Heterochromia is the term provided to explain a difference in a who eye color. Who with main heterochromia has different colors in ~ the very same eye. Finish heterochromia is as soon as they have actually two various colored eyes.

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Heterochromia that the eye is brought about by sport in the concentration and also distribution that melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes.

The word “heterochromia” is obtained from old Greek wherein “heteros” method different and also “chroma” method color. The condition is likewise known as heterochromia iridis or heterochromia iridum.

Share ~ above PinterestCentral heterochromia refers to a mix of color in one eye, and occurs because of uneven circulation of melanin.
Eye color is a result of melanin shop in the iris, i beg your pardon is the part of the eye responsible because that dilating and also constricting the pupil to control the quantity of light that enters. Blue eye have small amounts the melanin while brown eyes are rich in melanin.

Iris color may not stay consistent throughout a who life. Because that example, numerous babies room born with blue eyes the darken within the first 3 year of life. This adjust occurs as melanin develops.

Uneven distribution of melanin leader to main heterochromia and other types of heterochromia.


Most instances of heterochromia are present from birth as soon as the condition is called genetic heterochromia.

Research suggests that most situations of heterochromia in people are benign and also occur without any kind of underlying abnormality.

According to the Genetic and Rare conditions Information Center, most cases of heterochromia the the eye take place sporadically in human being with no family background of the condition.

However, some situations of hereditary heterochromia are attached to diseases and syndromes, including:

Bloch-Sulzberger syndromeBourneville diseaseHirschsprung diseaseHorner’s syndromeParry-Romberg syndromeSturge-Weber syndromevon Recklinghausen diseaseWaardenburg syndrome

Heterochromia that creates later in life as result of illness, injury, or medication, is recognized as got heterochromia. This is less typical than the genetic form.

Share on PinterestDiabetes deserve to lead to obtained heterochromia.

Causes of obtained heterochromia include:

eye surgeryinjury come the eyeiris ectropion syndromepigment dispersion syndromePosner-Schlossman syndromeswelling the the eyetumors of the iris

In addition, a medication dubbed latanoprost, i beg your pardon is used to law glaucoma, has actually been associated with transforms in eye shade in approximately 33 percent that those acquisition it for 5 years or longer. Latisse, i beg your pardon is a drug once provided to treat glaucoma but now primarily used to thicken eyelashes, may likewise account for a change in eye color.

Types that eye heterochromia

The different varieties of heterochromia that the eye include:

Central heterochromia

Central heterochromia is defined by having two various colors in the same iris. Usually, the outer ring of the iris is one color while the inner ring is another.

The within ring regularly seems to have “spikes” of various colors the radiate native the pupil or the black circle in ~ the facility of the iris. Eyes that have actually this pattern might be described as “cat eyes.” The outer color is considered to it is in the true iris shade in world with central heterochromia.

Central heterochromia has tendency to happen in irises that have actually low levels of melanin.

Complete heterochromia

People through this condition have two different-colored eyes. Because that example, lock may have actually one blue eye and one brown eye.

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Sectoral heterochromia

In human being with sectoral heterochromia, additionally known as partial heterochromia, one component of the iris is a different shade from the rest. Sectoral heterochromia regularly resembles an irregular clues on the iris the the eye and does not kind a ring about the pupil.