Effects of Aniridia

Aniridia is a unique disorder, often presenting a great amount of variation between cases. The following is a list of different effects that can be associated with it, which may or may not accompany an aniridia diagnosis.

Irregularly Formed Iris

In aniridia, some people have iris that are minimally underdeveloped; some have only partial absences of iris; and still there are some who have total absence of the iris. Commonly, even those with total absences of iris, there may be a very small amount of iris tissue that can be detected under a microscope.


This is a term that refers to extreme light sensitivity, a common side effect of aniridia. The iris is responsible for blocking and absorbing the light that enters the eye, and without iris, photophobia is very common. Typically, daily maintenance requires managing extreme in those with this condition, and why protective lenses are one of the most common types of treatment.


Nystagmus is a condition, very commonly found in infants with Aniridia, that involves abnormal, involuntary rapid eye movements. These can be both in an up-and-down movement, or a side to side movement, and this can persist into adulthood.


Glaucoma is a very common additional effect of aniridia, and it occur much earlier in those who have this condition. Because those who have aniridia often have abnormally developed eye angles, draining the aqueous fluid from the eye can be difficult. This results in blockages from the angle, and can in turn, cause glaucoma.

Corneal Issues

Corneal problems are common in those with an aniridia because there is a chance of having a deficiency in limbal stem cells, which are responsible for the health of the cornea. In their absence, compromised cornea is a possibility.

Lens Abnormalities

Having aniridia puts one at risk for lens abnormalities, which includes a high risk of cataracts and also the dislocation of the lens.

Retinal Issues

Foveal hypoplasia, which is the underdevelopment of the fovea, is common among those who have aniridia. This means that the section of the retina responsible for detailed visual acuity may be/ become compromised. Hyperplasia of the optic nerve is also a possibility, and this is responsible for transmitting visual information to the brain from the retina.

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