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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11317
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have a question with regards to the iris. Today a friend

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Hello Doctors! I have a question with regards ***** ***** iris. Today a friend of mine took a very close-up detailed pictures of my eyes. When I looked at the picture, I noticed that my iris has some brown 'discolored' spots in a few places within each iris. Should I be concerned? I just had an eye exam and the ophthalmologist never mentioned anything.. but I'm not sure if he would have been able to see this discoloration. I posted the pictures on my website. Here are the 2 pictures, please click on each web link:
Please let me know what you think these spots are and if I should be concerned. What is the worst case scenario/treatment. Should I be concerned about eventually losing my vision? Thank you!
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

I have reviewed both of your (very excellent, by the way....) photographs of your iris. I am happy to report that those are pictures of completely normal iris tissue. Everyone's iris has color variations, nooks and crannies, just like you have shown in your pictures.

Dr. Rick :

The is nothing to be concerned about, nor is there any treatment necessary as your iris' look perfectly normal and healthy.

Dr. Rick :

Now. Shall we talk about other things I noticed in the pictures?

Dr. Rick :

You have small pinguecula in both your eyes; nasel on the left and temporal on the right. This is not a cancer and it is nothing to worry about. Here is some information on this condition:

Dr. Rick :

what you have is called a pinguecula. This is a change in the skin around the eye (conjunctiva) from a lifetime's worth of exposure to sunlight. It is not a cancer. It also can become irritated and red at times.

Here is a link to a picture of a small pinguecula. You can find many other pictures by going to Google images:

This is link to a picture of a pterygium. As you can see one of the major differences between a pterygium and a pinguecula is that a pterygium grows across the clear part of your eye (cornea):

If you are bothered by your pinguecula it can be surgically removed fairly easily by your ophthalmologist using local anesthesia. One word of caution however.....they have the nasty habit of growing back, sometimes with a vengeance.

Dr. Rick :

What else did I notice in the pictures? have blepharitis. No need to update your will.....we can treat this too....

Dr. Rick :

Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.

The best treatment for this condition is daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.

Dr. Rick :

I hope you don't mind that I gave you more data then you were looking for....these things can happen when you show high-quality, upclose, pictures of eyes to an ophthalmologist :)

Dr. Rick :

The take home message? You will be ok.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)

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Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. We can use the Q&A system to 'text message' each other. An email will be sent to each of us every time something is posted to this thread.

Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello Dr. Rick! First of all, WOW! Thank you so much for the very detailed answer and analysis on my condition, you've definitely surpassed all of my expectations!

I'm happy to hear that the iris is normal! With regards ***** ***** pingueculas, I am very aware of this condition and I'm currently looking for an opthamologist who will be able to remove these. The 2 opths that I've seen have both told me to leave them alone, but they really bother me.

The one question that I have is with regards ***** ***** blepharitist. I've had this condition for a few years now which really bothers. I self-diagnosed based on symptoms. My questions is, based on the pictures, how can you tell that I have blepharitist? What are the physical markers on the eyelid (or the eye) that demonstrates this condition?

I've been thinking about getting MGD probing done to open the glands. Are you a proponent of this procedure because it seems very few opths are offering this new type of procedure.

Thanks again Dr. Rick - I look forward to your response!
I can see the abnormal light reflections along your lid margins in the pictures. Also there is abnormal redness and swelling where the openings to the meibomium glands should be present...the gland openings, which should be visible at the magnification of the (very nicely in focus) pictures can't be seen.
I think you should use the lid scrubs and warm soaks.....I don't think probing is a long term solution to your issues.....
But, we digress....Wasn't your question about your iris lol! Guess you got a threefur on this one, eh?
You may now mash the pretty "accept" button..... ;o) I promise not to go up in a puff of smoke lol!
Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Have a great day.
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