iris synechiae

This is an oddly shaped pupil that forms after inflammation inside the eye.  The iris is the flat muscle inside our eye that controls pupil size and gives our eyes “color.” When the iris is inflamed, such as after trauma or uveitis, it tends to become “sticky” and wants to scar to nearby structures. The pupil overlies the lens itself and if the edge of the pupil adheres to the lens underneath, the pupil will look abnormal.  This adhesion is called a synechiae, and makes the pupil look like a cat’s eye or a keyhole.  If the adhesions are bad enough, the pupil can scar and create an acute glaucoma. In cases of ocular inflammation, we typically treat the eye with steroids to cool the eye down as quickly as possible. In addition, we may prescribe dilating drops to force the pupil to dilate and keep these adhesions from forming.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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