How Well You Know about Iris and Vision Loss?

The iris forms the colored part of the human eye, consisting of muscular fibers that stretch and relax to control the amount of light that enters the pupil. Low vision aids can help restore the quality of life for individuals with related iris problems by helping them see. Examples of these devices are the Acesight Series, Iris Vision Live, etc.

eye exam

What are Irises and How They Work for Your Vision

parts of the human eyeThe iris forms the colored part of your eye, consisting of muscle tissues that control the pupil, as seen in the below picture. The contraction and relaxation of the iris control the amount of light that enters the pupil, which is responsible for vision. The Iris makes the pupil smaller in bright light and more significant when the light is dimmed. This means that there are constant changes in the amount of light that enters the pupil, which helps vision in different lighting conditions. One way to experience this is by stepping outside on a bright day and coming inside from a sunny day in a dark room. The time it takes your eyes to adjust to the different light settings in these two conditions is your irises adjusting the amount of light entering your pupil, which helps you see.

Iris-Related Vision Disorders

Iritis and aniridia are Iris-related diseases, which are the leading cause of visual impairment, and predominantly affect the young population, accounting for more than 25% of the cases of legal blindness in developing countries.

Aniridia

Aniridia is an eye disorder where the iris (colored ring structure of the eye that forms the pupil) is malformed. In simple terms, aniridia means 'no iris,' but when an individual is diagnosed with this condition only means that they have a small ring of iris tissue present in their eye, which can be irregular in shape. In general, aniridia occurs in every 1 out of 50000 individuals, with the prevalence in varying regions. It occurs with the mutation in the short arm of chromosome 11 (11p13) and affects the PAX6 gene. The gene makes instructions in making available the proteins involved in eye development, producing a wide range of visual outcomes for individuals with aniridia. Patients may experience a sound vision of (20/30) or a poor vision of 20/200. Furthermore, aniridia is also associated with other abnormalities, especially with the cornea (which increases the risk of abrasions and leads to vision loss, glare, and scarring), in the optic nerve (hypoplasia), in the lens (cataracts), in the Iris (glaucoma), and the retina (foveal hypoplasia).

Iritis

Iritis, on the other hand, describes the inflammation in the iris. There are many causes for iritis, such as trauma, injury, and autoimmune diseases, such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, nephritis, and reactive arthritis. Iritis is also associated with vision conditions such as leukemia and Kawasaki syndrome. Iritis may occur in one or both eyes, with patients diagnosed with the condition experiencing complaints of pain, light sensitivity, vision loss, red eye, and irregularly shaped pupils. Complications arising from this iris problem include retinitis, swelling of the back eye, and severe vision loss, which may lead to legal blindness. Individuals diagnosed with iritis can have vision outcomes such as severe vision loss, which may lead to legal blindness if not treated, and feeble vision of 20/200.

eye examination

Visual Loss Caused by Iris Problem

Some eye conditions responsible for vision loss, include glaucoma, horner's syndrome, cataracts, ocular albinism, pigment dispersion syndrome, aniridia, and iritis. People with these conditions have their iris damaged due to genetics, trauma, or injury. In addition, some medications and surgery can also affect the eye iris, leading to vision loss. Scanners used in electrical devices emit trim levels of infrared light, which can also damage the Iris. Patients are highly advised to talk to their healthcare provider when they notice that they have developed any of the following symptoms with their eyes.

    • Blurred vision
    • Double vision (diplopia)
    • Persistent pain that does not go away for days
    • Light sensitivity
    • When their vision gets noticeably worse

How Iris Treatment Help Improve Vision Loss

Treatments for aniridia and iritis can be used to improve and preserve the patient's vision. To be specific, iris implants are the most effective treatment options for individuals with related iris problems. Iris implants are custom-made and painted to look like natural irises, so the patients do not have to worry about their appearance.

iris of eye
 Although the iris implants are not readily approved by FDA, the iris treatment option is available for "compassionate use device exemptions," which allows unapproved devices to be used for rare conditions when no other treatment option exists. Iris treatments can be performed by using surgical operations where the iris is separated from the trabecular meshwork insertion in selected cases or through medical treatments with miotics. Patients may also be prescribed beta-blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, prostaglandin analogs, and sympathomimetics. Nevertheless, the iris treatment for iritis may include the patient being given steroid eye drops to reduce the iris inflammation, and dilating eye drops to reduce the pain from the pupils. Treatment of the iris for patients with aniridia and iritis can also be as follows:

    • Potential visual acuity in both the patients’ eyes must be symmetrical to restore vision loss
    • In cases where the vision is unequal with a visible structural difference, the patient must undergo vigorous amblyopia exercises for the worst eye.
    • Binocularity for the patient’s eye can be achieved through muscular hypoplasia
    • Strabismus surgery for early-stage detection of the iris problem

Low Vision Aids for Iris-Related Disorders

The burden for iris implants is causing significant socioeconomic burdens since options are very expensive. However, most of these complications for iris-related problems are residuals, meaning that individuals with low vision can benefit from low visual aids in visual rehabilitation. Electronic video magnifiers, e-glasses, and other devices, such as contact lenses are also beneficial.

When individuals have vision loss due to related iris problems, they can use a related virtual reality (VR) device to see and regain their quality of life. While low vision cannot be corrected your iris effectively with other low vision devices, such as magnifying aids, virtual reality devices may help the patient see more clearly and perform daily tasks. The low-vision virtual reality device captures the image and beams the image to the user's eyes at the right light contrasting to the remaining vision. The devices enable people with low vision to read texts and see images. Devices such as Acesight VR, and IrisVision Live are a practical implementation of the idea for a wearable vision technology that allows users to leverage the areas of the eye that are still functioning, helping them see clearly. FDA registers some of these devices as class 1 visual aid devices designed and packed with exceptional low vision assistive technology to help the legally blind live comfortably.

acesight vr

The camera of Acesight VR delivers 16X magnification, 65-degree FOV, and an extra 21.8% display compared with Full HD, which helps project clear, high-definition views for the users. The device also has colored reading, letting users switch between contrasting colors.

iris visionWith an all-in-one, autofocus and wearable low-vision technology, IrisVision Live is the device for the future with a wide range of software lenses designed to serve the specific goal of quality living for people with iris problems. Therefore, complications and prognosis for aniridia and iritis can also be assisted with low vision aids such as Acesight VR, Iris Vision Live.

Reference:

https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/vision/restoring-vision.php
https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/how-to-cure-blurry-vision-naturally#causes-with-natural-treatments
https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/iritis
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1208379-treatment#d7
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354966
https://www.irisvisitingopticians.co.uk/eye-health.htmi

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