Iritis.” I wrote my first entry on iritis a little over a year ago; and almost like clockwork, I’m getting iritis once again. In this post I want to give you more specifics about this eye condition, things to look for, and also, the big eye photograph is my eye with iritis. The eyeball will get redder as the condition gets worse; but as a general warning, I wouldn’t recommend you take a photograph of your eye if suffering from iritis – the studio lights are a killer for the eyeball when having this condition.

This is a very painful and debilitating eye condition. Here is my definition of this condition:

1) It’s a very painful eye condition where in the late stages of development, the iris sticks to the lens. The eyeball becomes very sensitive to touch, light and vision becomes blurry. “When the iris is inflammed, white blood cells (leukocytes) are shed into the anterior chamber of the eye…these cells can accumulate and cause adhesion between the iris and the lens.” [Source: ]

2) Here’s a more detailed medical definition from the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center:

”Uveitis means “inflammation of the uvea”, or the middle layer of the eye. The uvea consists of three structures: the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid. The iris is the colored structure surrounding the pupil, visible in the front of the eye. The ciliary body is a structure containing muscle and is located behind the iris which focuses the lens. The choroid is a layer containing blood vessels that line the back of the eye and is located between the inner visually sensitive layer, called the retina, and the outer white eye wall, called the sclera. Inflammation occurring in any of these three structures is termed “uveitis”.

Inflammation in uveitis may involve any but not necessarily all of these three structures. Depending upon which structures are inflamed, uveitis may be further subcategorized into one of three main diagnoses, these include:

· iritis or anterior uveitis,

· iridocyclitis or intermediate uveitis, and

· choroiditis or posterior uveitis.

Uveitis may develop following eye trauma or surgery, in association with diseases which affect other organs in the body, or may be a condition isolated to the eye itself. Severe and permanent visual loss can result from uveitis. In addition, uveitis can lead to other ocular complications, which may produce vision loss, including glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal damage. Early detection and treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Depending on which part of the eye is inflamed in uveitis different combinations of these symptoms may be present.

· Redness

· Light sensitivity

· Floaters

· Blurry vision

· Pain

These symptoms may come on suddenly, and you may not experience any pain. The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have uveitis. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor for a complete exam.

Treatment may include steroid eyedrops, injections, or pills, as well as eyedrops to dilate the pupil and reduce pain. More severe cases of uveitis may even require treatment with chemotherapeutic agents to suppress the immune system.” [ SOURCE:


I would not totally agree that symptoms come on “suddenly”, but conditions may vary per person. I’ve been getting gentle warning signals now for days that this was going to happen. And, it is somewhat amazing to me, that I’ll get iritis in the left eye one year and then just to be fair (it would seem), the next year it happens to the right eye.

I’ll give you the symptoms as I get them, then you can compare notes to what you may be feeling in your eyeball. However, please keep in mind, depending on the type of uveitis you have, the symptoms, of course, may differ.

a) If you have any disease that makes you more susceptible to iritis. (i.e. I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). One of the problems many AS patients also endure is recurring outbreaks of Iritis.)

[ankylosing spondylitis

Arthritis of the spine, resembling rheumatoid arthritis and leading to lipping or fusion of the vertebrae. Also called Strümpell-Marie disease, Marie-Strümpell disease, rheumatoid spondylitis, Strümpell-Marie disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.]

b) A few days before iritis kicks into top gear, my eyeball feels sluggish and heavy.

My Ophthalmologist tells (warns) me that staring at something, like a computer screen, for long periods are quite hazardous for anyone prone to iritis. Why? Because your eyes are constantly focusing at that set distance – arms length – for long periods. Therefore, if you have the same type of work habits as me, then maybe, you should get up and move around more often. In other words, get away from the computer and give your eyes more breaks.

Once iritis has really started kicking in, there are several additional warning signs to keep in mind:

c) The eyeball gives a burning/achy pain.

d) Blood vessels crop up in the whites of the eye and the white part starts turning red (bloodshot).

e) Throbbing in the eyeball.

f) Put your hand out and move it toward the affected eye, the closer you move your hand to your eye, and as your eye tries to focus on your hand, there will be an almost instant shooting pain in your eyeball.

g) Blurriness of vision.

h) Photophobic (high sensitivity to light).

i) Close your eyelid, and then lightly touch the affected eyeball, especially just on the outside of the colored portion of eye. If there is pain in a spot or two, that is a possible sign.

j) One last thing, if when you change lighting conditions in a room and the pupil of the affected eye does not change size, then that’s big trouble – at that point you better be heading off to see your Ophthalmologist.

