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Question: What is traumatic iritis, and how do you treat it?

Answer: This is an inflammation inside the eye that occurs after blunt trauma. By iritis, we mean that the iris is inflammed. Some people more accurately call this an iridocyclitis, meaning both eye iris and the underlying ciliary body are inflammed.

However you call it, what this generally means is there is some inflammation and sensitivity of the anterior structures inside the eye. This can cause low grade irritation and photophobia (sensitivity to light). This light sensitivity occurs because the iris wants to constrict with light … and if the iris is inflammed, it hurts.

We generally treat iritis with:

1. A steroid like prednisolone acetate (Pred Forte) to decrease inflammation
2. A cycloplegic like cyclogyl that will dilate the pupil and paralyze the ciliary body so that they don’t spasm with light exposure.

A moderatly-long acting cycloplegic has another positive affect in that it keeps the inflammed, “sticky” iris from adhearing to the underlying lens.


Hi my name is Kyle, and Im from Northwest ohio. Six years ago I was hit in my left with a softball, and went partially blind in that eye from the blunt force trauma. My pupil stays dialated, and have a red blind spot in the center of my vision. My question is if there is anything out there to treat this as with a surgical preceduure at least to my pupil dialating again.
thanks Kyle

Comment by Kyle Krotzer — December 14, 2008

due to the blunt trauma, your iris (your eye color that controls the pupil size) had likely sustained damage. more particularly, the sphincter, which is the muscle in the iris responsible for constricting it, might have suffered some permanent injury and therefore possibly caused irreversible dilation. as a result, you may suffer symptoms of glare and photophobia aside from the apparent iris ‘deformitity’. honestly, i believe most ophthalmologist will not attempt surgical correction as this is more of a cosmetic concern, and surgery will likely achieve poor if not neglible results, especially since its been six yrs since the accident. if you are very concern with the appearance of your pupil, then your best bet is to try tinted contact lenses, with either a general tint or an artificial pupil, to mask the prob.
in addition, i hope you had followed up with an optometrist or ophthalmologist after the blunt trauma and addressed the red blind spot as this is obviously not normal. if not, then it is imperative that you see your eye dr soon b/c this red spot might turn out to be something (such as a retinal detachment) that can lead into further vision loss.
hope this helps.
thanks, la

Comment by l, od — January 30, 2009

My name is Chase, I got hit in the eye three days ago by a racquetball. It hit me so fast and unexpectly that I could not get my eye closed. It knocked my Contact out and I had a black spot for about 60 seconds that went away and I found my contact and made it to the locker room where I put an eye drop in and put my lens back in and drove home. The next morning my eye felt like a sore muscle and after I was awake and blinked for a while the pain went away. Today is Saturday and and it happened Wednesday. When i woke up for work the light in my bathroom killed my eye and all morning the light has been killing my eye. I just took my contact out and its feeling a little better but I have been wearing my shades even inside. What should I do. I dont have insurence and dont want to go to the doctor. Thanks.

Editors Note: If you have any change in your vision, or discomfort to the eye, or visual side effects … you should go to the eye doctor (an ophthalmologist may be most appropriate given the nature of the injury). You may have a case of traumatic iritis that needs to be treated. A dilated exam might be a good idea as well … though extremely unlikely, impacts to the eye can create a small retinal tear, so warrants a checkup.

Comment by Chase — May 2, 2009

my son and his friends are cycling across the country, and having fallen one of the guys has traumatic iritis, he has been given steroids for the treatment but we need to know if it is ok to continue the cycle ride , many thanks.He does not have blurred vision.

Comment by Andy Woodward — July 9, 2009

My right eyes was hit about 15 years ago by a belt’s buckle. left my eye some rednes, if accidently rub. will caused irritation.

What sort of treatment should I get or is it permanent redness and can’t be removed?

