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Explaining Heterochromia

A condition that’s uncommon but often seen a few times by a Miami Beach eye doctor during their career is heterochromia. This is a condition where a patient has two different eye colors, one in each eye. The colors a patient has in each eye can vary, some people have one green and one blue eye, while others have one brown and one hazel eye. The reason people have this condition is because they had an issue with the pigment formation in their eyes. Melanocytes, which are cells responsible for producing melanin, sometimes don’t make it to one of the eyes, resulting in this condition. Patients who have heterochromia commonly ask their eye doctor in Miami Beach if there’s any problems it could cause, but the answer is no. It’s a natural occurrence that has no negative health or vision side effects.

Causes of Heterochromia

When a Miami eye doctor comes across a patient with this condition, they often find it’s because of natural reasons and that person was born that way. However, being born with two different colored eyes is not the only way a person can have this condition.

● An accident that damages one of the eyes. In some cases, such as David Bowie’s, damage to the eye can cause the color appearance in one of them to change. An injury caused one of his eyes to become permanently dilated, resulting in the appearance of different colors.

● A viral or bacterial infection. While this is more rare, there are viruses and bacteria that can change the color of a person’s eyes. For example, people who survived being infected with the ebola virus often experience a change in eye color.

● Naturally. If the melanocytes didn’t make it to one of a person’s eyes as they were being developed, then they are going to have different colored eyes. Most commonly, one of their eyes is much lighter than the other.

Are There Any Side Effects of This Condition?

Many people with heterochromia wonder if they are going to need eyeglasses in Miami Beach sooner than other people who don’t have the condition, but they will not. The color of the eye has nothing to do with the way a person is able to see and how well they can see. The only “negative” aspect of this condition is if someone feels self conscious about the way their eyes appear. In these instances, people can get colored contacts to make their eyes look regular. All in all, heterochromia is a unique condition that affects some people and causes their eyes to appear as two different hues, but it’s not a cause for concern.

photo credit: AH via photopin (license)