Examination of the Anterior Chamber

The anterior chamber is filled with clear aqueous humor. Cellular infiltration and collection of pus may occur (hypopyon). Bleeding in the anterior chamber is referred to as hyphema.

It is important to evaluate the depth of the anterior chamber. In a chamber of normal depth, the iris can be well illuminated by a lateral light source (Fig. 1.12). In a shallow anterior chamber there will be a medial shadow on the iris. The pupillary dilation should be avoided in patients with shallow anterior chambers because of the risk of precipitating a glaucoma attack. Older patients with "small" hyperopic eyes are a particular risk group.

H Dilation of the pupil with a mydriatic is contraindicated in patients with a shallow anterior chamber due to the risk of precipitating angle closure glaucoma.

12 1 The Ophthalmic Examination Evaluation of the depth of the anterior chamber.

Anterior Chamber DepthMeasuring Well Depth 1950Thin Root Chamber Older PatientsAnterior Chamber Shallowing

Fig. 1.12 a Normal anterior chamber depth: the iris can be well illuminated by a lateral light source. b Shallow anterior chamber: a medial shadow is visible on the iris.

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