Torn Iris


The iris is one of the most important parts of the eye. The iris is made up of a circular and thin structure in the eye that controls the size of the pupil and diameter. The amount of light that reaches the retina depends on the iris. The iris has two sections, the pupillary zone and the ciliary zone. The pupillary zone covers the inner region and the ciliary zone covers the rest of the iris. Different color irises can include brown, blue, gray, green, hazel and pinkish-white (only associated with albinism). There is a small fascination around people with two different color eyes. This is known as heterochromia and is usually very uncommon among humans. Unfortunately, the iris is not above injury and injuries such as a torn iris can occur.

Torn Iris

Causes of a Torn Iris

Blunt trauma is one of the main reasons that can cause a torn iris. Some of the other cause include:

  • Constant scratching of eye and iris
  • Cataract disease
  • Blunt force
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Something hitting your eye

Symptoms of a Torn Iris

If you are suffering from a torn iris, then you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the eye or around the eye
  • Inability to see
  • Blurred vision
  • Tearing
  • Eye ache
  • Bleeding
  • Painful to open eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inflammation


A physical examination of the eye is the best way to get a clear look at the situation. Although your medical history may help understand your condition, doctors first want a clear look at the problem at hand. An exam under a lighted microscope can help determine the extent of the tear. If need be, drops can be placed in eyes to help further detect a tear or other injury.

Torn Iris


If there is a tear in the iris, eye drops can be given to help dilate your pupil and relieve pain. Depending on the situation, steroid eyedrops can help given to reduce the swelling. Surgery is only offered in rare cases. Within one to two weeks, your iris should be healing or healed, and your vision should return to normal.

Which doctor to use?

There are three different types of eye doctors to choose to examine your eyes: an optometrist, ophthalmologist and optician. If you are suffering from a torn iris, then visiting an optician should not be your first choice. Here is the breakdown of these three types of eye doctors.

  • Optician: These “doctors” check lens prescriptions, provide and repair glasses and contact lenses, and take facial measurements. They are not considered eye doctors because they did not go through proper schooling.
  • Optometrist: These eye doctors can diagnose eye conditions, perform eye exams, prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, treat eye conditions, prescribe medication and help with pre or post-op car. Even though optometrists have gone to college, they did not attend medical school.
  • Ophthalmologist: These eye doctor completed college and went to medical school. They offer complete care of the eye such as eye exams, surgical eye car, plastic surgery and treatment of eye conditions. Visiting an ophthalmologist is better than an optometrist when suffering with a torn iris because they take care of the whole eye.


It is important to always protect your eyes to prevent damage. To help prevent injuries of the iris or tears, follow these tips:

  • Wear protective eye gear when doing construction, working with chemicals or playing certain sports
  • Protect your eyes when shooting firearms or fireworks
  • Go on yearly or bi-yearly visits to the eye doctor to get a complete check-up
  • Wear glasses or contact lenses if you need to
  • Do no strain your eyes or scratch them if not necessary.