If you have any of these more serious symptoms, you may want to have your eye checked out. Iritis is no fun and it is very dangerous. It can lead to all sorts of nasty sight problems, including blindness.

Now the Disclaimer: I’m not a physician – I’m a Photographer who suffers from Iritis. If this blog entry can be of any help to even a single person, then I am glad I spent the time on this. Take care of your eyes and see an eye doctor if you have any questions about your eyes and eye pain. Last but not least, be grateful for everything you don’t have to suffer from. But, if you learn a lesson from suffering, I guess that is something to be grateful for also. Wish me luck!

IRITIS – Part Un

Iritis Eyeball macro image of iritis infected eyeball - Nawfal’s eyeball to be exact.

Does your eyeball feel painful? Blurry? Can’t stand to look outside in the sunlight? Your eyeball is bloodshot and achy? You could have Iritis!

[The photograph above is my eyeball on 7 April 2007. I have a Part Deux to my Iritis blog, and you can follow that link by clicking on the “Part Deux” or on the image above. In Part Deux, I go into more medical details and the symptoms I get before getting full-scale iritis. It may be helpful to you, although, I’m sure that symptoms may be different on an individual basis, but it never hurts to be informed and be aware of some red-flag symptoms.]


{start of original post Part Unbut edited…}

Most of the technical information you may want to know about iritis is in “Part Deux.” This first post was from January 2006, and now, the iritis saga returns for me (April 2007).

So you made it to my blog, and you see my eyeball in the photo above. You think to yourself, “That’s just like my eyeball,” (well, maybe not the same eye color, but perhaps the redness is the same).

You go to your eye doctor and he tells you, you have iritis: Not such good news. I’m not sure what other doctors prescribe for iritis, but I know what my regimen is for treatment.

If I was lucky enough to get into the doctor early, then he will typically prescribe Indocid [Indomethacin belongs to the class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). It works by reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.] As typical nowadays, NSAIDs come with all kinds of warnings and side-effects for prolonged use – just check it out carefully, ask your doctor about any drug interactions, allergies, side effects, and risks about taking these medications.

In addition to the Indocid, I’m typically put on Prednisolone drops for the affected eye – starting with 3 times a day and then after a few days, 2 times, and then 1 time a day.

Just because you have faithfully followed your doctor’s instructions doesn’t mean all will be healed when the meds finish. Keep in mind the symptoms and pain in the eye. If the eyeball does not feel considerably better after the meds finish, then followup with your doctor.

In my case, if things get really bad, then there are usually steroid pills, dilation drops, and in the worse case (that I can think of), is when I have to get a shot-of-meds right in the eyeball: I’m not quite sure how to describe that experience, but it’s no fun! Thus, get to your doctor early so you don’t have to have that done to your eye.

Nobody wants to be without sight! Seeing is a wonder, it is a miracle, it is something that you never want to be without. Most of us, however, probably don’t think about this gift of sight much. We probably just take it as a natural part of our “being” and expect it to work all the time. You wouldn’t even appreciate it much until you are threatened with losing it.

On average, I get iritis about every one and a half years and it is horrible. It takes AT LEAST 2 to 3 weeks of pure rest:  That should mean no detailed computer work, for which my doctor keeps reminding me.  However, I’m quite a bad patient at times.  I hate not doing anything!  It really makes a mess of my nerves if I’m not being productive.  However, believe me, to get over iritis you need to rest your eye, take your meds on time and follow instructions.

So, if you ever have a serious eye condition, don’t mess around with it, go visit an eye doctor right away.

ps: I shouldn’t even be here at the computer working on my blog because I still have pain in my eye. However, I see that a fair number of folks are looking for information about iritis; therefore, I thought I would sit here a few minutes and update this post. I hope my iritis posts help you if you are suspicious that you have this eye condition.

(c) 2006 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved