COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Your health and safety are our top priorities. Learn more about our COVID-19 evaluation and testing and our commitment to providing great care while maintaining the safest environment possible.

Health Library

Iris
     
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks

Iris

 

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It is located between the cornea and lens. The round, central opening of the iris is called the pupil. Very small muscles in the iris cause the pupil to get smaller and bigger to control how much light comes into the eye. This allows you to see well in lighter and darker settings.

The number of color granules in the iris determines the iris color (pigment). The amount of pigment is often related to a person's genes, skin type, and hair color.

Inflammation of the iris is called iritis. Rarely, tumors can form in the iris. When tumors do form, most often they are melanoma.

 

References

Evans M. Anatomy of the uvea. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 7.1.

Venes D, ed. Iris. Taber's Medical Dictionary, 23rd ed., F.A. Davis Company, 2017. Taber's Online. www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/752593/all/iris.

BACK TO TOPText only

 
  • Iris

    Iris

    illustration

    • Iris

      Iris

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Tests for Iris

       
         

        Review Date: 9/16/2019

        Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com