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Inflammation of the iris and the ciliary body.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an inflammation of the iris and ciliary body of the eye. It may be caused by rheumatism, viral diseases, typhus, pneumonia, gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, diseases associated with metabolic disturbances (diabetes, gout), diseases of the teeth and paranasal sinuses, and injuries to the eye.

Iridocyclitis is manifested by pain in the eye (often at night), photophobia, tearing, and low visual acuity. A reddish-violet rim (pericorneal infection) forms around the cornea. The color and markings of the iris change. The pupil is contracted because of edema of the iris and irritation of the endings of the oculomotor nerve. Even light pressure on the eye causes pain. Deposits (precipitates) of different sizes appear on the posterior surface of the cornea. The pupil becomes irregular in shape if adhesions develop between the margin of the iris and anterior surface of the crystalline lens (posterior synechiae). In severe cases, circular adhesions may arise between the posterior surface of the iris and the lens. If this happens, the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye separate and the normal outflow of intraocular fluid is disrupted, resulting in secondary glaucoma. Sometimes an exudative film forms near the pupil, preventing light from entering the eye and reducing visual acuity sharply. If the inflammation is particularly severe, the aqueous humor of the anterior chamber becomes cloudy (suppurative exudate—hypopyon). The inflammatory phenomena are much less pronounced in chronic iridocyclitis. Recurrences are characteristic of iridocyclitis of rheumatic or tubercular origin.

Treatment includes administering agents that dilate the pupil to prevent the formation of posterior synechiae or to break them; applying leeches to the temples or heat to the eyes, and administering corticosteroids (locally and sometimes internally) and antibiotics. The main disease that caused the iridocyclitis must also be treated.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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