Comment by Zul — September 27, 2010

10 days back my left eye hardly hit by shuttlecock (badminton) and that day onwards my left eye is blurred. The same day I went to ophthalmologist and he prescribed PRED FORTE and HEMASOL eye drops, still I am applying those eye drops. But still my vision (left eye)is blurred. Whether the blurring is due to eye drop OR is it a permanent vision loss? Pls advise. Thanks

Comment by Matti — October 12, 2010

Hi There! i was hit by a softball on my left eye as well but just 2 months ago and i am suffering from a blunt trauma. The opthalmologist also prescribed me Pred Forte and Hemasol eye drops for my condition. Currently i have stopped using the Hemasol eyedrops and the Pred Forte just once a day. However, my vision is still relatively blur due to the pupil not being able to shrink to the similar size as my other eye. What can i do make my left eye’s pupil shrink to it’s normal size just as how it should on my right eye?

Comment by Alvic — December 4, 2010

About a year ago I was treated by a chiropactic doctor. He twisted my neck on one of my office visit without warning or consent. I was in the emergency room two days later. with iritis and pressure. I have suffered with this for the past year. I have taken steroids for the same amount of time. I also have constant back pain. Do you know if twisting of the neck can cause eye problems and back problems?

Comment by Penny Burkett — January 6, 2011

My left eye has been irritated since cataract surgery in November, 2010. I have been using prednisolone drops and Xibrom. My doctor now says I have Iritis. Light is very painful into either eye. Keeping both eyes covered tightly gives relief and allows me to use fewer drops, but is not practical in the long term. My surgeon commented that my pupil was very small. Perhaps he had to manipulate it to a degree that trauma was experienced. What treatment should I seek to cure this condition?

Comment by Linda Fairbanks — February 26, 2011

my right eye has a very bad vision i cant really see properly it is very blury i want to get information on wat can help my eye to get good vision

Comment by ruhullah — August 5, 2011

my son got hit in the eye today friday whith his i.d that he hangs in his neck and his eye got red and was hurting its not res anymore and doesnt hurt,but he sees a little differenti guess blurry what we are worried is that his pupil is smaller than the other eye it seems to be getting a little bigger but very slow is that normal?

Comment by maricela luna — September 2, 2011

hola tengo 40 años y sufri una caida cuando era niña cinco años mas o menos , quede ciega de un ojo ahora con mis años quisiera saber si puedo operarme y recuperar mi vision siempre e estado ciega de un ojo, tengo alguna posibilidad

Comment by patricia o — February 14, 2012

a couple of years ago, my son’s right eye was hit by a tiny flying stone and it scratched the outer surface of the iris and caused it to be dilated. since my boy is also short sighted, the power keeps on increasing on the other eye but not to the injured one. how can i find a solution to this problem as the opthalmologist once told me that he might suffer from glaucoma if the condition persists.

Comment by fariza hamzah — April 15, 2012

After suffering from a traumatic iritis injury, what symptoms are expected during the healing process? How long is the healing process and what are the risks of prolonged vision problems related to the injury?

Comment by Becky — April 28, 2012

hi there..i was struck without notice on the left side of my cheek bone and temple 6 days ago. my left eye vision is severely blurred…and is now even worse than my right (lazy) eye. reading is a complete blur…and now distance, too, is a problem..big ptoblem. Also my left eye still feels soar and strained…when I look left it ffeels like I have scratching sensation in the under sorner of my eye. is this damage permanent or is there a remedy for a cure?????

p.s. blindlness runs in my family (two brothers and one sister in one ey!) Could I be even more prone to blindness due to my (former) girl-friend sudden strike at my face????

Comment by emily — May 3, 2012

Hi! Here is another victim!LOL! My right eye got hit with a shuttlecock yesterday (12 hours back). Went blind for almost 6 hours and had a hard time sleeping because of the pain. Vision is still blurry( can distinguish letters) but much better. This sensitivity to light may keep me indoors for some days. Haven’t had any treatment though. Will request a friend to drive me to doctor later.

Comment by Vil — July 26, 2012

Hi my name is Mohamed , im 18years old . I got hit in my eye when i was 5 years old , i got pushed by another kid from behind and landed my right into a corner of a desk . My right eye has always been damaged i can barely see anything , also ever since that incident my right eye has not stopped jumping , its not cross eyed condition its just jumps up and back down every second in a very fast paste ..

