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Heterochromia

August 19, 2022

What is heterochromia?

It is a condition in which the affected person has more than one eye color. It does not affect your body. It’s just a character of your genes passed down from your parents. In certain cases, heterochromia is a symptom of a medical condition. Heterochromia is a common condition among animals such as cats and dogs but rare in humans.

Symptoms of heterochromia

The different eye color of the iris is a symptom of heterochromia. The iris gets its color from a pigment known as melanin. Less melanin cause light color of eyes, whereas more melanin makes the eyes darker.

Causes

It is a harmless genetic mutation that affects the pigments of human irises. The condition is caused due to genetic mutation known as congenital heterochromia.

The conditions that cause congenital heterochromia include

  • Piebaldism
  • Benign heterochromia
  • Hirschsprung disease
  • Von recklinghausen disease
  • Bourneville disease
  • Waardenburg syndrome
  • Sturge- weber syndrome
  • Parry-Romberg syndrome
  • Horner’s syndrome
  • Bloch-sulzberger syndrome

Risk factors

If the condition develops after birth or when you are an infant, it is known as acquired heterochromia. Acquired heterochromia may be caused by

Eye injury

Most eye injury happens while projecting around the house. Involving in sports activity also causes eye injury.

Glaucoma

The eye defect affects more than 3 million people. In this condition, the fluid pressure in your eyes will rise. Glaucoma may cause vision loss. Early detection may also prevent the disease.

Medications

Certain medication that treats glaucoma, such as bimatoprost and latanoprost, can be a risk factor for heterochromia.

Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer. It is a cancer of nerve cells. It usually affects children under 10. In the condition, the tumor press on the nerves of the chest. The kids may have drooping eyelids and a small pupil that can cause heterochromia. It indicates that your child needs the consultation of a doctor right away.

Eye cancer

Eye cancer is also known as melanoma. It is a rare disease that happens in the melanin of the eyes. Melanin is a pigment for the eyes, hair, and skin of the body. The indication of melanoma is a dark spot on the iris. Sudden loss of vision is also common.

Types of heterochromia

Heterochromia is of three types:

  • Complete heterochromia: In this condition, only one iris has a different color from the other. For example, if you have one grey eye and one brown eye. It is also known as heterochromia iridis.
  • Segmental heterochromia: the condition in which different parts of one iris have a different color. The condition is also known as heterochromia iridium.
  • Central heterochromia: It is a condition in which the outer ring of your iris has a different color.

Diagnosis of heterochromia

If there is any change in color in your infant’s eye, your doctor will examine your child’s eye. The doctor may seek information about you how long your child has had heterochromia. He will ask whether your child has any other symptoms. The doctor might order genetics or blood tests on your child.

Heterochromia treatment

The treatment of heterochromia only focuses on treating the underlying causes of diseases. If the eyes do not get affected, no treatment is needed for heterochromia.

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