Polycoria affects the pupils and can occur in both or just one eye. It commonly starts during childhood but is often diagnosed later in life. Two types of polycoria include:
True polycoria. This involves two or more separate pupils sharing one eye. Each pupil has its own normally functioning sphincter muscle which allows it to constrict and dilate. This condition can affect vision though it is extremely rare.
False, or pseudopolycoria. This creates the appearance of having more than one pupil in the eye. However, they do not possess their own sphincter muscles. These additional pupils are only holes that are caused by a defect in the iris and do not affect vision.
In polycoria, the additional pupils are usually smaller than normal and are separated individually in a different segment of the iris. This can cause less light to enter the iris, which can cause dim vision and other problems with focusing.
The obvious sign of polycoria is the presence of two pupils in one eye. Other accompanying signs and symptoms may include:
- blurred vision
- dim or double vision
- seeing glares
- the oblong shape of the additional pupils
- a bridge of iris tissue in between the pupils
The specific underlying cause of polycoria is not yet discovered. However, some conditions have been linked to this condition, such as:
- detached retina
- polar cataracts
- abnormal eye development or pupil margins
Mild cases of polycoria do not require treatment especially if vision remains unaffected. However, for those who experience difficulties with their vision, surgery can be an option. Though, since true polycoria is extremely rare, it can be challenging to determine the best course of treatments for it aside from surgery.
Pupilloplasty is one of the few treatment options for polycoria. This surgery involves cutting through the tissue of the iris to remove the “bridge” that has formed in between the two pupils to improve vision. Unfortunately, with the extremely rare cases of true polycoria, there is not enough data to determine the success rate of this surgery.
The good news is that you may not be required to undergo any treatment if your polycoria does not cause visual impairment and does not interfere with daily activities. If you are a person with polycoria, it is necessary to visit your eye doctor regularly for eye checkups to monitor any changes with your vision.