Comment by Mohamed — September 13, 2012

I also had a badminton injury on the 13th of Sept. On the 17th I went to the Optometrist. Luckily he didn’t see an damage and my vision was 20/20 but I had a little inflamation. He prescribed Predinisolone OPT 1% drops. Started off with 1 drop every hour for 1 day then every 2 hours for 1 day the every 3 hours till finally once a day. I have stopped using the drops but vision is still blurry after 2 days. I was wondering when the side effects of the drops are going to wear off? Doctor said everyone is different I was hoping there is somebody out there who has had experience with these drops and how they were affected.


Comment by Kimie Gorski — September 30, 2012

since 1990 my left eye came red iwent hospital and they give me medication i put after 3 hours my eye is too red and tears i gone back to start new treatment and doctor said is iritis then gave me medication after 2mnth is ok up to 2003 is come back again that time im not saw properly the doctor they gave me medication im used up 2004 my eye is clear and June 2011 is start again up to now my eye is not clear i saw very far still im used medication so can you help how to do

Comment by fatma — November 14, 2012

This is my third time in.a year now i have it in both.eyes the docs don’t know were It’s coming from but i am afraid iam going blind can you get irititis this often and in both eyes?

Comment by Karen — December 27, 2012

Hi I’m Shari and I am experiencing iritis on my left eye for 14 days already. I visited an ophthalmologists yesterday and they gave me medicines(pred forte and I dunno the other one, its with my nurse) but will have my follow up next week again. When I was 7 years old (I’m now 18) I was stoned on my eye by a kid Would it also be a caused why suddenly I am suffering from Iritis?

Comment by Shari — January 16, 2013

I am a Paramedic and was working in the back of the ambulance when it made a sudden stop and I was thrown forward hitting my right eye and cheek. Opthalmology at the ER examined my eye and said that I have traumatic iritis and a corneal abrasion. The light hurt and I was sensitive to light for a few days. I was prescribed some drops and antibiotic ointment. I take prednisone already so maybe that helped. I feel fortunate that my eye is feeling better. My cheek is still swollen. I stopped the drops since I am back at work after a week. I am reading here that several people have problems many years after the initial incident. If you have any updates if your treatment has worked please post. Thanks.

Comment by Kel — February 17, 2013

I hsd jumped into water from16 meter height my head hit the water first then I becamepartial blind fir an hour. then I went to doctir he tild me that I had a traumstic iridocyclitos
I want to know impct of this and hw long it goes pls tell me iam in worry

Comment by uday kumar — March 23, 2013

Hi my name is Rick. 10 years ago I was punched on my right eye. After the swaling went down I knowrest that my pupil was big and will not dailect anymore it stays big. My eye color is ok. In the past 3 years I knowrest that I get blury vision in that eye from time to time. Is there anything that I can do to make my pupil dailect again? Thank you.

Comment by Rick — March 26, 2013

Hi ive been hit in the eye with a cherry pretty hard and now its sensitive to light and hurts whenever i touch it. Can anyone help?

Comment by Christian — April 14, 2013

About 20 years ago I was hit in the head which triggered my first episode of iritis. I have been suffering with reoccurring episodes at least twice a year ever since. I’ve been on the steroid drops along with the ones to dilate my pupil. I get flair ups in both eyes and have a significant amount of damage. I am not at risk for glaucoma, is there anything I can do to stop the flair ups from happening?

Comment by Pauline Johnson — April 29, 2013

Two weeks ago,my brother got injury in his right eye in bomb blast .A stone with speed of bullet hit his eye and penetrate into the eye.Doctor has done C.T scan and stone was present at the end corner of the eye,After surgury stone is remove and GLoBe EYE repair.Doctor prescribe antibiotic and tobradex drops.Now he only senses the light and can sense the moving object by his right eye.his ultrasound result is fine.xcan somebody tell me,is there ay chance that he recover his vision again

Comment by erum — May 24, 2013

I was getting ready and doing my hair. I decided to put a headband on, its one of those elastic ones. And as soon I was about to place it, my thumb slipped and the headband got me straight in the eye. My eye got watery for about 20 minutes. I could barely close my eye because it stung so bad. But, throughout the day it was gradually getting better. Right now it stings a little, but it has a red streak on the right side. ** hit in my right eye**

