Heterochromia- Its Causes And Types

Heterochromia- Its Causes And TypesHave you heard of Heterochromia? It is a rare condition in which the colors of the eyes are different. The term Heterochromia is obtained from ancient Greek. The word “hetero” indicates different while “chroma” means color.

Mostly, it is visible in animals like dogs and cats. However, it can be found in humans as well. It is also known as “Heterochromia iridium” or “Heterochromia iridis”. This condition is caused by the variations in the distribution and concentration of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that provides color to your eyes, hair, and skin. Moreover, there are different causes and various kinds of Heterochromia.

Causes of Heterochromia

The most common cause of this condition is congenital, meaning it is because of genetics. This is a result of a benign mutation that impacts the development of melanin in the irises. In a research, it was mentioned that central Heterochromia can occur at birth. This condition can occur in anyone, irrespective of whether or not there is a history of Heterochromia in the family. Mostly, it doesn’t affect the ability to see clearly and is not a result of any disease. In such circumstances, the condition doesn’t require any diagnosis or treatment. Some celebrities with congenital Heterochromia are:

Additionally, this condition can even develop because of an injury, illness or medications. It is called acquired Heterochromia. A famous celebrity who has acquired Heterochromia is David Bowie. It can be caused by the following diseases:

  • Eye surgery
  • Iris Ectropion syndrome
  • Eye injury
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Posner-Schlossman syndrome
  • Iris tumor
  • Swelling of eye
  • Pigment dispersion syndrome

Types of Heterochromia

Though there might be other variations, most people can be categorized into three types of Heterochromia. They are:

Central Heterochromia
It is a common type of Heterochromia, in this people, have different color along the border of pupils. There is a shade of gold near the border of the pupils and the rest of the iris is of a different color.

Complete Heterochromia
In this type of condition, people have completely different color eyes. For instance, one eye may be green and another blue.

Sectoral or Segmental Heterochromia
Another type of Heterochromia is segmental. In this condition, a larger part of the iris is affected. This can develop in both the eyes or in just one eye. The sectoral Heterochromia is just like an irregular spot on the iris. It doesn’t create a ring around the pupil.

All in all, if you have different eyes color from birth, then there is no need for a treatment. If you start to notice a change in your eye color, consult St. Lucy’s Vision Center. We are here to help you determine the cause of this change. If you need more information or have any questions about your eye health, kindly get in touch with us.

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