CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|Eye with uvea|
Often, the cause of iritis can't be determined. In some cases, however, iritis can be linked to eye trauma, genetic factors or certain diseases. Known causes of iritis include:
- Injury to the eye. Blunt force trauma, a penetrating injury or burn (chemical or thermal) to your eye can cause acute iritis.
- Infections. Herpes zoster — commonly known as shingles — can cause iritis if you have a skin eruption on your face. Other infectious diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, tuberculosis and syphilis, may be linked to other types of uveitis.
- Genetic predisposition. People with HLA-B27, a specific alteration of a gene that's essential to immune system function, are more likely to develop certain autoimmune diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis. Acute iritis may occur in people with these diseases.
- Behcet's disease. An uncommon cause of acute iritis in Western countries, this condition is also characterized by joint problems, mouth sores and genital lesions.
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic iritis can develop in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.In cases where the condition is mild and affects only a few joints, iritis may be one of the first indications of the condition. Because the two conditions are so commonly associated with each other, doctors often routinely screen for iritis or other types of uveitis in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
- Certain medications. Some drugs, such as the antibiotic rifabutin (Mycobutin) and the antiviral medication cidofovir (Vistide) that are used to treat HIV infections, may cause iritis. Stopping these medications usually stops the iritis symptoms.
- Posterior uveitis. Inflammation starting in the back part of your eye (posterior uveitis) can have a spillover effect on the parts of the uvea at the front of your eye.
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