Comment by mia — June 8, 2013

I had irittis for24 days now been taking drops and little inflammation is present but I just woke up like this I wasn’t hit or anything

Comment by gwen — July 12, 2013

when I was about 7 or 8 years old I fell hitting my head on a very sharp object. I lived in a remote area and was treated with just a bandage on my eye. The cut was almost a centimeter deep to my left eye. It was 4 to 5 centimeters long and about 1/2 a centimeter off from cutting into my eye slit. It was very close. As I was very young and both parents are gone. I really don’t know for sure if I can say I had blurred vision on that eye for a while but I do know it was sore for a very long time an it took a while to heal. I was 9 going on 10 and it was near summer time when I went completely blind! Yes completely blind, no pain, no trauma after the accident of hurting eye.(that i can remember). after a year of being blind my vision came back! it was a miracle im told. I am now 44 going 45 and had to this year were glasses! I do get blurred tired eyes now and then but nothing to worry about. I was just curious as to why I went completely blind!?

Comment by Char — July 16, 2013

I haave been having problems with my both eyes for the past six years. The problem is that my eye is always itching me and it discharges a lot,due to that the colour of both eyes have changed and my eyelid is also black,but recently i went to the clinic and doctor told me i have glaucoma and prescribed some drugs for me,but right now i am stil using the drugs and my right eye vision has gotten blunt,i cant see clearly like the left eye. Pls help me

Comment by martin — July 23, 2013

I was punched on my left eye 3 days back. And since then, I can see a white flash kind of thing in the dark. Though their is no irritation and no pain. But it is swelling a bit. I didn’t go to the doctor. So, is their anythig serious or it will get well with the time.

Comment by arnab — October 2, 2013

Amab: Go to the eye doctor today. You need to rule out retinal detachment.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — October 2, 2013

I was just searching the web when I came upon your site. Since I’ve noticed some people have been dealing something comparable to my own, I thought I leave a comment and see if I can get some answers.

So basically about 2 years ago, I was playing some soccer and got hit in my left eye. The next day, my eye was extremely sore sensitive to any type of light at all. I went to the eye clinic and of course they told me I hurt the cornia (back of the eye) in the impact. My Doctor was able to treat with the steroid drops and the back of the eye is now good. However, my eye still gets inflamed almost every couple of weeks (mainly, the sensitivity to light and the eye is red and sore to the touch). My Doctor just put me back on the (Homatropine)as well as the steroid drops.

The clinic has also suggested injecting the eye and maybe the medication will work better and keep it from getting inflamed every couple of weeks. By the way, the pressure in my eye is normal.

My question is, should my doctor be giving me a different drop to stop this once and for all? I know this should not be happening so what can I suggest to my doctor?


Comment by Manny — October 16, 2013

Hi! Can cervical injury cause uveitis because of the constricted spinal cord like ankylosing spondylitis? I developed uveitis in my left eye 2 weeks after the injury. Tnx!

Comment by Jimmy Esteban — October 18, 2013

(N.B. Firstly sorry my english is very unclear)hi,my when i am 8 years old then my left eye injuried by a pin at my pupil.and quickly i lose my vision of my that eye and a white spot on my pupil.doctor did operation that time and consult to fix a lance but my parents didn’t agree that time because they are poor men.after 7 year i again go to consult and they fix a lance at my eye but from that day to today(5 years more going) STILL MY VISION IS NOT CLEAR AND MY THAT EYE GOING BAND.can i return my vision back of that eye and prevent to band?please reply.(N.B. No blood at That time when i injuried.retina is intact and they reported that traumatic cataract)

Comment by kanchon boruah — October 22, 2013

Hi there, 2 nights ago glow stick fluid went into my eye after a glow stick broke. It burnt incredibly badly, i went to wash my eye straight away for about 2 minutes. It hurt less after some time. Earlier today it started itching and it’s been itchy the whole day. Im not sure if I should be worried or not. Am i experiencing the iritis above? I’m in a foreign country right now, and I’m financially constrained to see a doctor, especially a specialist. Is this something that will get better on its own, or is it strongly advised to make a plan and see a doctor

