What Is Iritis? Mel B Reveals She’s Dealing With This Eye Condition Ahead Of The Spice Girls Tour
Ahead of the Spice Girls reunion tour that's set to kick off this weekend in Dublin, Ireland, Mel B, aka Scary Spice, revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that she's dealing with iritis, a kind of eye inflammation, the TODAY show reported. In her post, Mel shares that she went blind in her right eye and experienced blurred vision in her left eye.
"I was actually in a lot of pain and very, very scared, but thanks to the incredible eye specialists in A&E at London’s Moorfields Hospital and after at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, I was diagnosed by [an] eye specialist with severe iritis in my right eye and uveitis in my left eye," she wrote.
According to the Mayo Clinic, iritis is inflammation of the iris, the colored ring around the pupil, and it's the most common form of uveitis (eye inflammation). If left untreated, iritis can lead to vision loss and permanent eye damage. The inflammation can come on suddenly, and usually lasts for six to eight weeks. Symptoms include redness and discomfort in the eye(s), sensitivity to light, and decreased vision. If you experience these symptoms, get to the doctor ASAP to begin treatment.
"I’m taking multiple prescription heavy duty eye drops and other medication the [doctor] gave me that I have to take every day to keep the inflammation under control," Mel said on Instagram in a caption accompanied by a photo of her rocking a gauze eye patch.
The cause of iritis is unknown, the Mayo Clinic reported, but it can be genetic, a result of trauma, or a symptom of infection or disease. The good news is that it's totally treatable if you see a doctor at the onset of symptoms. If iritis goes untreated, a number of complications can arise.
"Scar tissue can cause the iris to stick to the underlying lens or the cornea, making the pupil irregular in shape and the iris sluggish in its reaction to light," the Mayo Clinic explained. People at risk for iritis include smokers, those with sexually transmitted infections, people who have autoimmune disorders, and those with the genetic altercation HLA-B27.
"See an eye specialist as soon as possible if you have symptoms of iritis. Prompt treatment helps prevent serious complications. If you have eye pain and vision problems with other signs and symptoms, you might need urgent medical care," the Mayo Clinic advised. Luckily, Mel sought treatment right away.
"I'm still dealing with it and will be [for] the next [three-to-four] months to fully get it under control, but I’m no longer worried that my condition will get worse. My only problem now is I have to find a very cool Scary eye patch," Mel joked. Actor Selma Blair responded with a recommendation. "Drugstore has good basic black sexy eyepatches. I use one. Heal soon, love," Blair said.
Despite her scary eye experience, Mel seems to be ready to hit the stage in full Scary Spice style. Her other Instagram posts show Spice Girls rehearsals and an airport run with Sporty Spice, presumably to head to Dublin for the May 24 tour opener. It's not clear whether or not Mel will make an eye patch part of her Spice Girls tour costume, but if you've got tickets you'll find out soon enough.