Blue. Brown. Green. Hazel. Gray. Everyone’s eyes are a lovely color, and they always match, right? Well, no. Sometimes people have two different color eyes. This phenomenon is called heterochromia, but what, exactly, is it?

Why is my eye colored?

The colored part of the eye is called the iris, which squeezes and relaxes to let light through the pupil. Eye color is determined by the amount of melanin in your iris. Melanin is the same pigment that gives your skin color.

What is heterochromia?

Heterochromia is when a person’s irises are different colors. Complete heterochromia is when the irises are two different colors. Partial heterochromia is when parts of the same iris are two different colors. Central heterochromia is when the inner ring of the eye is different from the outer ring.

What causes heterochromia?

In many cases, babies are either born with heterochromia, or it develops soon after birth. This is called congenital heterochromia. Usually, they will experience no other health issues. That said, heterochromia can be a symptom of another condition such as Horner’s syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome, and Hirchsprung disease.

People can develop heterochromia later in life, too. Acquired heterochromia can be caused by a number of factors, including an eye injury, eye bleeding, swelling, glaucoma, pigment dispersion syndrome, diabetic eye disease, and eye tumors.

Should I see a doctor?

Babies should have their eyes examined to make sure there isn’t an underlying cause of the heterochromia. In most cases they’ll be fine, but parents will still want to have their baby checked to make sure they don’t have a more serious condition.

Adults who find one of their eyes turning a different color should see a doctor to find the cause and develop any necessary treatment plans. If the doctor doesn’t find a serious cause, they may not recommend any treatment.

Should I come to CEENTA?

No matter what color eyes you have, CEENTA’s doctors are specially trained to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions and are available in locations in both North and South Carolina. If you would like to know why you or your child’s eyes are multicolored, schedule an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with a CEENTA eye doctor? Call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


You may also be interested in

Someone's eyes burn in the morning.
Why do my eyes burn in the morning?

Why are they uncomfortable?

Read More
Using generic eye drops
​Should I use generic eye drops?

Are they good for you?

Read More
​Our views on Visine

Should you use it?

Read More

Leave a Comment


Back to News
This website is optimized for more recent web browsers. Please consider these upgrade options: IE10+ (), Chrome (), Firefox ().