Aphakia is the absence of the lens of the eye, due to surgical removal, such as in cataract surgery, a perforating wound or ulcer, or congenital anomaly. It causes a loss of accommodation, far sightedness (hyperopia), and a deep anterior chamber. Complications include detachment of the vitreous or retina, and glaucoma.


Babies are rarely born with aphakia. Occurrence most often results from surgery to remove congenital cataract (clouding of the eye's lens, which can block light from entering the eye and focusing clearly). Congenital cataracts usually develop as a result of infection of the fetus or genetic reasons. It is often difficult to identify the exact cause of these cataracts, especially if only one eye is affected.

People with aphakia have relatively small pupils and their pupils dilate to a lesser degree.[1]


Without the focusing power of the lens, the eye becomes very farsighted. Also, since the lens is responsible for adjusting the focus of vision to different lengths, patients with aphakia have a total loss of accommodation.

Some individuals have said that they perceive ultraviolet light, invisible to those with a lens, as whitish blue or whitish-violet.[2][3] Miotics are effective in aphakic glaucoma.


This can be corrected by wearing glasses, contact lenses, or by implant of an artificial lens. Artificial lenses are described as "pseudophakic".


Gr. a- alfa priv + phakos, lens, anything shaped like a lens[4]


  1. Mary V Gibbens; R Goel; S E Smith (1989). "Effect of cataract extraction on the pupil response to mydriatics" (PDF). British Journal of Ophthalmology. 73 (7): 563–565. doi:10.1136/bjo.73.7.563. PMC 1041802.
  2. R M Anderson (1983). "Visual perceptions and observations of an aphakic surgeon". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 57 (3_suppl): 1211–1218. doi:10.2466/pms.1983.57.3f.1211.
  3. David Hambling (29 May 2002). "Let the light shine in". The Guardian.
  4. aphakia. (n.d.) Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary. (2012). Retrieved April 13, 2016 from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/aphakia
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