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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 a burn from a chemical or fire can cause acute iritis.
  • Infections. Shingles (herpes zoster) on your face can cause iritis. Other infectious diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, tuberculosis and syphilis, may be linked to other types of uveitis.
  • Genetic predisposition. People who develop certain autoimmune diseases because of a gene alteration that affects their immune systems might also develop acute iritis. Diseases include ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis.
  • Behcet's disease. An uncommon cause of acute iritis in Western countries, this condition is also characterized by joint problems, mouth sores and genital sores.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic iritis can develop in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Sarcoidosis. This autoimmune disease involves the growth of collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) in areas of your body, including your eyes.
  • Certain medications. Some drugs, such as the antibiotic rifabutin (Mycobutin) and the antiviral medication cidofovir (Vistide) that are used to treat HIV infections, might cause iritis. Stopping these medications usually stops the iritis symptoms.
Feb. 14, 2014