Claims Patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris hold information about a patient's systemic health.
Related scientific disciplines Medicine
Year proposed 1665
Original proponents Philippus Meyeus
Pseudoscientific concepts

Iridology (also known as iridodiagnosis [1] or iridiagnosis [2]) is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents claim that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient's systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts, which divide the iris into zones that correspond to specific parts of the human body. Iridologists see the eyes as "windows" into the body's state of health.

Iridologists claim they can use the charts to distinguish between healthy systems and organs in the body and those that are overactive, inflamed, or distressed. Iridologists claim this information demonstrates a patient's susceptibility towards certain illnesses, reflects past medical problems, or predicts later health problems.

As opposed to evidence-based medicine, iridology is not supported by quality research studies [3] and is widely considered pseudoscience. [4] The features of the iris are one of the most stable features on the human body throughout life. [5][ disputed ] The stability of iris structures is the foundation of the biometric technology which uses iris recognition for identification purposes. [6] [7]

In 1979, Bernard Jensen, a leading American iridologist, and two other iridology proponents failed to establish the basis of their practice when they examined photographs of the eyes of 143 patients in an attempt to determine which ones had kidney impairments. Of the patients, forty-eight had been diagnosed with kidney disease, and the rest had normal kidney function. Based on their analysis of the patients' irises, the three iridologists could not detect which patients had kidney disease and which did not. [8]


The iris is the greenish-yellow area surrounding the transparent pupil (showing as black). The white outer area is the sclera, the central transparent part of which is the cornea.

Iridologists generally use equipment such as a flashlight and magnifying glass, cameras or slit-lamp microscopes to examine a patient's irises for tissue changes, as well as features such as specific pigment patterns and irregular stromal architecture. The markings and patterns are compared to an iris chart that correlates zones of the iris with parts of the body. Typical charts divide the iris into approximately 80–90 zones. For example, the zone corresponding to the kidney is in the lower part of the iris, just before 6 o'clock. There are minor variations between charts' associations between body parts and areas of the iris.

According to iridologists, details in the iris reflect changes in the tissues of the corresponding body organs. One prominent practitioner, Bernard Jensen, described it thus: "Nerve fibers in the iris respond to changes in body tissues by manifesting a reflex physiology that corresponds to specific tissue changes and locations." [9] This would mean that a bodily condition translates to a noticeable change in the appearance of the iris, but this has been disproven through many studies. [8] (See section on Scientific research.) For example, acute inflammatory, chronic inflammatory and catarrhal signs may indicate involvement, maintenance, or healing of corresponding distant tissues, respectively. Other features that iridologists look for are contraction rings and Klumpenzellen, which may indicate various other health conditions, as interpreted in context.

Other Languages
čeština: Iridologie
Deutsch: Iridologie
Ελληνικά: Ιριδολογία
español: Iridología
Esperanto: Irisodiagnostiko
français: Iridologie
hrvatski: Iridologija
italiano: Iridologia
Nederlands: Irisdiagnostiek
polski: Irydologia
português: Iridologia
română: Iridologie
slovenščina: Iridologija
українська: Іридодіагностика