Mila Kunis reveals secret health condition

It’s no secret Mila Kunis has eyes that are the envy of women everywhere.

Black Swan co-star and Golden Globe nominee Mila Kunis reveals in the February issue of Cosmopolitan magazine a secret health condition: “I was blind in one eye for many years, and nobody knew … I’m not blind anymore. I had surgery a couple of months ago. They cut it open and dropped a new lens in there.” The blindness was caused by a condition called chronic iritis. The condition caused a cataract in that eye which affected her vision. Replacing the lens in the affected eye restored her sight.

A brief anatomy of the front of the eye:

The iris is the colored part of the front of the eye. It controls light that enters the eye by controlling the size of the eye’s opening (the pupil).

The ciliary body is a group of muscles and blood vessels that changes the shape of the lens so the eye can focus. It also makes a fluid called aqueous humor. Aqueous humor is a clear, watery fluid that fills and circulates through parts of the front of the eye.

The lens is a transparent, biconvex structure in the eye that, along with the cornea, helps to refract light to be focused on the retina. The lens, by changing shape, functions to change the focal distance of the eye so that it can focus on objects at various distances, thus allowing a sharp real image of the object of interest to be formed on the retina.

What is Chronic Iritis?

Iritis is inflammation predominantly located in the iris of the eye. Inflammation in the iris is more correctly called as anterior uveitis.

Uveitis occurs most frequently in people ages 20 to 50, and affects men and women equally. It is estimated that more than 280,000 people in the United States are affected by uveitis each year and that uveitis is the reason for 30,000 new cases of blindness a year and up to 10 percent of all cases of blindness. The disorder may affect only one eye.

Although iritis/uveitis can be associated with many medical conditions, such as autoimmune and infectious disorders, at least half of those affected are completely healthy.

Symptoms of Anterior Uveitis:

  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dark, floating spots along the visual field
  • Eye pain

Treatment may involve:

  • Dark glasses
  • Eye drops that dilate the pupil to relieve pain
  • Steroid eye drops

Cataracts are a common complication of uveitis. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens. In the US, cataract surgery is a commonly performed procedure to replace the damaged lens. Eye doctors can remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with a special plastic lens. However, if the cataracts are related to uveitis, eye doctors may not be able to perform surgery until the inflammation caused by uveitis is brought under control. In most cases, eye doctors want the eye to be free of inflammation for at least three months before performing cataract surgery.

Long term use of corticosteroids used to treat uveitis can also increase the risk of developing cataracts. The type of cataract developed by long-term corticosteroid use causes the most visual disturbance.

Other possible complications of anterior uveitis include fluid within the retina, glaucoma(increased pressure in the eye), detachment of the retina and vision loss.

For more information about chronic iritis, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

6 Comments

  1. 徵信公司

    January 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

    One day; Xiao Ming another class …. a sudden “rush”(fart) a cry;sitting next to a small U.S. scolded and said: Xiao-Ming Ah ~ if you could not make a noise.

  2. Samantha

    January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    There is a lot of incorrect information here regarding who Uveitis affects and typical treatments. it absolutely doesn’t affect men and women equally, it’s in fact very rare for men to be afflicted with it. It most commonly occurs in girls between the ages of 4 and 6. Common treatments do include steroid eye drops, but more importantly include chemotherapy drugs such as Methotrexate, Remicaid and Humira. Dark glasses have pretty much no effect on treating Uveitis.

    • Dr. M

      January 27, 2011 at 12:28 am

      Thanks for writing Samantha. Although uveitis does occur in children as well as in adult, this article was primarily dealing with uveitis in adults. The most common age group is 40-60 years old. There may be a slight female predominance, but according to Ophthalmology, 3rd ed. 2008, for idiopathic and other anterior uveitis syndromes, the disease affects men and women equally. Yes, chemotherapeutic drugs such as Methotrexate may be added to a treatment regimen for cases of uveitis which do not respond or are more aggressive. Dark glasses do not treat uveitis, but may help somewhat in patients who are sensitive to light because of uveitis.

  3. Denise

    January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve had iritis since I was 15, I’m not 23 and it comes and goes as it pleases. I have huge floaters in my right eye at present and am on drops (maxidex) to try and calm them down. When I was first diagnosed, I was the youngest person in Northern Ireland with Iritis. I wish I could get the surgery that Mila had!! I’ve had injections directly into my eye but at the moment, the drops don’t seem to be working and the eye doc hasnt called me back for an inspection.
    I wouldnt wish this stupid disease on my worst enemy – it’s hell 🙁

    • Vickie

      July 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      I have been dealing with chronic iritis for the past three years. I am 56 years old. I finally went to a rheumatologist to find out what was causing it. I found out I have ankylosing spondilitis. I am now on Methotrexate to help with the condition because I am still on steroid eye drops.

      This condition needs to be closely monitored to make sure you don’t end up with blindness or glaucouma. Also, you need to find out the root cause. Maybe there is something they can do.

      The surgery Mila Kunis had was to correct the cataract caused by the iritis. I also ended up with a cataract and had to have surgery to correct it. It messed up my lasic surgery I had several years ago, but things could be much worse.

      Please find a doctor who is specialized in this condition. I’m seeing a vitreonologist. He has been watching me very closely all this time.

      God Bless You and lots of luck. I know how you feel. It is a lot to deal with.

  4. Helen

    October 7, 2015 at 1:15 am

    I wish the celebrities that had this would use their fame to bring awareness of it & hopefully the cure! My young daughter is suffering thru the Chronic Idiopathic Uveitis & is on the Shots & all the eyedrops daily, terrible that they have to go thru this & all of the Dr visits & meds are so expensive. We started a pg: https://www.gofundme.com/ex38vkur

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