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Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Iris

Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Iris

People may often be distinguished by the color of their eyes such as blue, green, brown or gray. This part of the eye that exhibits color is called the iris. It sits just behind the cornea and functions as a light regulator.

Consisting of muscle tissues and pigments, the iris causes the pupil to constrict or dilate. This action determines the amount of light that passes through the iris and contributes to the clarity of your vision.

Iris Disorders

Your iris is as vulnerable to infections and disorders as the other parts of your eye. As a result, if affected, your vision may be compromised. There are disorders or defects that are caused by accidents leading to damage. There are also congenital iris defects.

Accidents can damage your iris, whether it is hitting your eye with a pointed object or a non-pentrating object. When the iris is damaged, too much light passes through, causing difficulty in focusing on a particular object. It is like looking straight at a glaring headlight with difficulty to see things clearly.

Below, are a couple of congenital disorders that affect the iris:


This rare congenital complex eye disease is characterized by an underdeveloped iris. This occurs in utero, during pregnancy, and medical science points to a genetic defect as the culprit. Although aniridia is a name used to describe an isolated ocular disease, it is also a group of disorders, which is a feature of several malformation syndromes.

Aniridia means “absence of the iris.” Patients with this disease have poor vision and increased sensitivity to light. It also gives rise to other eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. About 1 in 50,000 to 100,000 newborns are afflicted with this disease.

Research indicates that an affected person inherits the “mutation” from one parent. In one case study, approximately two-thirds of cases displayed this result. The remaining cases had no family history of aniridia.

Iris Coloboma

Generally known as a congenital defect, iris coloboma is characterized by a black hole present in the eye. It gives the pupil an irregular shape, making it appear like it was cut. A less severe form of this defect causes blurred vision, ghost images and decreased visual acuity.

Iris coloboma can also be caused by other factors such as eye surgery or a severe trauma. It is estimated that around 0.5 to 0.7 for every 10,000 newborns are afflicted with this defect.

Early diagnosis of these iris-related defects in children is extremely important because it affects their development years. Seek the advice of professional eye care specialists to determine proper treatment. For proven and advanced eye care treatment solutions, schedule an appointment with Eastside Eye Associates/Tribeca Eye Physicians at 212-861-6200 or 212-693-7200 today. You will benefit from their 30 years of experience in this field combined with state-of-the-art technology in eye treatment.