Chalcosis lentis

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Chalcosis lentis is a medical term used to describe deposition of the element copper (Cu) in the lens and associated tissues of the eyes resulting in a particular type of cataract.

A shorter definition of chalcosis lentis is "a cataract caused by excessive intraocular copper", where the term "intraocular" means within the eyeball.

The type of cataract called chalcosis lentis appears as mall yellowish-brown opacities in the subcapsular cortex of the lens and pupillary zone with petal-like spokes that extend towards the equator.

Possible causes of chalcosis lentis include:

  • The presence of a foreign body either of, or containing, the element copper becoming lodged in the eye.
  • Excessive use of eyedrops that contain copper sulphate.
  • A manifestation of Wilson s disease (which is a genetic defect of copper metabolism, resulting in excessive free copper within the body becoming deposited in certain parts of the body, including the eyes).


See also chalcosis ( the more general incidence of copper in the eye - not specifically in the lens, or causing any type of cataract).

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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