Keratopathy (also called corneal pannus, or corneal scarring)
The cornea is the dome-shaped covering at the front of the eye. In the normal eye, it covers the area of the pupil and the iris, and is completely clear.
People with aniridia have a high risk of developing an eye condition called aniridic keratopathy. This condition can occur in young children, but more typically is first diagnosed in adolescence or young adulthood. Keratopathy occurs when the cornea becomes cloudy and blood vessels begin forming over it.
Keratopathy is thought to be the result of multiple factors in the aniridic eye. One of these factors is a lack of specialized cells in/near the cornea, called limbal cells. Limbal cells are important because they help the cornea to maintain its clear surface, and to recover from irritation or injury.
Keratopathy forms at the edges of the cornea first, then over time progresses inward toward the center of the cornea. As keratopathy progresses, vision is diminished because the cornea is no longer clear.