Comment by Thomas — October 27, 2013

Thomas, you certainly win the award for most interesting eye injury. Ideally you would see an eye doctor. Itching is usually an allergic reaction, and unlikely to be dangerous. If your vision is at all decreased, however, see an eye doctor.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — October 28, 2013

My left eye got bumped pretty hard about 4 hours ago. It knocked my contact out and I lost my vision for a few seconds. I have a scratch on the inside of my lower eyelid that hurts like crazy. My eye veins are super red and the right part of my sclera and the area around my pupil is yellow . I’m guessing that’s bilirubin . Basically a black eye type thing. I know I can’t wear my contacts until that scratch heals, but do I need to see a doctor for antibiotics or anything else?

Comment by Lee — November 14, 2013

Hi. My eye problem started back in 2004. One corner of my eye was completely bright red. It didn’t itch and was not painful. The doctor was sure what had caused it. That was the only time that year that it had happened. From 2004 to 2009 it might have happen maybe one time. In 2010 it started accruing like every 1 to 2 months. It would go back and forth from one eye to another, except now not only was it bright red it also became very painful when I touched it or moved it or or try to look at anything on my phone. My eye became sensitive to light and somtimes I would get this pressure or like a headache by my temple. It normally last anywhere from 4 to 7 days. I have been to three different eye specialist and they all say that something is irritating my eye causing my vessels in my eye to inflamed and that my vison is fine still. They still don’t know what is causing it I have ruled out some of the things that they have said my be irritating. They have given me Prednisolone acetate to use but as you know it is not good to use all the time and could lead to early glaucoma. I just would like to know if this could possibly be a conditon or maybe symptoms of another underline condition?

Comment by Tatiana — December 3, 2013

Tatiana, hard to tell without looking at your eye during an episode. If I had to guess, I would think you have one of the following:

1. Inflammed pinguecula
2. episcleritis
3. scleritis
4. dry eye

If I were you, I’d see a cornea specialist. They tend to be very good at anterior segment issues like this and may have a more definitive treatment/diagnosis.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — December 6, 2013

Hello, My name is Hazel. Last night, I was accidentally elbowed in the eye – it wasn’t hard, and the hit was mostly taken on my eye socket but there was some contact with my eye (closed). Maybe about the same force as someone poking you playfully. It was a little sore after it but nothing bad, and nothing more than I’m used to having (I suffer from migraines and one of my symptoms is pain behind the right eye, which is the one that got hit)

This morning though, it really hurts. It feels like I should have a migraine from where the pain is, but it’s not, it’s just the eye pain. it feels like its on the “top” of my eye within the socket, and it aches to move my eyes in certain ways – like looking leftways, for example. I don’t know if this is anything to worry about because the trauma was only last night, but it’s really bugging me. I’ve taken painkillers to ease it, to no effect as yet. The only reason i’m worried is because the pain isn’t even where I was hit! Should I get it seen to as a precaution, or do you think it will ease off on it’s own?

Addition: I’m in the UK, and I’m not sure if we have specific Eye doctors here, or if it’s just opticians. Would they be able to help me if that is the case?

Comment by Hazel — December 19, 2013

Hazel, if the eye still hurts or you are having any vision changes, you need to see a doctor.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — December 22, 2013

I was hit extremely hard in my eye with a plastic container.now it hurts,is extremely sensitive to light,hurts or burns when I look certain directions.what could be wrong with it?

Comment by Michailah — December 26, 2013

My new granddaughter was was born very quickly and the result was broken eye vessels right after birth. Now she is six months old and I noticed her eyes stay dilated. They are beautiful by the way.

Comment by marie guilmette — December 27, 2013

I was hit in the eye with a rock..i had a black spot for about 2 minutes..it faded away and I continued my day…when it got home later and it was dark it came back. also every morning I wake up… the black spot is there until I go into a lighted area then it fades away to normal vision.

