Different Colored Eye (Heterochromia) in Human

Last updated on April 4th, 2017 at 02:34 am

Heterochromia indicates “different (hetero-) colors (- chromia).” Generally the term is used to describe the condition where a person has actually different colored eyes– one blue eye and one green eye, for instance.

What Is Heterochromia?

Other terms to describe various colored eyes are heterochromia iridis and heterochromia iridum. “Iridis” and “iridum” describe the iris of the eye. The iris is the thin, circular structure that surrounds the pupil and contains the pigment melanin, which gives our eyes their distinct color.

The quantity of melanin in the iris figures out whether we have blue eyes, green eyes, hazel eyes or brown eyes. Blue eyes have the least amount of melanin in the iris; brown eyes have the most.

Heterochromia usually is benign. To puts it simply, it is not an eye disease, and it does not impact visual acuity.

Benign heterochromia can provide a person a captivating, even exotic, appearance. In reality, a variety of stars– including Dan Aykroyd, Kate Bosworth, Henry Cavill, Alice Eve, Josh Henderson, Mila Kunis, Jane Seymour and Christopher Walken– have heterochromia.

Heterochromia also happens in animals. Types of dogs that typically display heterochromia include Siberian husky, Australian shepherd, border collie, collie, Shetland sheepdog, Welsh corgi, Great Dane, dachshund and Chihuahua. Such cat types consist of Turkish Van, Turkish angora, Japanese bobtail and sphynx. Frequently such “odd-eyed felines” have been reproduced particularly to have this function.

Types Of Heterochromia

There are 3 types of heterochromia, based upon where the various colors lie:

  1. Total heterochromia. This is where the iris of one eye is an entirely various color than the iris of the other eye.
  2. Partial heterochromia (or sectoral heterochromia). This is where only a portion (or sector) of the iris of one eye has a different color than the remainder of the iris of that eye. Partial heterochromia can happen in one eye or both eyes.
  3. Central heterochromia. In this type of heterochromia, the iris has a various color near the border of the pupil (compared to the color of the remainder of the iris), with spikes of the main color radiating from the student toward the middle of the iris.

Something that’s often puzzled with heterochromia is a benign growth called an iris mole. A pigmented mole in the iris usually is round in shape and brown in color. Normally, just one iris mole exists, but it’s possible to have more.

Though an individual may argue that a brown iris mole on a blue, green or hazel eye is a kind of partial heterochromia, the term heterochromia typically isn’t really used when the cause of the color variation in the iris is a nevus.

Iris nevi (plural of mole) normally stay stable in size. If you have an iris nevus, your optometrist usually will wish to see you every six months (for a while, at least) to determine its size and dismiss any development that might suggest malignancy.

Different Colored Eye (Heterochromia) in Human

Causes coming from such colorings might be very varied, although in most of the cases, it is a genetic condition, which indicates that people affected are born with this condition, which isn’t truly pertinent, as it does not suggest any vision change whatsoever. In such cases, the difference of color between the two eyes or within the very same eye does not change, and ocular function is normal.

What Causes Different Colored Eye?

As currently pointed out, many cases of heterochromia are benign. A baby can be born with benign heterochromia, or it can emerge in early youth as the iris attains its total of melanin. These types are called congenital heterochromia.

Usually, hereditary heterochromia is a hereditary trait that is acquired. Benign heterochromia likewise can happen as the result of a hereditary mutation during embryonic advancement.

In some cases, heterochromia is a symptom of another condition that exists at birth or establishes quickly thereafter.

One example of a condition that causes heterochromia is Horner’s syndrome. This is the combination of a restricted pupil, partial ptosis and loss of the ability to sweat on half of the face, all triggered by a disruption of particular nerve impulses to the eye.

Heterochromia that develops later on in life is called obtained heterochromia. Causes of obtained heterochromia consist of eye injuries, uveitis and particular glaucoma medications.

Latisse, a repurposed glaucoma medication now used primarily as a cosmetic representative to thicken eyelashes, likewise can cause the iris to alter color.

Have An Eye Exam To Be Safe

Though many cases of heterochromia are hereditary and benign, if you or your child has actually various colored eyes (or various colored segments of one or both eyes), see your eye doctor for a thorough eye exam to rule out other causes.

After your eye doctor confirms your eyes are healthy, delight in the compliments you are most likely to receive about the special appearance of your two various colored eyes.

Alik Muradov (Eyexan Team Member) / author of the article
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