Heterochromia – two different-colored eyes?

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Hetero- what?

The different coloration of the iris of the two eyes, known as heterochromia, may be a congenital or acquired condition.


Types of Heterochromia


Congenital Heterochromia

Congenital heterochromia is an unequal coloration of two irises or separate sectors of the same iris.

When it comes to the two irises, one is a lighter color than the other.

Its combination with chronic cyclitis, precipitates and cataract in the calm eye is called Fuchsian heterochromia.

It was first described in 1906 by Fuchs.

This type more often affects brighter eyes, develops mainly in young people, with symptoms being minimal, no pain and no redness.

This is a rare case in the ophthalmic practice.

People between the ages of 20 and 60 usually have it, with the highest rate being around the age of 40.

No relation to ethnicity or race. The incidence is the same for both sexes.

The condition is usually mild, with minimal symptoms and can be detected at random.

The classic triad of symptoms includes heterochromia, cataracts and corneal precipitates.

The most common complications are cataracts and glaucoma.

In the case of an already complicated cataract, the cloudy lens is removed.

The treatment is managed by a specialist ophthalmologist.


Acquired heterochromia

Acquired heterochromia is a change in the color of the iris of one eye after a process in it.

This occurs after chronic inflammation, in which the stroma and iris pigment epithelium atrophy and the iris becomes lighter.

In processes such as iris melanoma, as well as in metallosis, the iris becomes more pigmented.

The main process is treated by an eye specialist.


Complete heterochromia

Complete heterochromia (in Greek: heterochromia iridis).

In this form, the color of one eye is different from the color of the other.


Partial heterochromia

Partial heterochromia or sectoral heterochromia (in Greek: heterochromia iridum).

The color in different parts of the iris of one eye is different from the rest of the eye.

A special case of sectoral heterochromia is the central one, where the iris area around the pupil has a discolored color.


Eye check-up

Although most types of heterochromia are congenital and benign, if you or your child have eyes of different colors (or segments of different colors), consult your ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam to make sure that your case has no place for worries.

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