Chris J. Barry
Iris Anomaly, 2007

Slit lamp photograph; photo-slit lamp camera equipped with adjustable external electronic flash lighting
Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Australia

This ophthalmic photograph reveals a rare, congenital, and incomplete iris formation that was present at birth. This condition is likely to lead to the development of glaucoma later in life as a direct consequence of the malformations of the iris and related structures. In this region of the eye there are a number of muscles and connective tissues that all work synchronously. The stroma found in the iris connects sphincter muscles which contracts the pupil, and a set of dilator muscles that allow the iris to open. The back surface of the iris is covered by a pigmented epithelial layer, and the front of the iris has no epithelium. The high pigment content blocks light from passing through the iris. The iris influences the effects on intraocular pressure and indirectly on vision. The ability to see the physiology of this condition is greatly aided by using the photo-slit lamp camera. The very small and highly directional light produced by this instrument allows visualization of structural details often invisible using other more common illumination techniques.

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