Comment by scott — January 12, 2014

Michailah, Marie and Scott … please see an eye doctor.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — January 14, 2014

I got hit in the eye yesterday and today I woke up with my pupil blood red. underneath by my lower eye lid and to the upper eyelid. is this dangerous?
Will it go away on its own? what should I do?

Comment by sue — January 27, 2014

Infrequently I wake up having evidently slept on my right eye. It is painful and hurts to open. Light bothers it, but eventually after using GenTeal eye drops several times the eye feels better. I have had cataract surgery in both eyes in the past.
How can I stop this from happening?

Comment by Dorothy — January 31, 2014

For 3 days I would get a sharp pain behind my right eye.
I woke up today with the eye 1/2 red. What would cause
this. A friend said she thought it could of been a mini
stroke, is that possible.
Thank you for any help

Comment by Gail Schmitz — February 1, 2014

Gail, sounds like a subconjunctival hemorrhage. If you are having eye pain or decreased vision you need to see an eye doctor.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — February 1, 2014

I just got my glasses like a month ago nd I see perfectly fine but I just noticed that in side my pupil I have a white spot I’m not sure what it is ?? And I feel no pain at all can someone tell me ?

Comment by veronica — February 2, 2014

There is possible way to cure iritis but it does not cure fully, I can’t explain online. Blunt trauma to eye will result in permanent damage. When I went to the eye doctor she said its permanent, no cure.

Comment by Kicker — March 30, 2014

My wife , Janet, on Saturday, misjudged her closeness to a curb at the apartment complex that we live at. She fell hard to the sidewalk! Her right eye is called a lazy eye, meaning she is legally blind in that eye. Hher left eye’s iris was torn, her left wrist was banged up, and both knees were scraped up, along with a black eye. After taking to to the emergency room and a followup visit to our family doctor, she found that she in her fall, got a torn iris. How dangerous is that ?

Comment by Ray Parrish — April 2, 2014

Hi my name is schamara a few days back I was at work and all of a sudden my left eye went black and I couldn’t see anything anymore till to date. About four years ago I had a mild stroke attack in my face and my mom gave me some home remedies to take care of it from since then I had never had a problem wit any part of my body. So I was wondering if my eye attack is another attack of stroke and will I be able to see again

Comment by schamara bernard — April 6, 2014

Schamara, please go see a doctor. If you have a loss of vision and are concerned for a stroke … you need to go to the emergency room.

Comment by Timothy Root, M.D. — April 6, 2014

13 years ago had a severe trauma to my left eye where they could not reattach my retina, don’t have vision at all in that eye. They had to put silicone in the eye so it wouldn’t collapse. It’s been fine since, had been able to move the eye the same as the other eye but I noticed that the damaged eye is moving on its own and looks like it has gotten smaller. What is going on??

Comment by Latanya H — November 21, 2014

My son had an eye injury 2 years ago (football). He lost vision for almost 2 months and it was extremely light sensitive. After recovering vision, he has been fine until a few days ago. His vision tunneled, then became blurry then cleared up, but he is now sensitive to light again and has to keep it covered. We went to our opthamologist and he sees nothing wrong. What could be causing his discomfort. We are waiting to get into a specialist, but in the mean time I wondered what it could be.

Comment by Sami — November 22, 2014

Just today I was hit in the eye with a rubber band and my eye was all puffy and red and my eyeball itself was all red like the color of blood.There was no big cut on the eye but my vision is still a little blurry from the incident. Is there any long term affects to this?

Comment by Michelle — January 29, 2015

About a month ago a got hit with a plastic air soft pellet. I have traumatic iritis. I have no pain only sensitivity to light. My eye does not dilate properly. Will this go away or cause future problems.

Comment by shane — February 1, 2015

Hi, I’m going to ignore all the comments above asking for advice in order to… ask for advice!

Four days ago a Dilophosaurus spat acid in my eye after a lab experiment went wrong. Now everyone looks like my Uncle Keith, and I’m afraid of spiders. What can I do? I can afford insurance but don’t have any because I’m too indecisive to choose a signature for myself.

Yours in Christ,

Comment by John smith — January 15, 2017

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