Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Eye and Vision Care

Thin blue ring around the iris

03/05/2007

Question:

What causes the thin blue ring of color around the iris? I was told it may denote a blood pressure problem.

Answer:

Depending on your age or complexion, it could be a ring of cholesterol deposits in the surface tissue (cornea). We expect to see this change in people over age 40.

Races with a lot of pigmentation in skin, hair, and eyes can sometimes have a blue ring between the cornea and iris because of the stark difference in color between the 2 structures.

Neither of these is a sign of high eye pressure. In fact, this condition has no pain associated with it. That's what makes glaucoma hard to diagnosis at times, because the person with high pressure won't have any vision problems until advanced stages of the disease. You should have your eyes examined every year if you're over 60 or have diabetes at any age. If you're African American or Latino, it's more important to have an eye exam regularly because glaucoma occurs at a younger age and tends to be more aggressive.

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Cynthia Gale Heard, OD Cynthia Gale Heard, OD
Formerly
Assistant Professor, Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University