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Postgrad Med. 1996 Feb;99(2):255-7, 261-2.

Iritis. How to recognize and manage a potentially sight-threatening disease.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Fontana, CA 92335, USA.


A red eye is a common complaint, often related to benign conditions. However, a red eye in conjunction with symptoms such as photophobia, pain, and decreased visual acuity is an important clue to a much more serious disorder. Iritis is one of these but is reversible with proper use of mydriatic and cycloplegic agents and corticosteroids. Heightened clinical suspicion is necessary for timely diagnosis. The examiner should be skilled in the use of a slit lamp or should refer the patient to an ophthalmologist for immediate evaluation. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment with topical corticosteroids is imperative. Close monitoring is required because overuse of corticosteroids has ominous side effects.

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